The Stanley Laboratory of Developmental Neurovirology is a division of the Department of Pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. It is funded by SMRI and directed by Dr. Robert Yolken, Professor of Pediatrics and holder of the Theodore and Vada Stanley Chair in Neurovirology at the Johns Hopkins University. The purpose of the laboratory is to explore the role of viruses and other infectious agents, especially as transmitted during pregnancy or in childhood, as possible causes of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
The Stanley Laboratory employs molecular techniques to systematically study immune, genetic, and infectious abnormalities in these disorders, using sera, lymphocytes, cerebrospinal fluid, and postmortem brain tissue from affected individuals and controls. A robotic system is used to perform large-scale analyses of serum and cerebrospinal fluids for antibodies to a range of infectious agents, including herpes simplex virus type 1, herpes simplex virus type 2, cytomegalovirus, Epstein-Barr virus, human herpes virus type 6, Toxoplasma gondii, influenza A virus, and influenza B virus; assays are performed free of charge for collaborators. The laboratory also explores mechanisms by which infectious agents and the immune response may lead to altered brain development. In addition, the Stanley Laboratory is engaged in collaborative studies directed at determining the possible effect of antimicrobial chemotherapy on the symptoms and clinical course of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
The Stanley Laboratory is also a training program for future researchers in this field. This is the only research and training program in the world that focuses exclusively on viral, immunological, and molecular aspects of these diseases. Several researchers who have completed the training program have moved on to leadership positions at other universities and research institutions.
For more information on the work of the Stanley Laboratory, its Fellowship Program, and a list of its publications please go to www.stanleylab.org or contact:
Dr. Robert H. Yolken
Stanley Division of Developmental Neurovirology
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
600 N. Wolfe Street, Blalock 1105
Baltimore, MD 21287-4933