Drug delivery to the central nervous system (CNS) is a tremendous challenge for academia and industry. The need for new treatments of brain diseases is growing with the increasing lifespan of western populations. Drug transport across the brain endothelium forming the blood-brain barrier (BBB) is a particularly great challenge because of the low intrinsic permeability of the barrier to most solutes and the presence of active efflux transporters.

Our multidisciplinary research program combines investigation of drug transport systems with investigation of BBB function and the neurovascular unit (NVU), the cells closely associated with the brain endothelium. The aim of the Research Initiative  is to provide the new tools necessary to design novel drug delivery systems for transport of drugs across the BBB. This Research Initiative started its activities in March 2014 and consists of five primary investigators (PIs).

The research at the Research Initiative on “Drug delivery to the brain and blood-brain barrier transport mechanisms” encompasses five specific work packages (WP):

WP1: Development of drug delivery systems, PI Thomas Andresen, DTU

WP2: In vitro investigations of brain endothelial cell receptor internalization and trafficking pathways, PI Morten S. Nielsen, AU,

WP3: In vivo monitoring of nanocarrier transport and therapy in the brain, PI Torben Moos, AAU

WP4: Signalling at the NVU and BBB control, PI Martin Lauritzen, KU

WP5: In vitro models of the neurovascular unit, PI Birger Brodin, KU

WP6: Peptide therapeutics in the brain, PI Kristian Strømgaard, KU