Neuropharmaceutics and Neuro-oncology
Neuro-pharmaceutics focuses on identification of therapeutic targets, and then translating those discoveries into drug and therapy development. Neuro-oncology research in our program is largely also focused on neuropharmaceutic approaches. Not only is there a need for neuroactive drugs, but there is a need to improve methods of delivery of those drugs to the brain. A core group of faculty in the Graduate Program of Neuroscience, who have extensive collaborations with the large number of faculty in the Masonic Cancer Center at the University of Minnesota, perform research studies that relate to the complex, and often unique aspects, of the CNS environment, such as the blood-brain barrier.
Research in neuropharmaceutics includes: drug discovery for limiting high frequency activity in epilepsy; drug transport proteins that control drug distribution to target tissues; spinal delivery of analgesics to chronic pain treatment; drugs for the treatment of depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia; intranasal delivery methods for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease; development of strategies to evaluate therapeutics on preclinical models of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease; anti-atherogenic and anti-diabetic therapies for the prevention and treatment of AD and other age-related dementias; and development of analgesic agents for chronic pain; Research in neuro-oncology includes: insertional mutagenesis for cancer gene discovery; drug development for targeting CNS cancers; vaccine efficacy and drug delivery for inflammatory conditions of epithelial tissues; understanding and developing approaches to treat cancer pain; gene therapies for brain tumors; and protein engineering to study fundamental neuronal signaling processes for potential development into new therapies.