Scott Banta, assistant professor of chemical engineering, and Barclay Morrison III, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, both in the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, have been named 2005 recipients of the Brain Trust Awards.
The Brain Trust is a pioneering collaboration by four leading medical research philanthropies -- Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure (ABC 2), the Alzheimer's Association, The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, and The Robert Packard Center for ALS Research at Johns Hopkins -- that seeks to develop new approaches to advance brain disease cures.
Banta and Morrison's project -- "Directed evolution of cell penetrating peptides for therapeutic delivery across the blood-brain barrier to specific cellular targets" -- was selected by the awards committee because of its potential to enable delivery of therapies for a broad range of neuro-degenerative diseases. The Brain Trust's program reviewed applications focused on technologies that can achieve selective targeting and/or delivery of therapeutic agents to specific regions or cells in the brain, including overcoming the limitations imposed by the blood-brain barrier.
"We are excited to announce award recipients who we believe are pursuing unique programs with a broad range of applications and near-term potential," says John Reher, ABC 2 executive director. "The project at Columbia will certainly benefit from the university's leading position as a source of innovation in the neurosciences."