Michael R. Taylor
Position title: Assistant Professor
Phone: (608) 262-1939
Ph.D. in Biochemistry, University of Washington
The blood-brain barrier (BBB) remains poorly understood despite its important role in most diseases of the central nervous system (CNS). Functionally, the BBB provides the microenvironment necessary for proper neuronal function, while protecting the brain from potentially harmful substances. These restrictive properties also prevent the free exchange of many therapeutic agents, presenting a challenging problem for the treatment of neurological disorders. Furthermore, the BBB is often disrupted in CNS diseases including neurodegenerative disorders, brain tumors, stroke, epilepsy, and diabetic retinopathy. Given the clinical significance of the BBB, it is surprising how little is understood about the molecular mechanisms that regulate BBB formation and maintenance. This gap in fundamental knowledge could be closed by the development of an animal model suitable for in vivo imaging and high-throughput genetic and small molecule screening strategies. To solve this problem, we have generated transgenic zebrafish to visualize the BBB in vivo and to identify novel modulators of BBB function. The overall goal our research is to discover innovative strategies for drug delivery into the CNS.
Zebrafish, blood-brain barrier, neuroinflammation