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.