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.
BME Seminar Series: Dr. Giuliano Scarcelli, University of Maryland
More details coming soon.
BME Seminar Series: Dr. Rouzbeh Amini, University of Akron
“Multi-scale Framework for Analysis of Tricuspid Valve Biomechanics “
Mechanics plays a critical role in tissue development, regeneration, and remodeling, as cell-cell interactions and cellmatrix interactions are known to be heavily influenced by changes in the mechanical microenvironment at the extracellular matrix (ECM)/cellular level. In the tricuspid valve (TV), located between the right ventricle and the right atrium in the heart, the leaflets open and close more than three billion times during their lifetime. Thus, TV cells and ECM maintain their homeostasis while subjected to a highly dynamic loading environment. Considering the hierarchy of the living system (i.e. heart, valves, leaflets, and ECM/cellular levels in the case of TV), it is imperative to study biomechanics and mechanobiology using multi-scale approaches. Unfortunately, such multi-scale frameworks do not currently exist, and a main goal of our research lab is to combine experimental techniques and computational simulation to address such major limitations. We are particularly interested in understanding why TV surgery has poor long-term success rate (30% to 40% of patients who undergo surgery have had a recurrence of valve problems). We aim to understand how tricuspid valve repair procedures will affect the valve’s function at the tissue level and at the ECM (micro) level, as we believe that surgical alterations cause changes in tissue stress and tissue microstructure in ways that can eventually lead to failure of the repaired valve.
Dr. Amini completed a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Minnesota in the field of ocular biomechanics and biotransport in 2010. He then continued his research work on the mechanics of soft tissue as a postdoctoral trainee at the University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Bioengineering, where he held the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NIH F32). He conducted his postdoctoral research on the biomechanics of cardiac valves. Dr. Amini has served as an assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at The University of Akron since August 2013. The overall goal of his research laboratory is to improve human health by studying the multi-scale biomechanics and biotransport in cardiovascular, ocular, and digestive systems. Dr. Amini’s research has been funded by the Akron Children’s Hospital, Firestone Foundation, and American Heart Association.
BME Seminar Series: Dr. Lori Setton, Washington University in St. Louis
Dr. Setton is the elected president of the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES).
More information coming soon.