Current Projects

Current Projects

1: Nebraska Center for Nanomedicine

PI: A. Kabanov

This project seeks to develop an interdisciplinary Nanomedicine Center at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC). The focus of this proposal is to develop the means to best use devices of nanoscale size to improve outcomes for cancer, neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases. A wide variety of research projects are associated with this program. Current projects are detailed on the NCN web site.

2: NanoART Manufacture, Delivery and Pharmacokinetics for Optimizing Drug Adherence

PI: H. Gendelman

This is an integrative cross approach translational and multi-investigator program grant seeking to develop nanoformulated antiretroviral drug therapy from the bench to the patient. Imaging studies within this program focus on the identification of biomarkers of NeuroAIDS in mouse models and track the biodistribution and efficacy of nanomedications designed to treat HIV. This critical step in the development process is followed by studies of biodistribution and toxicity in large animal models by Dr. H. Fox, followed with phase 1 clinical trials by Dr. S. Swindells.

3: Serial Manganese Enhanced Multi-MRI for Murine HIV-Encephalitis

PI: Y. Liu

The project will develop high resolution in-vivo and ex-vivo manganese enhanced MRI to determine the morphological and activity based biomarkers of neuroAIDS.

4: The Pathogenesis of Brain Abscess

PI: T. Kielian

In this project, studies focus on a synthetic compound that causes brain abscesses to become walled off more rapidly, which may help to protect surrounding brain tissue from damage Imaging studies include the characterization of the bacterial brain abscess with time and treatment.

5: Neural Immunity in HIV Dementia

PI: H Gendelman

The major goal of this project is the study of the specific immunologic basis of HIV-associated dementia (HAD) and linkages between it and other neurodegenerative disorders. This grant brings together in one organizational structure a group of scientists with expertise in areas of neurotoxicology, cellular immunology, neuropathology, neurophysiology, neuropharmacology and molecular biology, who maintain a unified focus on how MP biology affects both neurodegeneration and neuroprotection.

6: Chronic HIV infection and Aging in NeuroAIDS (CHAIN) Center

PI: H. Fox

This is a Center grant to provide Administrative and Core Support for scientists investigating NeuroAIDS. Imaging studies include supplementing funded projects as well as investigations into the imaging properties of transgenic rat and mouse models which over-express proteins generated by the AIDS virus with Dr Shilpa Buch.

7: Interactions of Pluronic Block Copolymers in Drug Resistant Cancers

PI: A Kabanov

The objective of this project is to determine the mechanisms through which Pluronic sensitizes the drug resistant cancer cells. The aims (1) characterize the effects of Pluronic on ATP levels in resistant and sensitive cells; (2) identify drug/Pluronic formulations effective against resistant cancers; (3) determine whether the effects of Pluronic on the energy state of the cell inhibit the functional activity of specific drug resistance mechanisms; and (4) determine factors important for the efficient delivery of Pluronic to the tumor cells in vivo. Imaging studies include the localized 31P spectroscopy of tumors with treatment and following tumor progression with treatment.

8: SDF-1 and Neurogenesis in HIV-1 Associated Dementia

PI: J Zheng

The major goals of this project are to investigate the role of SDF-1 and CXCR4 mediated neuronal repair process in HIV-1 associated dementia. Imaging studies include the tracking of SPIO labeled neuronal progenitor cells in brain.

9: Mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative damage and inflammation in claudication

PI: I Pipinos

The goal of the project is to demonstrate that blood flow restriction is not a good predictor of limb dysfunction in claudication, whereas muscle mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative damage and inflammation are strong predictors of limb dysfunction both at baseline and after conventional therapy with revascularization or supervised exercise. Imaging studies include the correlation of relaxometry, diffusion tensor imaging and 31P MRS measures of mitochondrial dysfunction with histological features of muscle tissue during disease progression.

10: High-Spin Nitroxide Diradicals for Biomedical Imaging

PI: A Rajca

This project explores the feasibility of sensitive and safe contrast agents based on organic radicals. Contrast agents based on organic compounds with strong paramagnetic properties provide alternative MRI contrast media to metal-based agents, avoiding the risk factors associated with the release of highly toxic metal ions.