January 17, 2020
This lecture will discuss the neurovascular unit (NVU) of the brain. This integrated cellular system regulates entry of molecules into the CNS and serves as the building blocks for the blood-brain barrier (BBB). A focus on the tools used for the study of BBB will showcase how we can find answers to questions related to CNS penetrability of harmful or beneficial agents, barrier protection and gene delivery. Importantly, the lecture will demonstrate advances in tissue engineering that can help us recapitulate the human NVU. Furthermore, the concept of extracellular vesicle (EV) based diagnostics will be covered. Specifically, results will be presented identifying brain endothelial derived EVs as possible biomarkers for Traumatic Brain Injury.
Dr. Ramirez’s laboratory focuses on the study of how brain pathologies affect the neurovascular unit and how these changes lead to the disruption of the Blood-Brain Barrier (BBB). Particularly as it relates to HIV CNS infection, drugs of abuse, and traumatic brain injury (TBI).
In 1998, Dr. Ramirez received his Bachelor of Science degree in Genetic Engineering/Biotechnology from the Rochester Institute of Technology (NY), and in 2004 Dr. Ramirez received his doctorate in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of Rochester. He then when on to the University of Nebraska for his postdoctoral training in the Department of Pharmacology and Experimental neuroscience. In 2008, Dr. Ramirez moved to the Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia, where he is currently Associate Professor and Director of the histopathology research core in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. At Temple University, Dr. Ramirez also holds appointments at the Center for Substance Abuse Research and the Shriners Children’s Hospital Research Center. Dr. Ramirez has published extensively on neuroinflammation, including book chapters. He also serves as a grant reviewer for the CSR/NIH, the DMRD/CDMRP, private and international funding agencies. Dr. Ramirez also has been awarded multiple patents and is funded by the NIH, ARL, ONR, and the Pennsylvania Department of Health.