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Center for Blood-Brain Barrier Research

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Mission

Vision

The Center's mission is to discover and develop novel therapeutics that will advance drug therapy in diseases affecting the central nervous system. The Center will foster research to characterize new drug targets based on understanding of both receptor and transport mechanisms and of metabolic pathways.

By encouraging collaboration with colleagues across School of Pharmacy departments, the Center will raise the pharmacy school's research profile, enhance the competitiveness of Center members for extramural funding and increase the attractiveness of the TTUHSC School of Pharmacy to prospective faculty members.

Accomplishments

  • 3 patent applications have been submitted through the Office of Research Commercialization.
  • Multiple fruitful collaborations have been initiated within the center and with external colleagues:
    • 66 papers published in total by BBB center members since 2013
    • 17 of these papers were co-authored with other center members or with external colleagues as a result of significant center-related collaborations

Key Findings

  • Potent multifunctional opioid receptor agonists offer neuroprotection in stroke
  • [13C]sucrose is superior as marker of BBB permeability compared to classical and widely used markers, such as [14C]sucrose or fluorescein
  • E-cigarette exposure worsens stroke outcome in normal and type 2 diabetic mice
  • All different cell types of the neurovascular unit (astrocytes, brain microvascular endothelial cells, and neurons) can be generated from the same patient induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs)
  • The peptidase neurolysin appears to play a pathophysiological role in recovery from stroke
  • The BBB has a specific, MHC-class I mediated transport mechanism for TCR mimic antibodies that cold be a target for drug delivery
  • Triacsin C analogs, inhibitors of long chain fatty acyl CoA synthase, may be effective drugs for stroke therapy

Goals for 2016-2017

  • Secure extramural support for mature collaborative projects
  • Provide support from the center to early stage collaborations and projects, which need more preliminary data for extramural applications.
Members
Dr. Bickel

Ulrich Bickel, M.D.

Center Director

Pharmaceutical Sciences Dept.

Amarillo, TX

Constantinos Mikelis

Constantinos Mikelis, Ph.D.

Biomedical Sciences Dept.

Amarillo, TX

Dr. Al-Ahmad

Abraham Al-Ahmad, Ph.D.

Pharmaceutical Sciences Dept.

Amarillo, TX

Dr. Smith

 Quentin Smith, Ph.D.

 Dean for the School of Pharmacy

 Pharmaceutical Sciences Dept.

 Amarillo, TX

Dr. Abbbruscato

Thomas J. Abbruscato, Ph.D.

Chair of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Amarillo, TX

 

Dr. Stoll

James Stoll, Ph.D.

Biomedical Sciences Dept.

Amarillo, TX

Dr, Cucullo

Luca Cucullo, Ph.D.

Pharmaceutical Sciences Dept.

Amarillo, TX

 

Dr. Thekkumkara

Thomas Thekkumkara, Ph.D.

Regional Dean

Amarillo, TX

Dr. Karamyan

Vardan Karamyan, Ph.D.

Pharmaceutical Sciences Dept.

Amarillo, TX

 

Dr. Trippier

Paul Trippier, Ph.D.

Pharmaceutical Sciences Dept.

Amarillo, TX

 

Dr. Mehvar

Reza Mehvar, Pharm.D, Ph.D.

Adjunct Faculty

Amarillo, TX

 

Dr. Weis

Margaret Weis, Ph.D.

Biomedical Sciences Dept.

Amarillo, TX 

Content updated 10/20/16
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