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Center on the
Early Life Origins of Disease

Our Faculty

Xiaobin Wang, MD, MPH, ScD

Professor
Zanvyl Krieger Chair in Child Health
Director, Center on the Early Life Origins of Disease
Contact Xiaobin Wang
Phone: 410.955.5824
Fax: 410.502.5831

Publications:
For a detailed list of my publications, please see the Publications page.

Xiaobin Wang's Installation, 2012.

Dr. Wang's work has been cited numerous times and her record can be seen in the scholar.google citations page.

Xiaobin Wang's photo

Describing Johns Hopkins as an “ideal setting for interdisciplinary research and synergistic partnerships at the national and international levels,” Wang said, “Together, we can save lives, millions at a time.” — By Maryalice Yakutchik (2012)

Research and Professional Experience

Dr. Wang is a board certified pediatrician and a molecular epidemiologist whose work unites biomarkers, clinical medicine, epidemiology, and disease prevention. She has served as the principal investigator (PI) of multiple large-scale molecular and genetic epidemiological studies funded by the National Institute of Health, with a particular focus on environmental factors, nutritional biomarkers, genetic variants, epigenetic alterations, and their interactions in complex human diseases, including reproductive and pregnancy outcomes, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and other high-impact diseases such as food allergy and asthma. Dr. Wang and her team have established three large study cohorts (Boston Birth Cohort, Chicago Family-based Cohort, and Chinese Twin Cohort).

Along with extensive epidemiological and clinical data as well as related biorepositories, these cohorts are well-designed for studying a broad range of health and disease outcomes and early life precursors of pediatric and adult diseases. Dr. Wang has authored and co-authored more than 140 publications and many of them appear in prestigious medical journals, including the New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of the American Medical Association, and Lancet. Her work has contributed to the understanding of environmental exposures, genetic susceptibility and gene-environment interactions in complex human diseases. Her work has provided evidence on folic acid supplementation in the prevention of stroke for populations without folate grain fortification; and was cited by the American Stroke Association in the latest guidelines for the prevention of stroke. Dr. Wang served as a member of the Institute of Medicine Committee on Understanding Premature Birth and Assuring Healthy Outcomes. She is a regular member of the NIH study section.

Dr. Wang received her MD from Beijing Medical University in Beijing, China, and a master of public health from the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine at Tulane University in New Orleans. She also received a doctor of science degree from the Department of Maternal and Child Health at the Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health in Baltimore. She completed a three-year research fellowship in Environmental Epidemiology at the Harvard University School of Public Health and a residency in pediatrics at the Boston University Medical Center. Before joining Hopkins, Dr. Wang was the Professor of Pediatrics, and Director of the Mary Ann and J. Milburn Smith Child Health Research Program at Children's Memorial Research Center, Department of Pediatrics, Northwestern University School of Medicine in Chicago.

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Xuimei Hong, MD, PhD

Assistant Scientist
Contact Xiumei Hong
Phone: 410.502.8919
Fax: 410.502.5831

Publications:
For a detailed list of my publications, please see the Publications page.

Research and Professional Experience

Dr. Hong is a molecular epidemiologist with extensive experience in epidemiology and molecular genetics. Her research is to incorporate molecular genetic technology with epidemiologic design to systematically investigate the environmental factors, nutritional biomarkers, genetic variants, and epigenetic alterations and their interactions associated with complex human diseases including preterm birth, osteoporosis, obesity and metabolic syndromes.

She also has vast experience in data management and statistical analyses. Over the past 6 years, she has worked closely with Dr. Wang and her team, serving as data manager, statistician and/or co-investigator on multiple NIH-funded studies. Dr. Wang's current work mainly focuses on the investigation of inflammatory- and obesity- related biomarkers (such as CRP, IL-6, TNF alpha, leptin, adiponectin, and insulin) and tests for gene-environment interactions and epigenomic modification in complex diseases. She has authored and co-authored over 35 publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals; some of them have appeared in prestigious journals such as the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology and the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.

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Sheila Walker, PhD

Research Associate
Contact Sheila Walker
Phone: 410.955.4140
Fax: 410.502.5831

Publications:
For a detailed list of my publications, please see the Publications page.

Sheila Walker's photo

Research and Professional Experience

Dr. Walker's research examines how biological research in genetics, epigenetics, and other biological analytes (hormones, antibodies, and chemicals) can complement social research to promote healthy behavior, fortify learning environments, reduce rates of chronic disease, and optimize health outcomes throughout life. Her work is focused on the biological embedding of chronic stress (the mind-body link) and biological sensitivity to context (individual differences in reactivity to environmental factors) to enhance health and educational outcomes, with an emphasis on high-poverty family and educational contexts. She is particularly interested in understanding how stress reactivity can be modified via natural solutions such as nutrition, exercise, sleep, mindset coaching, and meditation. Dr. Walker’s research is also focused on understanding preconception, prenatal and early childhood origins of health and neurodevelopment, and on examining how biosocial research on adverse childhood experiences and toxic stress can be applied in a practical manner to facilitate early intervention, prevention, resilience, and enhanced quality of life.

Dr. Walker’s doctoral research in the field of Behavioral Genetics at Kings College London examined the relative influence of genes and the environment on educationally relevant behavior. Her work focused primarily on the potential for biological data to inform and optimize individual learning outcomes by examining the respective influence of “nature” and “nurture” on academic achievement, cognitive abilities, and children's perceptions of their classroom environments.

Dr. Walker has devoted a portion of her academic career to instructing an undergraduate course in Behavioral Genetics at Georgetown University focused on the dynamic interaction between nature and nurture in human development. Prior to entering academia, Dr. Walker was a mutual fund Portfolio Manager in Denver, Colorado. She attended the University of Colorado on a tennis scholarship and played professional tennis in Europe after graduation. Dr. Walker is married with three boys and lives in Washington, DC.

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Guoying Wang, MD, PhD

Assistant Scientist
Contact Guoying Wang
Phone: 410.502.8973
Fax: 410.502.5831

Publications:
For a detailed list of my publications, please see the Publications page.

Research and Professional Experience

Dr. Wang's work focuses on clinical medicine and genetics in both clinical- and population-based studies. In the last decade, she participated in various research studies focused on common complex diseases such as type 2 diabetes, obesity and metabolic syndrome. She also has gained considerable experience in genetics and epidemiology, with a particular focus on incorporating molecular genetic technology with epidemiologic design to systematically investigate the environmental factors, nutritional biomarkers, genetic variants, and epigenetic alterations and their interactions associated with common metabolic diseases. Over the past 3 years, she has worked closely with Dr. Xiaobin Wang and her team, serving as co-investigator and molecular genetics lab manager on multiple NIH-funded projects.

Dr. Wang's current work focuses on the investigation of adiposity-related biomarkers (such as leptin, adiponectin, insulin, CRP, etc.) and tests for gene-environment interactions in complex diseases. She has authored and co-authored over 13 book chapters and 46 publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals; some of them have appeared in prestigious journals such as the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology and JAMA.

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