- October 2, 2017
Johns Hopkins University CERSI
Tuesday, October 3, 2017
Kannan Rangaramanujam, PhD
Arnall Patz Distinguished Professor of Ophthalmology
Co-Director, Center for Nanomedicine
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
About the Presentation
Neuroinflammation, mediated by activated microglia and astrocytes, plays a key role in the pathogenesis of cerebral palsy (CP), autism, and most other debilitating central nervous system (CNS) disorders. ‘Appropriate’, targeted manipulation of neuroinflammation can bring novel approaches for treated diseases, increasing the drug efficacy and decreasing the side effects (a major issue with many CNS therapeutics). However, targeted delivery of drugs to specific cells in the CNS is a challenge. To address this, Dr. Rangaramanujam has taken advantage of the unique, intrinsic, pathology-dependent, brain uptake of dendrimers in disease models of CNS and retinal disorders. He discussed the potential mechanism for selective uptake of dendrimers.
Building on these findings, Dr. Rangaramanujam has designed and synthesized dendrimer-drug conjugates which have shown significant promise for many brain and ocular disorders. Two examples of this approach of targeted, systemic therapy for neuroinflammation, one for pediatric brain injury and one for age-related macular degeneration have been presented. Dr. Rangaramanujam showed that a single intravenous dose of dendrimer-drug conjugate, administered after birth to rabbit kits with CP, results in significant improvement in motor function, neuronal growth/myelination, along with decrease in neuroinflammation and oxidative injury by 5 days of age. This improvement is sustained till adulthood, and has been validated in multiple etiologies of CP, paving the way for new approaches to treat pediatric/neonatal brain injuries.
About the Presenter
Dr. Kannan Rangaramanujam is the Arnall Patz distinguished professor of ophthalmology and co-director of the Center for Nanomedicine at the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He has joint/courtesy appointments in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, and Materials Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins. He is also a research scientist at the Kennedy-Krieger Institute. He obtained his PhD in Chemical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology, and followed it with a post-doc from the University of Minnesota.
His research interests are in the field of translational nanomedicine, focused on targeted therapies for neuroinflammation, based on a dendrimer platform, in a variety of central nervous system and ocular disorders. Dr. Kannan is an author of many patents and more than 85 peer-reviewed publications. He has won several recognitions, including the NSF CAREER and Unilever awards. He is the co-founder and chief technology officer of Ashvattha Therapeutics and Orpheris Inc., two spinoffs that are translating his team’s patented dendrimer technologies.
Please contact Amal Manseur at Amal.Manseur@fda.hhs.gov.