Dr. Bjoern Bauer
One in four people worldwide - over 1.5 billion people - suffer from brain disorders, including depression, infection, trauma, stroke, seizures, dementia, and tumors. Despite this huge demand for treatments, delivery of drugs into the brain to treat these disorders is greatly impaired by the blood-brain barrier. The blood-brain barrier is the interface between blood and brain that controls what goes in and comes out of the brain. Anatomically, the blood-brain barrier is made of endothelial cells forming a complex vascular network that supplies the brain with oxygen and nutrients, and disposes of carbon dioxide and wastes. Recent studies show that the blood-brain barrier is affected by brain disorders and itself plays a role in causing brain disease. Therefore, understanding blood-brain barrier function is critical for devising new therapeutic strategies to enhance brain drug delivery, improve brain protection, and treat brain disorders. Currently, we study the role of the blood-brain barrier in three disorders: epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, and brain cancer.