Muro Group: New Collaboration on Treatment of Neurodegenerative Disorders

The National Institutes of Health's Chemical Genomics Center (NCGC) and Therapeutics for Rare and Neglected Diseases (TRND) program have awarded Fischell Department of Bioengineering assistant professor Silvia Muro (joint, Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology Research) funding to explore several therapeutic approaches using one of the drug delivery platforms that have been developed by her research group.

NCGC, a component of the NIH Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, was created in 2008 with the goal of translating discoveries from the Human Genome Project into new therapeutics for human disease. NCGC creates a drug development pipeline within the NIH and is specifically intended to stimulate research collaborations with academic scientists, non-profit organizations, and pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies that produce outcomes and deliverables.

The multi-pronged project will combine the platform, which specializes in transport across the blood-brain barrier, with a number of new therapeutic agents identified by Muro's NCGC collaborators. The project's goal is to achieve transport of these agents from the circulation into the brain. The main emphasis will be on developing strategies for the treatment of neurodegenerative conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease and genetic lysosomal storage disorders.

The Muro Group focuses on mechanisms of endocytic vesicular transport, including their role in physiology and disease and their translational application for the controlled delivery of nano-scale therapeutics. In addition to the NCGC funding, the group's research is sponsored by grants from other branches of the NIH and the American Heart Association.

Story adapted from the original by and provided courtesy of Dr. Debra L. Weinstein, Research Development Specialist, Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research.

Published February 22, 2012