Blood-Brain Barrier Transport Dynamics (BBTD)

The Blood-Brain Barrier Transport Dynamics (BBTD) group is interested in transport dynamics of molecules and pathogens across the blood-brain barrier (BBB) in homeostasis of the central nervous system (CNS) and in pathologies such as AD, stroke, meningitis, EAE (MS), epilepsy, and brain cancers. The BBB formed by brain microvascular endothelial cells (EC) maintains CNS homeostasis with its function regulated by pericytes (PC), astrocytes (AC), and microglia (MG), which together form the neurovascular unit (NVU). 

Approaches include transwell culture employing NVU cells (EC, AC, PC, & MG) in vitro and microvessels and FACS isolated NVU cells ex vivo from experimental/transgenic animal models and human biopsy/autopsy material. In vivo approaches include fluorescent tracer permeability analyses. Histochemistry followed by confocal/super-resolution/ or electron microscopy is applied for localization/expression analysis in all the above approaches. TEER/fluorescent dextran permeability assays are utilized for in vitro analyses.  Transcriptomic, proteomic, & bioinformatics analyses are utilized for investigation of molecular mechanisms underlying neurological diseases affecting BBB from the above in vitro and ex vivo samples. Western blotting, qRT-PCR, immunofluorescence are routinely used for validation and translational analyses.