Overcoming Barriers: Nanomedicine and the Science of Drug Delivery

Date(s) - 24 Apr 2014
6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Arizona Science Center

New Frontiers


Overcoming Barriers: Nanomedicine and the Science of Drug Delivery

 New Frontiers in Medical Science

Thursday, Apr. 24, 2014


FREE IMAX® Theater

Perfect for science lovers from 16 -116 years!


Speaker:          Rachael Sirianni PhD, Assistant Professor, Barrow Neurological Institute

Details:  By the year 2020, disorders of the brain and spinal cord – collectively, the central nervous system (CNS) – will represent 14% of the global burden for human disease. Many experimental drugs do not reach CNS tissue when they are administered orally or through the bloodstream. The brain is protected by a tightly joined network of cells that pose both passive and active barriers, which prevent passage of agents from blood to the CNS. These blood-brain and blood-spinal cord barriers prevent CNS-active drugs from reaching their full therapeutic potential. Our laboratory specializes in drug delivery, which is the science of getting drugs where they need to go. We design nanoscale polymer carriers, i.e., nanoparticles, to encapsulate and deliver drugs directly to target tissues in the CNS. Nanoparticles release drug over long periods of time, degrading into harmless metabolic byproducts over the course of weeks and months. By engineering the surface of the nanoparticle to interact with specific cell types, drugs that would not otherwise be effective are able to reach the brain for improved therapy. In this talk, I will discuss some of the challenges we face in achieving better therapy of disease in the CNS and present examples of new, clinically translatable drug delivery technology that may be capable of overcoming some of these barriers.

Register Online:  http://azscience.org/who_are_you/new_frontiers_in_medical_science