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University of Wisconsin–Madison

Programmable, Pro-Regenerative Immune Cell Therapies for Neurodegeneration and Brain Injury

This project develops a new concept to treat brain disorders, injuries and aging via cell therapy. Because dysfunctional cells in the brain can frequently be distinguished from healthy cells by unique antigens on their cell surface, cell therapies can use this characteristic to selectively eliminate dysfunctional cells within the brain. Further, cell therapies can be genetically engineered to secrete therapeutic factors within the brain, thereby circumnavigating the blood-brain barrier. The project’s multidisciplinary team will test this multifunctional strategy in human cell/tissue culture systems and in small animal models. If successful, this work would open up a new platform to potentially treat diverse brain indications, including neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease.


Krishanu Saha, associate professor of biomedical engineering and affiliate with the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery



Marina Emborg, professor of medical physics

Darcie Moore, assistant professor of neuroscience

William Murphy, professor of biomedical engineering



Anita Bhattacharyya, assistant professor of cell and regenerative biology

Christian Capitini, associate professor of pediatrics

Melissa Kinney, assistant professor of biomedical engineering

Sean Palecek, associate professor of chemical and biological engineering

Melissa Skala, associate professor of biomedical engineering