Johns Hopkins Drug Discovery - Core Functions
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Core Functions

The Johns Hopkins Drug Discovery program is staffed with full-time scientists most of which are seasoned experts in various aspects of drug discovery research with ample industry experience in the pharmaceutical sector. Our program was designed to complement the strength of academic research by bridging a gap between basic science and therapeutic application. Our facility is located in the BioTechnology Science Center on the Johns Hopkins Medical campus. The 4,500 square-ft laboratory is specifically designed for drug discovery research operation and allows multi-disciplinary collaboration under one roof fostering a teamwork-based approach. Our program also manages its own integrated, structure-searchable proprietary chemical database for data storing, sharing, and analysis. Our laboratories are fully equipped with the most advanced instruments to maximize the quality and productivity of our operations in the four core functions, biochemistry and assay development, medicinal chemistry, drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics, and animal pharmacology and toxicology.


Biochemistry and Assay Development

The Biochemistry/Assay Development laboratory includes a 200 sq ft tissue culture facility with BSL2 certification which allows the culturing and maintenance of cell lines and is licensed to perform radioactive assays.  The biochemistry laboratory has a Beckman tabletop ultracentrifuge, UV-Visible light spectrophotometer, 96-well fluorimeter, a Fluorescence Imaging Plate Reader (FLIPR), TopCount radiometric detector, an HPLC equipped with photodiode fluorescence and radiomatic detectors, a large shaking incubator, a gel drying system, speed vac concentrating system, balances, pH meters, micro-centrifuges, vortexers, sonicators, and electrophoresis equipment.


Medicinal Chemistry

The Medicinal Chemistry laboratories include three 800-square foot medicinal chemistry lab spaces, each with four 10-foot fume hoods with nitrogen outlets.  The lab is equipped with a dedicated 400 MHz multi-probe NMR with sample automation capabilities, analytical and preparative LCMS instruments, a Biotage Isolera automated chromatography system, lyophilizers, a CEM microwave system, and Parr hydrogenation apparatus. In-house chemical reagents are managed by ChemCart Reagent Inventory to maximize productivity without inflating reagent expenses and storage space.


Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics 

The Drug Metabolism/Pharmacokinetics team resides in an 800 square newly renovated space.  It is equipped with a state of the art high performance liquid chromatography mass spectrometer (LC/MS; QTOF MS instrument) and two tandem quadrupole mass spectrometers (LC-MSMS; QQQ MS instrument), tissue preparation operations (including a tabletop ultracentrifuge,  Zymark, turbovap, nitrogen evaporator), and storage freezers. These instruments are regularly used for the unambiguous identification and sensitive quantitation of small molecules in biological tissues including plasma, brain, sciatic nerve, liver and kidney.


Animal Pharmacology and Toxicology

Our animal facilities are located in the Edward D. Miller Research Building on the Johns Hopkins’ campus. This facility is staffed by laboratory animal technicians and caretakers employed by the Division of Comparative Medicine.  The facilities meet Federal and NIH regulations for animal care and are accredited by the American Association for Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care. In addition to the animal facility, we have access to the animal behavioral core facility which is approximately 650 square feet and is located in the basement vivarium of the Edward D. Miller Broadway Research Building. It includes 4 rooms which house the instrumentation required to conduct a wide range of animal behavioral studies.