The Department of Biological Sciences at Johns Hopkins can measure success in many ways, one of which is our impressive history of awards. The students, graduates, postdocs, and faculty within our department have garnered recognition from many prestigious sources.
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2021 was awarded jointly to David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian "for their discoveries of receptors for temperature and touch". Our own Michael J. Caterina, then a postdoctoral fellow in the Julius lab, conducted an unbiased functional screen based on the assumption that a single gene can confer capsaicin sensitivity in cells that are normally insensitive to capsaicin. To find this putative gene, Julius and coworkers made a cDNA library from rodent dorsal root ganglia that contain the cell bodies of the capsaicin-activated sensory neurons. Capsaicin-insensitive cells were transfected with batches of these cDNAs and eventually a single cDNA clone was isolated that could confer responsiveness to capsaicin  (Figure 1A). Understanding the action of capsaicin has since provided insights into pain signaling which has remained a focus of Michael Caterina’s laboratory. For Q&A, click HERE .Caterina, M.J., M.A. Schumacher, M. Tominaga, T.A. Rosen, J.D. Levine, and D. Julius, The capsaicin receptor: a heat-activated ion channel in the pain pathway. Nature, 1997. 389(6653): p. 816-24.
William T. Mills receives a NIH NRSA Fellowship (Meffert Lab)
Xiaoguang Li: Young Investigator Day, The Bae Gyo Jung Research Award (Peter Devreotes lab)
Xiaoguang Li: American Heart Association Predoctoral Fellowship (Peter Devreotes lab)
Yuchuan Miao: Young Investigator Day, Michael A. Shanoff Research Award (Peter Devreotes lab)
Caitlyn Bowman: Young Investigator Day, Paul Talalay Award (Michael Wolfgang lab)
Kapil Ramachandran: Young Investigator Day, Martin and Carol Macht Award (Seth Margolis lab)