Justin C. McArthur, MBBS, MPH, FANA

Johns Hopkins University

Dr. Justin McArthur received his medical degree from Guys Hospital Medical School at the University of London.  He then completed an internship and residency in Internal Medicine at The Johns Hopkins Hospital.  Dr. McArthur stayed at Johns Hopkins to complete a second residency in Neurology and to achieve a Masters degree in public health.

Now a Professor of Neurology, Pathology, Medicine and Epidemiology, Dr. McArthur has become nationally and internationally recognized for his work in the epidemiology and treatment of HIV infection, multiple sclerosis, and other neurological infections and immune-mediated neurological disorders.  He has been instrumental in the design and conduct of numerous clinical trials for these disorders. With the late Jack Griffin, he developed a clinically-validated technique to use cutaneous nerves to study sensory neuropathies, including those associated with chemotherapy, HIV infection, and diabetes mellitus. He was the recipient of the Department of Medicine Osler House-staff Award in recognition of outstanding contributions to Housestaff teaching for four years, and then the JHU Professor’s Award for Distinction in Teaching in the Clinical Sciences. In 2013 he received the Mitchell Max award for neuropathic pain from the American Academy of Neurology. He received an endowed chair in Jack Griffin’s name in 2016, and was inducted into the Association of American Physicians in 2016. He is currently President-elect of the American Neurological Association.

Dr. McArthur has been the Director of the Department of Neurology at Johns Hopkins since 2008, and was the founding Director of the Johns Hopkins/National Institute of Mental Health Research Center for Novel Therapeutics of HIV-associated Cognitive Disorders. The Center is comprised of an experienced interdisciplinary research team who have pooled their talents to study the nature of HIV-associated cognitive disorders.  The aim is to translate discoveries of the pathophysiological mechanisms into novel therapeutics. He is currently serving as the Director of the JHU Sheikh Khalifa Stroke Institute that focuses on accelerating recovery after acute ischemic stroke.

He has devoted his career to the treatment of MS, and related disorders and the investigation of the neurological manifestations of AIDS, and to neurological education. His major contributions have focused on epidemiology, pathogenetic mechanisms and treatment of the neurological manifestations of HIV/AIDS. Dr. McArthur's research is focused in three areas of the neurological manifestations of HIV infection: 1) neuroepidemiology, 2) therapeutic development and clinical trials, and 3) studies of pathogenesis. He has an h-index of 90+, over 26,000 citations, and has published over 340 original research articles, and has authored five textbooks, including, in 2012, Neuropathic Pain: Mechanisms, Diagnosis and Treatment Edited by David M. Simpson and Justin C. McArthur and Robert H. Dworkin  (Oxford University Press).   

His epidemiology studies were designed to define the epidemiology of HIV-associated dementia and sensory neuropathy, and have detailed the incidence, prevalence, and risk factors for these diseases, showing the impact of antiretroviral therapy on them.  His work in clinical trials has examined the utility of novel therapeutic agents for HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders, HIV-associated sensory neuropathies, and PML.  Through an NINDS program project grant (PI: Dr. David Clifford, Washington University), he has participated in an executive role for a 22 site consortium of academic centers with HIV neurological expertise, the  MACROBUTTON HtmlResAnchor Neurological AIDS Research Consortium.  This consortium has facilitated the planning, implementation and completion of a number of investigator-initiated clinical trials including a placebo-controlled trial of abacavir for HIV associated dementia, and a trial of cytosine arabinoside for PML. Dr McArthur has been the protocol chair on several national clinical trials  of novel agents for  HIV-associated sensory neuropathies, and has participated in the study design and data analysis in numerous other trials.  Dr McArthur’s studies of pathogenesis are designed to explore the mechanisms and biology of HIV infection of the nervous system, both peripheral and central.  He has completed a number of studies which have convincingly shown that HIV-associated neurological disease is associated with abnormal immune activation and oxidative stress. These have led to new targets for therapy, as well as novel biomarkers to screen and track neurological disease.  With collaborators at JHU he developed the technique of punch skin biopsy as a method to evaluate epidermal innervation in a variety of sensory neuropathies. This technique has now been used in several clinical trials for both HIV- and diabetic neuropathies and has entered clinical practice as a useful tool to assess neuropathies. He was the founding director of the JHU Cutaneous Nerve laboratory, which became the first in the USA to obtain CLIA certification for punch skin biopsies.

He served as the President of the American Neurological Association from 2019-2021.


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