We are thankful for the Research Forward support of this ambitious project! A fantastic Ph.D. student, Lauren Sarko, has been leading this effort in the lab. With this support, we can build the team science necessary to move this project into the clinic.
Programmable, Pro-Regenerative Immune Cell Therapies for Neurodegeneration and Brain Injury
This project develops a new concept to treat brain disorders, injuries and aging via cell therapy. Because dysfunctional cells in the brain can frequently be distinguished from healthy cells by unique antigens on their cell surface, cell therapies can use this characteristic to selectively eliminate dysfunctional cells within the brain. Further, cell therapies can be genetically engineered to secrete therapeutic factors within the brain, thereby circumnavigating the blood-brain barrier. The project’s multidisciplinary team will test this multifunctional strategy in human cell/tissue culture systems and in small animal models. If successful, this work would open up a new platform to potentially treat diverse brain indications, including neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease.
Krishanu Saha, associate professor of biomedical engineering and affiliate with the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery
Marina Emborg, professor of medical physics
Darcie Moore, assistant professor of neuroscience
William Murphy, professor of biomedical engineering
Anita Bhattacharyya, assistant professor of cell and regenerative biology
Christian Capitini, associate professor of pediatrics
Melissa Kinney, assistant professor of biomedical engineering
Sean Palecek, associate professor of chemical and biological engineering
Melissa Skala, associate professor of biomedical engineering