On May 5, 2015, at the annual meeting of The CART Fund, YongTae (Tony) Kim, PhD, Assistant Professor of George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology was awarded a CART Grant in the amount of $100,000.

Research Project

In collaboration with Malú G. Tansey, Ph.D, Associate Professor of Physiology, Emory University School of Medicine, Dr. Kim will study Advanced CNS Drug Delivery via Lipoprotein-Polymer Nanocomplexes in Experimental Alzheimer’s Disease.

Aging, chronic systemic disease increases inflammation and promotes conversion from mild chronic impairment to Alzheimer’s disease. However, it has been difficult to deliver a sufficient dose of anti-inflammatory drugs to the brain due to the blood-brain barrier, a specialized vascular unit that restricts the passage of molecules from blood streams to the brain. This is a major obstacle to the development of effective drug delivery therapies for brain diseases.

One of the most critical challenges is no reliable carriers that can cross the blood-brain barrier and deliver sufficient drugs to targeted sites in the brain.

To address these challenges, we propose to engineer a nanometer scale carrier transporting an anti-inflammatory drug (XPro®1595) that can cross the blood-brain barrier more effectively, and examine its therapeutic properties using a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. Our cutting-edge nanotechnology and bioengineering in the Kim Lab, combined with anti-inflammatory drug development and its evaluation using a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease in the Tansey Lab, has great potential to bring therapeutic benefit to a number of chronic neuroinflammatory diseases beyond Alzheimer’s disease, including Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases without the disadvantages of currently marketed anti-inflammatory drugs that increase the risk for infection and other potential side effects. Our approach could pave the way for advanced delivery of other drugs with limited ability to cross the blood-brain barrier, potentially changing the landscape for development of therapeutics to treat brain diseases.