ElizabethNance_ACCM Hopkins (1)Join us on February 5th, as Dr. Elizabeth Nance, PhD., Post Doctoral Fellow, Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, Center for Nanomedicine, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore MD,
presents her talk on, “Nanotherapeutics for Neurological Disorders.” The lecture will take place in WEB 1650 at 1:30pm.

Neurodevelopmental disorders are associated with chronic disabilities, have no effective cure, and are often
underserved by novel drug delivery technologies, which primarily focus on adults. Therefore, there is great
potential to bring nanotherapeutic approaches to neurodevelopmental disorders, with results that can also be translated to adult brain disorders. Neuroinflammation, mediated by activated microglia and astrocytes, plays a key role in the pathogenesis of many neurological and neurodevelopmental disorders, including Alzheimer’s, autism, cerebral palsy (CP), stroke, and traumatic brain injury (TBI). Recent literature suggests that attenuating neuroinflammation in the early stages can not only delay the onset, but may also provide a longer therapeutic window for treatment. Targeting activated microglia/astrocytes may offer such an opportunity. However, this is a challenge on multiple levels: 1) Transport of drugs and drug delivery vehicles across the blood-brain-barrier (BBB) is difficult to achieve. 2) Injury is often diffuse, making it difficult for therapeutics to reach target cells, even if administered locally. 3) Cerebral edema, BBB disruption, and changes to the extracellular matrix and glial cell function after injury may effect the movement, interactions, and cellular uptake of nanoparticles. This is not well understood, especially in the developing brain.

Elizabeth Nance is a postdoctoral fellow at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine. She is interested in integrating engineering, neuroscience, and medicine to develop translational nanotechnology platforms for application in brain disorders. Elizabeth was just named a Forbes 30 Under 30 in Science and Medicine, described as being one of the “most disruptive, game-changing and innovative young personalities in science.” She was recently awarded a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award at Scientific Interfaces ($500k over 5 years) and has a Hartwell Foundation postdoctoral fellowship. Her postdoctoral training in neuroscience and critical care medicine focuses on understanding how disease pathology, specifically neuroinflammation, impacts nanotherapeutic design for treating pediatric brain disorders, including cerebral palsy and neonatal stroke. Elizabeth received her PhD in 2012 in Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering with Dr. Justin Hanes at Johns Hopkins University. She started a new area of research in the Center for Nanomedicine, developing a brain-penetrating nanoparticle platform (patented) for the treatment of brain tumors.