Acute, Sub-acute and chronic Therapeutic Strategies Post-SCI

Thursday November 3, 2016 at 12:00 p.m. Prof. Angelo All, Division of Neuroscience and Neuroengineering at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, will be presenting “Acute, Sub-acute and chronic Therapeutic Strategies Post-SCI”.

Speaker: Prof. Angelo All
Division of Neuroscience and Neuroengineering, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Department of Neurology at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine (JHU)
Research Director at the Department of Orthopedic Surgery and Department of Biomedical Engineering, SiNAPSE Institute at the National University of Singapore (NUS)
Director Spinal Cord Injury and Repair Research Laboratory at the JHU and NUS

Day & Time: Thursday, November 3, 2016
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Location: Lecture Theatre (Basement), University Health Network-Toronto Rehabilitation Institute
550 University Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5G 2A2

Co-sponsored by University Health Network-Toronto Rehabilitation Institute
No Admission Charge

Abstract: Among neurological disorders, the cost of spinal cord injury (SCI) to society ranks second only after mental retardation. Acute SCI can manifest as ‘anatomically intact’ with spared demyelinated and electrically defunct axons showing physiological discontinuity across the site of lesion. Even if only a small number of spared fibers remain after SCI, with immediate treatment, the quality of life of patients can be greatly improved. Early knowledge of the extent of spared fibers will help rehabilitation therapists and scientists as well as neurologists to plan time-sensitive strategic treatment options. The therapeutic strategies would be tailored in order to ensure the survival of neurons post-primary injury and limit secondary phase of injury. Scientists and physicians would also need to devise ways to prevent progression of the injury and improve the microenvironment around the injury for treatment by using, for example, stem cell that aims to produce therapeutically-induced functional recovery. We have developed in vivo rodent models and quantitative assessment techniques and methods that can reliably quantify the repair and regeneration post-injury and demonstrate objective neuro-electro-physiological assessments of SCI recovery and rehabilitation. First, I will present experimental methods to create calibrated contusive SCI model and the neuroelectrophysiological function monitoring using Evoked Potentials (EP). The second part of my presentation involves the investigation of the effects of therapeutic hypothermia (acute), application of conjugated polymers for drug delivery within intraparenchymal of spinal cord and limiting the secondary phase of injury (sub-acute) and third, human stem cell replacement (chronic) therapy postcontusive SCI. I will present preliminary results on the effects of temperature manipulation on EP signals and a novel design of biodegradable polymers for drug delivery as well as the results of transplanting human stem cell derived oligodendrocyte progenitors to aid recovery of spinal cord function. Our expectation is that these techniques would be applicable in basic research as well as be able to translatable for future clinical studies.

Biography: Angelo H. ALL, M.D., MBA, started his higher education in Pharmacy School, graduated from Medical School, continued his career as a surgery fellow and obtained a MBA degree from the Johns Hopkins University. Since 2000, his Biomedical and Neuro-Engineering research at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institute has shaped his career. Dr. ALL is an Assistant Professor at the Division of Neuroscience and Neuroengineering, Department of Biomedical Engineering and Department of Neurology at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine (JHU), Baltimore, USA. He also holds faculty position of Assistant Professor and is the Research Director at the Department of Orthopedic Surgery and Department of Biomedical Engineering as well as SiNAPSE Institute at the National University of Singapore (NUS). He is the director of the Spinal Cord Injury and Repair Research Laboratory at the JHU and NUS. Dr. ALL has established a very productive multidisciplinary translational research project through collaborations with scientists in both Medical and Engineering fields. The focus of his research is Central Nervous System (CNS) injury, repair and regeneration. His translational research projects involve cell replacement therapy using oligodendrocyte precursor cells derived from embryonic, iPSC and Directly Converted stem cells, as well as hypothermia treatment in the contusive model of Spinal Cord Injury (SCI). In addition, part of his laboratory team is also investigating the application of nanoparticles to limit the secondary phase of SCI. Recently, his laboratory is developing the “Optomedicine” – we adopt Optogenetics-based approaches for rehabilitative treatment post-SCI. Optomedicine allows us to regulate the electrical activity of neuronal population cells with millisecond spatiotemporal precision. We are also testing the hypothesis of delivering genes into neurons of the CNS in a pioneering method that would translate “Optomedicine” into clinical settings. Dr. ALL Lab pioneered the monitoring and quantitative analysis of somatosensory and motor evoked potentials for assessment of long-term electrical integrity at various stages of pre- and post-injury. He and his team of researchers studied plasticity and adaptive changes in CNS, which enable reorganization of spared neuropathways following neurotrauma. He also uses different imaging techniques to monitor anatomical changes in the CNS architectures at various time points. These images allow the identification of spared fibers and the tracking of the extent of secondary injury to determine the therapeutic benefits of the various treatment strategies.