Neuroimmunology

The Role of MyD88-5 in the Central Nervous System

by Aiho Ding, Ph.D.

This animal study will explore whether an "adaptive" protein called "MyD88-5" is a possible link between the brain and the immune system. The study will examine the role of MyD88-5 in signaling cells to mount an inflammatory response against invading...
Read more >

Immunotherapeutic Approaches to the Prevention and Treatment of Alzheimer's Disease

by Jens Husemann, M.D.

Columbia University researchers have identified a part of the amyloid protein, a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease, that may be a target for attack by immune system antibodies. Now the investigators will undertake tests in mice to see whether anti-amyl...
Read more >

Targeting Inducible Nitric Oxide Synthase (iNOS) to Delay Progression of Alzheimer's- Like Disease in Mice

by Carl Nathan, M.D.

These collaborators will determine whether drugs that target a specific enzyme, which has been implicated in damage to brain cells in Alzheimer's disease, confer protection in a mouse model. If so, the findings could lead to human clinical drug trial...
Read more >

Antigen Presentation by B cells and Macrophages in CNS Autoimmunity

by Scott Zamvil, M.D., Ph.D.

This study will determine whether immune B cells play two roles in the development of multiple sclerosis (MS). Additionally, the investigators will examine the consequences of reducing B cells as a therapy for MS.MS is an autoimmune disease of the br...
Read more >

Linking Innate Immune Responses in the CNS to Glutamate-Mediated Excitotoxicity: Studies in Acute Alphavirus Encephalomyelitis in Mice

by David Irani, M.D.

These investigators will study a mouse model to determine whether immune microglial cells, which reside in the brain and spinal cord, produce inflammatory signals in response to a virus that ultimately leads to the death of motor neurons controlling ...
Read more >

Determining How to Clear a Virus Infection from the Brain Without Harming Brain Cells

by Dorian McGavern, Ph.D.

The researchers will use a mouse model of a viral brain infection to determine how immune "memory" T cells can successfully clear the virus from infected brain cells, without harming the brain cells themselves. If researchers can define the minimum i...
Read more >

The Control of Microglial Neurotoxicity by Fractalkine and CX3CR1

by Richard Ransohoff, M.D.

Researchers will learn how brain cells signal resident inflammatory microglial cells to modify their attack, so that the inflammatory reaction does not inadvertently damage brain cells. The findings could provide a better understanding of how inflamm...
Read more >

Neuronal MHC Class I Expression and Function in Synapse Remodeling

by Carla J. Shatz, Ph.D.

Harvard University researchers’ recent studies of how brain cells form visual system connections revealed an unexpected finding: a family of immune system molecules appears to play a critical role in directing the process.  The molecule family is cal...
Read more >

Examining a Receptor Used in Both Immune and Nervous System Development

by Yong-Rui Zou, Ph.D.

The Columbia researchers will investigate in animals how a specific receptor, which resides on the surface of both immune and nerve cells, signals normally during cell development and how it malfunctions and leads to abnormal cell development.The rec...
Read more >

Anti-Aβ Antibodies, Immunology, and Alzheimer's Disease

by Gunnar K. Gouras

Prior research has indicated that patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) have lower levels of anti-AB antibodies in their blood and cerebrospinal fluid compared to healthy adults.  The researchers hypothesize that lower levels of these antibodies inf...
Read more >

Determining the Transcriptional Environment that Suppresses Expression of Tight Junctional Proteins at the Blood-Brain Barrier in Neuroinflammation

by Ignacio Romero, Ph.D.

The investigators will undertake molecular studies of how brain inflammation may weaken the normally impermeable blood-brain barrier in conditions as diverse as autoimmune multiple sclerosis and HIV-related dementia.  The findings may lead to more ef...
Read more >

Role of Brain Inflammation and Angiogenesis in Epileptogenesis

by Annamaria Vezzani, Ph.D.

This study, in laboratory animal brain tissue, will lay the groundwork for determining whether the degree of inflammation resulting from an initial neonatal seizure determines whether new blood vessels with a weakened blood-brain-barrier (BBB) functi...
Read more >

Neuroprotective Mechanisms of CXCL12 During CNS Autoimmunity

by Robyn S. Klein, M.D., Ph.D.

This animal and human research study will explore the possibility that specific molecular interactions direct immune lymphocytes to the blood-brain-barrier (BBB) and minimize brain tissue inflammation in multiple sclerosis (MS) and its animal counter...
Read more >

The Role of Neuropeptide Y and its Receptors in the Immune System and Immune Disorders

by Fabienne Mackay, Ph.D.

A hormone secreted during psychological stress that interferes with immune defenses has recently been found.  Researchers will examine in mice how this relationship works at a molecular level and explore whether it may play a role in autoimmune disea...
Read more >

Natural Killer Cell Phenotypes and Functions in Multiple Sclerosis

by Christian Münz, Ph.D.

Researchers will determine whether faulty immune “natural killer” (NK) cells sustain the central nervous system (CNS) destruction that occurs in people with autoimmune multiple sclerosis (MS).  If so, findings may lead to development of new MS therap...
Read more >

Differential Expression of HLA-DQ-α/β In Multiple Sclerosis Patients Who Are Non-Responsive To Treatment With Interferon-β

by Manuel Comabella, M.D.

This study will explore the role of a genetic factor in determining whether or not multiple sclerosis (MS) patients respond to current immune-based therapies. In autoimmune MS, the body’s immune cells mistakenly attack the “myelin” sheath.  This shea...
Read more >

Neuroimmune Modulation of Chronic Pain after Spinal Cord Injury

by Bryan C. Hains, Ph.D.

Investigators will explore, at the molecular level, how immune microglial cells in the spinal cord interact with nerve cells to perpetuate chronic pain following spinal cord injury.  The study may accelerate initiation of clinical trials of an experi...
Read more >

Mechanism of CCR2-Mediated Regulation of Microglial Accumulation in Alzheimer’s Disease

by Joseph El Khoury, M.D.

This study in “transgenic” mice (having some human cells) will explore how immune microglial cells are recruited to the brain in Alzheimer’s disease.  It also will explore whether initially protective microglial cells then become destructive in the d...
Read more >

Autoimmunity to Axonal and Neuronal Antigens in Chronic Neurological Disease

by Sandra Amor, Ph.D.

Researchers will characterize a new animal model they are developing of the autoimmune disease multiple sclerosis (MS), to determine whether immune system attacks on a specific protein in nerve cell bodies and their communication cables (axons) are a...
Read more >

The Role of Chemokines and their Receptors in Directing the Migration and Function of Neural Stem Cells in Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis

by Richard Miller, Ph.D.

Investigators will examine whether proteins called “chemokines” can direct certain stem cells in the brain to sites where myelin, the sheath surrounding nerve cell axons in the brain and spinal cord, has been damaged in the autoimmune disease multipl...
Read more >

Role of Human-Specific, Microglial Receptor Siglec-11 for Neuroinflammatory Diseases

by Harald Neumann, M.D.

Investigators will study a “humanized” mouse model to determine whether a specific receptor on immune microglial cells in the brain blocks inflammatory responses, and whether malfunction of this receptor enables the inflammation that occurs in degene...
Read more >

Clast1/LR8: A Novel Target for the Modulation of Microglial Function and CNS Autoimmunity

by Monica Carson, Ph.D.

Researchers will determine whether a specific molecule governs immune T cells’ “intolerance” to the body’s own tissues (as occurs in autoimmune diseases) and, conversely, “tolerance” to brain tumors that invade and take over brain cells.   Ironically...
Read more >

Aging and the Microglia Immune Response to Amyloid-β Peptide in the Primate Brain

by Changiz Geula, Ph.D. and Joseph El Khoury, M.D.

This study will determine the effects of age-related changes in human immune miocroglial cells in contributing to brain degeneration in Alzheimer’s disease.  Alzheimer’s disease is characterized by the build-up of amyloid (a protein) in spaces betwee...
Read more >

The Initiation of Neuroinflammatory Axon Damage - from Mice to Men

by Thomas Misgeld, M.D., and Martin Kerschensteiner, M.D.

The aim of this study is to better understand how the nervous system is damaged in multiple sclerosis. This will be achieved by combining in vivo imaging and electron microscopy to identify early "signatures," i.e., the first subcellular changes that...
Read more >

Neuroinflammatory Disease Induced by Cells of the Innate Immune System

by Glaucia Furtado, Ph.D., and Sergio Lira, Ph.D.

Researchers will work to determine whether a specific type of innate immune cell, called a monocyte, and dendritic cell (DC) are involved in initiating inflammatory disease in the brains of laboratory animals.Inflammation in the central nervous syste...
Read more >

Imaging Immune Cell Infiltration and Function in Brain Injury

by Wenbiao Gan, Ph.D. and Michael L. Dustin, Ph.D.

Investigators will use two-photon microscopy in laboratory animals undergoing surgical removal of a part of the skull, to determine how the surgery activates an immune inflammatory response that may result in damage to synaptic connections between br...
Read more >

Th 17 Polarization and Trafficking in Multiple Sclerosis

by Benjamin M. Segal, M.D.

The investigators will use MRI imaging in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients to see whether they can correlate active periods of central nervous system (CNS) inflammation with specific immune inflammatory chemicals found in the patients’ bloodstream.MS...
Read more >

The Choroid Plexus as an Immune-Sensor for the Brain:Implications to Neurological Disease

by Joana Palha, Ph.D. and Margarida Correia-Neves, Ph.D.

The investigators will study the role of the brain’s choroid plexus in inflammatory disorders of the central nervous system (CNS), including autoimmune multiple sclerosis (MS).  The choroid plexus is a single layer of cells that forms a protective li...
Read more >

Development of High-affinity TCR for Imaging in the Brain

by Edward J. Collins, Ph.D.

The researchers will develop a technique for identifying melanoma cells that have metastasized to the brain and for studying the effects of immunotherapies designed to strengthen immune T cell responses to the melanoma cells.Melanoma is a highly mali...
Read more >

New Positron Emission Tomography Approaches to Visualize T-Cell Mediated Autoimmune Demeyelination

by Caius G. Radu, M.D.

This research will adapt techniques used to study how immune cells are activated against melanoma, a deadly cancer that quickly metastasizes to the brain, to the study of autoimmune brain disease, in which immune cells mistakenly target the brain. Th...
Read more >

Tagging Prions with Green Fluorescent Protein: A Novel Method for Visualizing Prion Neuroinvasion

by David A. Harris, M.D., Ph.D.

Investigators will study animal models to learn how deadly prions—misfolded proteins that are infectious in animals and humans—travel from immune sites in the body to the brain.Prions aggregate and produce deadly infections in the brain.  They are re...
Read more >

Novel Therapeutic Approach for Malignant Glioma

by Devanand Sarkar, M.B.B.S., Ph.D.

Researchers will test in laboratory cultures and animals a new brain glioma treatment that combines gene therapy and immunotherapy. They will assess the ability of this treatment to destroy human and mouse glioma cells and determine whether this trea...
Read more >

Brain and CNS Infiltration by Acute Leukemia Cells: A Molecular Dissection

by Iannis Aifantis, Ph.D.

Investigators will undertake laboratory studies to determine the molecular processes that lead cancerous white blood cells to infiltrate the brain in the disease called T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL), in an effort to prevent the severe c...
Read more >

Adoptive Immunotherapy for Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM)

by Stephen Gottschalk, M.D.

Investigators have developed a line of genetically modified T cells that specifically target and destroy human glioma tumors transplanted into the brains of mice.  They now seek to improve the long-term efficacy of this treatment by further modifying...
Read more >

Functionality of Antigen-Specific T Cells that Control Viral Replication in the Central Nervous System

by Spyros Kalams, M.D.

Researchers will examine how chronic viral infection of the brain affects the ability of immune T cells to control the infection and protect against neurological dysfunction, and then will attempt to determine whether anti-viral therapy restores immu...
Read more >

Elucidating the Role of Different Human nTreg Subsets in Glioblastoma Multiforme

by Clare Baecher-Allan, Ph.D.

Dr. Baecher-Allan’s research will explore how deadly brain tumor cells interact with the subsets of immune cells that regulate immune responses and suppress tumor-attacking immune T cells.   Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) tumors are deadly malignant b...
Read more >

Antiviral and Antitumor Activity of IL-29 in the Brain

by Michael D. Robek, Ph.D.

Using human tissue cultures in the laboratory, investigators will explore whether a newly identified immune protein, called “interleukin-29” (IL-29), can protect human brain cells from viral infections, and can also slow the growth of deadly brain tu...
Read more >

Role of the Nervous System in Response to Pathogen Infection

by Alejandro Aballay, Ph.D.

The investigators will examine, at the molecular level in a worm model, how the nervous system regulates immune responses to infections to prevent either insufficient or excessive immune activation.The body’s innate immune system, its first line of d...
Read more >

EGFRvIII Antibody Conjugated Magnetic Nanoparticles for Targeted Imaging and Therapy of Glioblastoma

by Costas G. Hadjipanayis, M.D., Ph.D.

A newly developed technique that can both image deadly brain glioma cells and also potentially kill those cells will be tested in a mouse model of glioblastoma. Deadly brain glioblastoma remains resistant to treatment.  A potential therapeutic target...
Read more >

T-Cell Therapy for Diffuse Interstitial Pontine Glioma

by Laurence J.N. Cooper, M.D., Ph.D.

Researchers will evaluate whether a new immune-based therapy for an incurable brain tumor that primarily occurs in children can be developed and effectively used in an animal model that resembles human cancers.A lethal brain tumor, diffuse interstiti...
Read more >

Uric Acid-Induced Inflammation in Cerebral Malaria

by Ana Rodriguez, Ph.D.

Researchers will study how overwhelming brain inflammation develops in some patients with malaria and results in disabling and potentially deadly cerebral malaria.More than 500 million people worldwide suffer from malaria infection, produced by the P...
Read more >

Targeting Malignant Gliomas with Dual Biomarker Targeted Immunotherapy and Nano-Irradiation

by Akiva Mintz M.D., Ph.D.

The research goal is to activate the immune system to precisely target malignant brain glioma cells while simultaneously delivering radiation to the infiltrating tumor without harming adjacent normal brain cells. The malignant cells of high grade gl...
Read more >

Mechanisms of Glial Cell Dysfunction in Aicardi Goutieres Syndrome

by Adeline Vanderver, M.D.

Using a rare inherited developmental brain disease as a model, investigators will undertake tissue culture studies to determine how mutations in several genes involved in innate cellular immunity produce loss of myelin, the fatty sheath covering nerv...
Read more >

Development of Novel MRI-based Biomarkers for Immunotherapy of Glioma

by Eric T. Ahrens, Ph.D.

Investigators will develop two imaging tools for assessing the effectiveness of various experimental T cell immunotherapies being developed in mouse models as potential treatments for human brain gliomas.Given the lack of results and serious side eff...
Read more >

Targeting Human Glioma Stem Cells via Dendritic Cells

by Kavita M. Dhodapkar, M.D.

Investigators will attempt to strengthen the ability of innate immune cells to catalyze an attack against deadly human brain tumors.Glioma brain tumors are rapidly lethal, causing death with a year or two. They are not currently treatable. Recent evi...
Read more >

Characterizing Function & Development of Meningeal & Choroid Plexus Dendritic Cells in the Mouse Brain

by Kang Liu, Ph.D.

This study will help define the multiple roles of immune dendritic cells in shaping the central nervous system’s (CNS) immune responses to infections, and also in maintaining CNS health.Dendritic cells are innate immune cells, the body’s first line o...
Read more >

GABA-B receptor autoimmunity resulting in seizures and memory deficits

by Eric Lancaster, M.D., Ph.D.

Investigators will take antibodies from patients with an autoimmune form of limbic encephalitis and seizures, to explore how immune system antibodies produce this brain disease and how the disease can be treated in patients.Some forms of encephalitis...
Read more >

Theragnostic Use of 124-I Monoclonal Antibody Delivered by Convection-Enhanced Delivery for Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma in Children

by Mark Souweidane, M.D.

Through this study, investigators will determine whether a PET imaging tracer can both deliver an experimental therapy directly to a deadly type of brain stem tumor in children, and also can accurately measure the dose that has effectively entered th...
Read more >

Th17 Phenotype of Auto-Reactive T-Cells in Patients with Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis

by Silva Markovic-Plese, M.D.

Researchers will characterize initial steps in the development of autoimmunity in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and identify potential targets for early treatment.MS is an inflammatory disease of the central nervous system (CNS, comprising th...
Read more >

The Role of MyD88-5 in the Central Nervous System

by Aiho Ding, Ph.D.

This animal study will explore whether an "adaptive" protein called "MyD88-5" is a possible link between the brain and the immune system. The study will examine the role of MyD88-5 in signaling cells to mount an inflammatory response against invading...
Read more >

Immunotherapeutic Approaches to the Prevention and Treatment of Alzheimer's Disease

by Jens Husemann, M.D.

Columbia University researchers have identified a part of the amyloid protein, a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease, that may be a target for attack by immune system antibodies. Now the investigators will undertake tests in mice to see whether anti-amyl...
Read more >

Targeting Inducible Nitric Oxide Synthase (iNOS) to Delay Progression of Alzheimer's- Like Disease in Mice

by Carl Nathan, M.D.

These collaborators will determine whether drugs that target a specific enzyme, which has been implicated in damage to brain cells in Alzheimer's disease, confer protection in a mouse model. If so, the findings could lead to human clinical drug trial...
Read more >

Antigen Presentation by B cells and Macrophages in CNS Autoimmunity

by Scott Zamvil, M.D., Ph.D.

This study will determine whether immune B cells play two roles in the development of multiple sclerosis (MS). Additionally, the investigators will examine the consequences of reducing B cells as a therapy for MS.MS is an autoimmune disease of the br...
Read more >

Linking Innate Immune Responses in the CNS to Glutamate-Mediated Excitotoxicity: Studies in Acute Alphavirus Encephalomyelitis in Mice

by David Irani, M.D.

These investigators will study a mouse model to determine whether immune microglial cells, which reside in the brain and spinal cord, produce inflammatory signals in response to a virus that ultimately leads to the death of motor neurons controlling ...
Read more >

Determining How to Clear a Virus Infection from the Brain Without Harming Brain Cells

by Dorian McGavern, Ph.D.

The researchers will use a mouse model of a viral brain infection to determine how immune "memory" T cells can successfully clear the virus from infected brain cells, without harming the brain cells themselves. If researchers can define the minimum i...
Read more >

The Control of Microglial Neurotoxicity by Fractalkine and CX3CR1

by Richard Ransohoff, M.D.

Researchers will learn how brain cells signal resident inflammatory microglial cells to modify their attack, so that the inflammatory reaction does not inadvertently damage brain cells. The findings could provide a better understanding of how inflamm...
Read more >

Neuronal MHC Class I Expression and Function in Synapse Remodeling

by Carla J. Shatz, Ph.D.

Harvard University researchers’ recent studies of how brain cells form visual system connections revealed an unexpected finding: a family of immune system molecules appears to play a critical role in directing the process.  The molecule family is cal...
Read more >

Examining a Receptor Used in Both Immune and Nervous System Development

by Yong-Rui Zou, Ph.D.

The Columbia researchers will investigate in animals how a specific receptor, which resides on the surface of both immune and nerve cells, signals normally during cell development and how it malfunctions and leads to abnormal cell development.The rec...
Read more >

Anti-Aβ Antibodies, Immunology, and Alzheimer's Disease

by Gunnar K. Gouras

Prior research has indicated that patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) have lower levels of anti-AB antibodies in their blood and cerebrospinal fluid compared to healthy adults.  The researchers hypothesize that lower levels of these antibodies inf...
Read more >

Determining the Transcriptional Environment that Suppresses Expression of Tight Junctional Proteins at the Blood-Brain Barrier in Neuroinflammation

by Ignacio Romero, Ph.D.

The investigators will undertake molecular studies of how brain inflammation may weaken the normally impermeable blood-brain barrier in conditions as diverse as autoimmune multiple sclerosis and HIV-related dementia.  The findings may lead to more ef...
Read more >

Role of Brain Inflammation and Angiogenesis in Epileptogenesis

by Annamaria Vezzani, Ph.D.

This study, in laboratory animal brain tissue, will lay the groundwork for determining whether the degree of inflammation resulting from an initial neonatal seizure determines whether new blood vessels with a weakened blood-brain-barrier (BBB) functi...
Read more >

Neuroprotective Mechanisms of CXCL12 During CNS Autoimmunity

by Robyn S. Klein, M.D., Ph.D.

This animal and human research study will explore the possibility that specific molecular interactions direct immune lymphocytes to the blood-brain-barrier (BBB) and minimize brain tissue inflammation in multiple sclerosis (MS) and its animal counter...
Read more >

The Role of Neuropeptide Y and its Receptors in the Immune System and Immune Disorders

by Fabienne Mackay, Ph.D.

A hormone secreted during psychological stress that interferes with immune defenses has recently been found.  Researchers will examine in mice how this relationship works at a molecular level and explore whether it may play a role in autoimmune disea...
Read more >

Natural Killer Cell Phenotypes and Functions in Multiple Sclerosis

by Christian Münz, Ph.D.

Researchers will determine whether faulty immune “natural killer” (NK) cells sustain the central nervous system (CNS) destruction that occurs in people with autoimmune multiple sclerosis (MS).  If so, findings may lead to development of new MS therap...
Read more >

Differential Expression of HLA-DQ-α/β In Multiple Sclerosis Patients Who Are Non-Responsive To Treatment With Interferon-β

by Manuel Comabella, M.D.

This study will explore the role of a genetic factor in determining whether or not multiple sclerosis (MS) patients respond to current immune-based therapies. In autoimmune MS, the body’s immune cells mistakenly attack the “myelin” sheath.  This shea...
Read more >

Neuroimmune Modulation of Chronic Pain after Spinal Cord Injury

by Bryan C. Hains, Ph.D.

Investigators will explore, at the molecular level, how immune microglial cells in the spinal cord interact with nerve cells to perpetuate chronic pain following spinal cord injury.  The study may accelerate initiation of clinical trials of an experi...
Read more >

Mechanism of CCR2-Mediated Regulation of Microglial Accumulation in Alzheimer’s Disease

by Joseph El Khoury, M.D.

This study in “transgenic” mice (having some human cells) will explore how immune microglial cells are recruited to the brain in Alzheimer’s disease.  It also will explore whether initially protective microglial cells then become destructive in the d...
Read more >

Autoimmunity to Axonal and Neuronal Antigens in Chronic Neurological Disease

by Sandra Amor, Ph.D.

Researchers will characterize a new animal model they are developing of the autoimmune disease multiple sclerosis (MS), to determine whether immune system attacks on a specific protein in nerve cell bodies and their communication cables (axons) are a...
Read more >

The Role of Chemokines and their Receptors in Directing the Migration and Function of Neural Stem Cells in Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis

by Richard Miller, Ph.D.

Investigators will examine whether proteins called “chemokines” can direct certain stem cells in the brain to sites where myelin, the sheath surrounding nerve cell axons in the brain and spinal cord, has been damaged in the autoimmune disease multipl...
Read more >

Role of Human-Specific, Microglial Receptor Siglec-11 for Neuroinflammatory Diseases

by Harald Neumann, M.D.

Investigators will study a “humanized” mouse model to determine whether a specific receptor on immune microglial cells in the brain blocks inflammatory responses, and whether malfunction of this receptor enables the inflammation that occurs in degene...
Read more >

Clast1/LR8: A Novel Target for the Modulation of Microglial Function and CNS Autoimmunity

by Monica Carson, Ph.D.

Researchers will determine whether a specific molecule governs immune T cells’ “intolerance” to the body’s own tissues (as occurs in autoimmune diseases) and, conversely, “tolerance” to brain tumors that invade and take over brain cells.   Ironically...
Read more >

Aging and the Microglia Immune Response to Amyloid-β Peptide in the Primate Brain

by Changiz Geula, Ph.D. and Joseph El Khoury, M.D.

This study will determine the effects of age-related changes in human immune miocroglial cells in contributing to brain degeneration in Alzheimer’s disease.  Alzheimer’s disease is characterized by the build-up of amyloid (a protein) in spaces betwee...
Read more >

The Initiation of Neuroinflammatory Axon Damage - from Mice to Men

by Thomas Misgeld, M.D., and Martin Kerschensteiner, M.D.

The aim of this study is to better understand how the nervous system is damaged in multiple sclerosis. This will be achieved by combining in vivo imaging and electron microscopy to identify early "signatures," i.e., the first subcellular changes that...
Read more >

Neuroinflammatory Disease Induced by Cells of the Innate Immune System

by Glaucia Furtado, Ph.D., and Sergio Lira, Ph.D.

Researchers will work to determine whether a specific type of innate immune cell, called a monocyte, and dendritic cell (DC) are involved in initiating inflammatory disease in the brains of laboratory animals.Inflammation in the central nervous syste...
Read more >

Imaging Immune Cell Infiltration and Function in Brain Injury

by Wenbiao Gan, Ph.D. and Michael L. Dustin, Ph.D.

Investigators will use two-photon microscopy in laboratory animals undergoing surgical removal of a part of the skull, to determine how the surgery activates an immune inflammatory response that may result in damage to synaptic connections between br...
Read more >

Th 17 Polarization and Trafficking in Multiple Sclerosis

by Benjamin M. Segal, M.D.

The investigators will use MRI imaging in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients to see whether they can correlate active periods of central nervous system (CNS) inflammation with specific immune inflammatory chemicals found in the patients’ bloodstream.MS...
Read more >

The Choroid Plexus as an Immune-Sensor for the Brain:Implications to Neurological Disease

by Joana Palha, Ph.D. and Margarida Correia-Neves, Ph.D.

The investigators will study the role of the brain’s choroid plexus in inflammatory disorders of the central nervous system (CNS), including autoimmune multiple sclerosis (MS).  The choroid plexus is a single layer of cells that forms a protective li...
Read more >

Development of High-affinity TCR for Imaging in the Brain

by Edward J. Collins, Ph.D.

The researchers will develop a technique for identifying melanoma cells that have metastasized to the brain and for studying the effects of immunotherapies designed to strengthen immune T cell responses to the melanoma cells.Melanoma is a highly mali...
Read more >

New Positron Emission Tomography Approaches to Visualize T-Cell Mediated Autoimmune Demeyelination

by Caius G. Radu, M.D.

This research will adapt techniques used to study how immune cells are activated against melanoma, a deadly cancer that quickly metastasizes to the brain, to the study of autoimmune brain disease, in which immune cells mistakenly target the brain. Th...
Read more >

Tagging Prions with Green Fluorescent Protein: A Novel Method for Visualizing Prion Neuroinvasion

by David A. Harris, M.D., Ph.D.

Investigators will study animal models to learn how deadly prions—misfolded proteins that are infectious in animals and humans—travel from immune sites in the body to the brain.Prions aggregate and produce deadly infections in the brain.  They are re...
Read more >

Novel Therapeutic Approach for Malignant Glioma

by Devanand Sarkar, M.B.B.S., Ph.D.

Researchers will test in laboratory cultures and animals a new brain glioma treatment that combines gene therapy and immunotherapy. They will assess the ability of this treatment to destroy human and mouse glioma cells and determine whether this trea...
Read more >

Brain and CNS Infiltration by Acute Leukemia Cells: A Molecular Dissection

by Iannis Aifantis, Ph.D.

Investigators will undertake laboratory studies to determine the molecular processes that lead cancerous white blood cells to infiltrate the brain in the disease called T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL), in an effort to prevent the severe c...
Read more >

Adoptive Immunotherapy for Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM)

by Stephen Gottschalk, M.D.

Investigators have developed a line of genetically modified T cells that specifically target and destroy human glioma tumors transplanted into the brains of mice.  They now seek to improve the long-term efficacy of this treatment by further modifying...
Read more >

Functionality of Antigen-Specific T Cells that Control Viral Replication in the Central Nervous System

by Spyros Kalams, M.D.

Researchers will examine how chronic viral infection of the brain affects the ability of immune T cells to control the infection and protect against neurological dysfunction, and then will attempt to determine whether anti-viral therapy restores immu...
Read more >

Elucidating the Role of Different Human nTreg Subsets in Glioblastoma Multiforme

by Clare Baecher-Allan, Ph.D.

Dr. Baecher-Allan’s research will explore how deadly brain tumor cells interact with the subsets of immune cells that regulate immune responses and suppress tumor-attacking immune T cells.   Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) tumors are deadly malignant b...
Read more >

Antiviral and Antitumor Activity of IL-29 in the Brain

by Michael D. Robek, Ph.D.

Using human tissue cultures in the laboratory, investigators will explore whether a newly identified immune protein, called “interleukin-29” (IL-29), can protect human brain cells from viral infections, and can also slow the growth of deadly brain tu...
Read more >

Role of the Nervous System in Response to Pathogen Infection

by Alejandro Aballay, Ph.D.

The investigators will examine, at the molecular level in a worm model, how the nervous system regulates immune responses to infections to prevent either insufficient or excessive immune activation.The body’s innate immune system, its first line of d...
Read more >

EGFRvIII Antibody Conjugated Magnetic Nanoparticles for Targeted Imaging and Therapy of Glioblastoma

by Costas G. Hadjipanayis, M.D., Ph.D.

A newly developed technique that can both image deadly brain glioma cells and also potentially kill those cells will be tested in a mouse model of glioblastoma. Deadly brain glioblastoma remains resistant to treatment.  A potential therapeutic target...
Read more >

T-Cell Therapy for Diffuse Interstitial Pontine Glioma

by Laurence J.N. Cooper, M.D., Ph.D.

Researchers will evaluate whether a new immune-based therapy for an incurable brain tumor that primarily occurs in children can be developed and effectively used in an animal model that resembles human cancers.A lethal brain tumor, diffuse interstiti...
Read more >

Uric Acid-Induced Inflammation in Cerebral Malaria

by Ana Rodriguez, Ph.D.

Researchers will study how overwhelming brain inflammation develops in some patients with malaria and results in disabling and potentially deadly cerebral malaria.More than 500 million people worldwide suffer from malaria infection, produced by the P...
Read more >

Targeting Malignant Gliomas with Dual Biomarker Targeted Immunotherapy and Nano-Irradiation

by Akiva Mintz M.D., Ph.D.

The research goal is to activate the immune system to precisely target malignant brain glioma cells while simultaneously delivering radiation to the infiltrating tumor without harming adjacent normal brain cells. The malignant cells of high grade gl...
Read more >

Mechanisms of Glial Cell Dysfunction in Aicardi Goutieres Syndrome

by Adeline Vanderver, M.D.

Using a rare inherited developmental brain disease as a model, investigators will undertake tissue culture studies to determine how mutations in several genes involved in innate cellular immunity produce loss of myelin, the fatty sheath covering nerv...
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Development of Novel MRI-based Biomarkers for Immunotherapy of Glioma

by Eric T. Ahrens, Ph.D.

Investigators will develop two imaging tools for assessing the effectiveness of various experimental T cell immunotherapies being developed in mouse models as potential treatments for human brain gliomas.Given the lack of results and serious side eff...
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Targeting Human Glioma Stem Cells via Dendritic Cells

by Kavita M. Dhodapkar, M.D.

Investigators will attempt to strengthen the ability of innate immune cells to catalyze an attack against deadly human brain tumors.Glioma brain tumors are rapidly lethal, causing death with a year or two. They are not currently treatable. Recent evi...
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Characterizing Function & Development of Meningeal & Choroid Plexus Dendritic Cells in the Mouse Brain

by Kang Liu, Ph.D.

This study will help define the multiple roles of immune dendritic cells in shaping the central nervous system’s (CNS) immune responses to infections, and also in maintaining CNS health.Dendritic cells are innate immune cells, the body’s first line o...
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GABA-B receptor autoimmunity resulting in seizures and memory deficits

by Eric Lancaster, M.D., Ph.D.

Investigators will take antibodies from patients with an autoimmune form of limbic encephalitis and seizures, to explore how immune system antibodies produce this brain disease and how the disease can be treated in patients.Some forms of encephalitis...
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Theragnostic Use of 124-I Monoclonal Antibody Delivered by Convection-Enhanced Delivery for Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma in Children

by Mark Souweidane, M.D.

Through this study, investigators will determine whether a PET imaging tracer can both deliver an experimental therapy directly to a deadly type of brain stem tumor in children, and also can accurately measure the dose that has effectively entered th...
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Th17 Phenotype of Auto-Reactive T-Cells in Patients with Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis

by Silva Markovic-Plese, M.D.

Researchers will characterize initial steps in the development of autoimmunity in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and identify potential targets for early treatment.MS is an inflammatory disease of the central nervous system (CNS, comprising th...
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