BME Seminar Series: Dr. Damir Janigro, Flocel Inc.
“Blood-brain barrier in health and diesase”
The blood-brain barrier (BBB) serves to protect the central nervous system (CNS) from damage by exogenous molecules. In doing so, it also can prevent some drugs from reaching their sites of action. A variety of CNS disorders contribute to BBB disruption, and detection of this “opening” can be used for both diagnostic purposes and for determining time periods when drugs can more easily enter the CNS. While expensive and time-consuming imaging techniques are currently used for this purpose, we have devised a method for detecting plasma levels of a blood biomarker of BBB disruption. The relevance of these findings in translational neurosciences will be discussed.
DR. DAMIR JANIGRO, PhD, FAES is the CSO and founder of Flocel Inc. a Professor at CWRU, a member of the World Neurobiology Commission of ILAE, and associate editor for Epilepsia, PLOS among others. He has over 30 years of experience and has received continuous support from the NIH since 1996. He is the inventor of the dynamic in vitro model of the BBB that constituted one of the founding blocks of Flocel’s technology. He discovered S100B as a marker of BBB function and has for many years collaborated with top notch hospitals in the US and Europe to broaden the scope and use of this technology. He recently patented the use of S100B as marker of hemorrhagic transformation in stroke victims undergoing intra-arterial therapies. With his former student, Dr. Nicola Marchi, he received the Morris-Coole award in 2008. He has served on several NIH panels, and has been part of three FDA applications. He served as Chairman for study sections for the American Heart Association and the Department of Defense. He has been associated with neurosurgeons and neurointensivists since his post-doctoral years at the University of Washington (1994-1999). He has published over 150 papers.