Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute
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Sanjiv Sam Gambhir, MD, PhD
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsMy laboratory focuses on merging advances in molecular biology with those in biomedical imaging to advance the field of molecular imaging. Imaging for the purpose of better understanding cancer biology and applications in gene and cell therapy, as well as immunotherapy are all being studied. A key long-term focus is the earlier detection of cancer by combining in vitro diagnostics and molecular imaging.
Associate Professor of Applied Physics and , by courtesy, of Neurobiology and of Electrical Engineering
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsTheoretical / computational neuroscience
Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering
BioHow do we design biological systems as “smart medicine” that sense patients’ states, process the information, and respond accordingly? To realize this vision, we will tackle fundamental challenges across different levels of complexity, such as (1) protein components that minimize their crosstalk with human cells and immunogenicity, (2) biomolecular circuits that function robustly in different cells and are easy to deliver, (3) multicellular consortia that communicate through scalable channels, and (4) therapeutic modules that interface with physiological inputs/outputs. Our engineering targets include biomolecules, molecular circuits, viruses, and cells, and our approach combines quantitative experimental analysis with computational simulation. The molecular tools we build will be applied to diverse fields such as neurobiology and cancer therapy.
Younger Family Professor and Professor of Structural Biology
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsStructural and functional studies of transmembrane receptor interactions with their ligands in systems relevant to human health and disease - primarily in immunity, infection, and neurobiology. We study these problems using protein engineering, structural, biochemical, and combinatorial biology approaches.
Associate Professor of Psychology
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsHow does neural activity in the human cortex create our sense of visual perception? We use a combination of functional magnetic resonance imaging, computational modeling and analysis, and psychophysical measurements to link human perception to cortical brain activity.
Professor of Comparative Medicine and, by courtesy, of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsThe medical research community has long recognized that "good well-being is good science". The lab uses an integrated interdisciplinary approach to explore this interface, while providing tangible deliverables for the well-being of human patients and research animals.
Associate Professor of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine (Adult-MSD) and, by courtesy, of Pediatrics (Neonatology)
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsThe advent of high dimensional flow cytometry has revolutionized our ability to study and visualize the human immune system. Our group combines high parameter mass cytometry (a.k.a Cytometry by Time of Flight Mass Spectrometry, CyTOF), with advanced bio-computational methods to study how the human immune system responds and adapts to acute physiological perturbations. The laboratory currently focuses on two clinical scenarios: surgical trauma and pregnancy.
Assistant Professor (Research) of Medicine (Quantitative Sciences Unit) and, by courtesy, of Biomedical Data Science
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsComputational systems biology of human disease. Particular focus on integration of high-throughput datasets with each other, and with phenotypic information and clinical outcomes.
Paul George, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor of Neurology and, by courtesy, of Neurosurgery
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsCONDUCTIVE POLYMER SCAFFOLDS FOR STEM CELL-ENHANCED STROKE RECOVERY:
We focus on developing conductive polymers for stem cell applications. We have created a microfabricated, polymeric system that can continuously interact with its biological environment. This interactive polymer platform allows modifications of the recovery environment to determine essential repair mechanisms. Recent work studies the effect of electrical stimulation on neural stem cells seeded on the conductive scaffold and the pathways by which it enhances stroke recovery Further understanding the combined effect of electrical stimulation and stem cells in augmenting neural repair for clinical translational is a major focus of this research going forward.
BIOPOLYMER SYSTEMS FOR NEURAL RECOVERY AND STEM CELL MODULATION:
The George lab develops biomaterials to improve neural recovery in the peripheral and central nervous systems. By controlled release of drugs and molecules through biomaterials we can study the temporal effect of these neurotrophic factors on neural recovery and engineer drug delivery systems to enhance regenerative effects. By identifying the critical mechanisms for stroke and neural recovery, we are able to develop polymeric technologies for clinical translation in nerve regeneration and stroke recovery. Recent work utilizing these novel conductive polymers to differentiate stem cells for therapeutic and drug discovery applications.
APPLYING ENGINEERING TECHNIQUES TO DETERMINE BIOMARKERS FOR STROKE DIAGNOSTICS:
The ability to create diagnostic assays and techniques enables us to understand biological systems more completely and improve clinical management. Previous work utilized mass spectroscopy proteomics to find a simple serum biomarker for TIAs (a warning sign of stroke). Our study discovered a novel candidate marker, platelet basic protein. Current studies are underway to identify further candidate biomarkers using transcriptome analysis. More accurate diagnosis will allow for aggressive therapies to prevent subsequent strokes.