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2023 Allen Distinguished Investigator award

The Allen Distinguished Investigator program provides three-year grants between $1M and $1.5M to individuals and teams

Blood-brain Barrier communication via extracellular vesicles underlying brain function and behavior

A significant challenge with treatments for brain disorders is the lack of efficient drug delivery systems into the brain. As part of this research project, Shinichi Kano and his team will examine the mechanisms by which extracellular vesicles (EVs) can cross the blood-brain barrier to gain entry into the brain and identify the core molecules of EVs and their recipient cells that allow them to influence neurons. The proposed study will reveal new insights into the foundational mechanisms by which EVs act within the body. The study will also generate extensive datasets that could contribute to developing novel EV-inspired drug delivery systems for the brain.

Shinichi Kano, M.D., Ph.D., headshot

Shinichi Kano, M.D., Ph.D.

University of Alabama at Birmingham

This project is part of the 2023 Extracellular Vesicles cohort

Extracellular vesicles hold huge promise as a means of therapeutic delivery; however, their diversity and a lack of understanding of their basic biology are hindering progress. This cohort seeks to elucidate fundamental principles of the biology of extracellular vesicles in a variety of contexts, including the development of technologies to better visualize and track them in living organisms.

Science Programs at Allen Institute