Research Group

Current Projects

Development of Wireless Neuromodulation in a Sheep Model

In a collaboration with Scott Crosby at NeuroConnect, Dr. Jacob Robinson PhD at Rice Engineering and Dr. Sunil Sheth MD at UTHealth Neurology, we hope to provide an opportunity to develop new wireless neuromodulation therapy that may provide more effective care in patients. Neuromodulation is relatively a new frontier in the medical field and can provide an effective treatment for pain, psychiatric disorders and rehabilitation. By enhancing or suppressing certain stimuli of the nervous system, neuromodulation may provide patients with effective and less invasive means of treating disease.  By deploying a wireless magnetoelectric stimulator into the subarachnoid space via lumbar puncture, we aim to effectively stimulate various spinal nerves and areas of the brain.

Use of MCB-613 as a neuroprotectant in a Rodent Stroke Model

Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death and the leading cause of adult disability with an estimated cost of near $70 billion in the United States. A stroke is an interruption of the blood supply to any part of the brain, which can lead to brain cell death causing a myriad of symptoms, ranging from extremity weakness to death.

MCB-613 is a potent small molecule stimulator of SRC (steroid receptor coactivator) and has been shown to stimulate SRC-1, SRC-2 and SRC-3 that has been used to disrupt cancer cell homeostatic dependence on SRCs. In preliminary studies, MCB-613 has been shown to decrease the severity of myocardial infarction leading to decreased tissue damage with and the loss of cardiac function. In these studies, MCB-613 was shown to be highly concentrated in the brain parenchyma due to its lipophilic properties.

If proven to be effective, considering the similarity between myocardial infarction and stroke, it would be an important neuroprotective agent given at the onset of stroke-like symptoms thereby increasing the therapeutic window for effective treatment. At the moment, there are no effective neuroprotective treatments for stroke patients. The only medical treatment in acute ischemic stroke is tPA, which works by dissolving the clot and improving blood flow but must be given within three hours of onset or four and a half hours in eligible patients.

This project is a collaboration with Dr. Bert O'Malley MD, Chancellor at Baylor College of Medicine, Division of Molecular and Cellular Biology.  Our first aim is to perform a preliminary experiment to demonstrate that MCB-613 has a positive therapeutic effect in the MCAo model. The purpose of this project is to (a) test the neuroprotective effects of MCB-613 on an established murine middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAo) model and (b) develop an effective treatment regimen to lessen the negative impact of MCAo.