Medical Professional Publications

Getting to Know…

Highlighting the Newest Principal Investigators at The Research Institute

Tondi Harrison, PhD, RN, CPNP
Center for Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Research

Dr. Harrison’s research interests focus on the effects maternal care-giving has on the development of stress neurobiology in full-term infants hospitalized shortly after birth for life-threatening, chronic health conditions, particularly infants with congenital heart defects
The experiences of being in the intensive care unit, undergoing multiple invasive diagnostic or therapeutic treatments, receiving care from multiple professionals, and being separated from the mother may result in permanent changes in infant neurobiology, including autonomic nervous system function. Patterns of response of the infant’s autonomic system are theorized to be directly influenced by interactions with the mother.

Dr. Harrison is interested in developing interventions that will enhance infant autonomic function and the establishment of patterns of maternal care-giving supportive of the infant’s emotional, behavioral and social self-regulation.


Robert Johnson, PhD
Center for Childhood Cancer

Ependymoma is the third most common pediatric brain tumor and the most common adult spinal tumor; it is incurable in up to 40 percent of cases.

Dr. Johnson has been able to model human ependymoma subgroups by using a genomic approach that matched subgroup specific driver mutations, Ephb2 overexpression, with the appropriate cell of origin, embryonic neural stem cells.
Using a combination of stem cell culture assays and a mouse intracranial implantation model system, Dr. Johnson’s group is studying how key components of the Ephb2 signaling system play a critical role in transforming cerebral neural stem cells into ependymoma.  Specifically, they are looking at which Ephb2 domains are required for transformation and the role of forward and reverse signaling.


Andrzej Kloczkowski, PhD
Battelle Center for Mathematical Medicine

Dr. Kloczkowski applies statistical mechanics, polymer physics and computer modeling of physicochemical systems to a variety of problems that are important for molecular biology and medicine.

Much of his work is driven by NIH funding to study “High-Accuracy Protein Models Derived from Lower Resolution Data.”

 Previous work has focused on lattice models of proteins used to study the physical nature of protein folding, prediction of protein structures from the amino acid sequence, prediction of the 3D structure of human telomerase, protein dynamics, prediction of protein function, protein packing and statistical potentials, systems biology and relating phosphorylation of protein domains to signaling and metabolic pathways with an emphasis on cancer.  

Dr. Kloczkowski directs his work toward highly complex biological problems, especially those important in medicine such as phosphorylation and other post-translational modifications, systems biology and modeling of cells.

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