Current Projects

Blood Brain Barrier Alterations Induced By Pain and Stroke - Challenge to drug delivery 

Chronic Pain and hypoxic stroke affects well over 100 million people a year in the U.S. alone and costs billions of dollars in medical treatment and lost productivity. To date many of the investigations concerning the blood brain barrier (BBB) and the delivery of therapeutics to the CNS to treat these pathologies have been performed in naive animals. It is increasingly clear that the BBB is not a static barrier but can be modulated and challenged by a number of factors from the immune, neuronal , glial , endothelial and hormonal systems. During acute or chronic pain and stroke each of the neurovascular unit (NVU) cell types are activated. We are currently investigating these NVU cell types, specific BBB tight junction proteins such as Claudin 5 and occludin , P-gp and OATP transporter trafficking , and drug - drug delivery challenges (DDI) to the CNS that are affected by pain, hypoxia and stroke to determine how these pathological states modify the delivery of drugs to treat these pathologies.