UK and University of Cambridge Collaborate on Nanomedicine Research

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 13, 2012) - University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy faculty member Peixuan Guo will collaborate with Stefano Pluchino, neurologist and experimental neuroscientist, at the University of Cambridge Department of Clinical Neuroscience, to solve some of the world’s most pressing inflammatory neurological syndromes.

Guo, the William S. Farish Fund Endowed Chair in Nanobiotechnology at the UK College of Pharmacy and Markey Cancer Center, has established himself as one of the lead’s premier nanobiotechnology experts for his work in cancer therapeutics.

Pluchino is a who serves as associate professor in brain repair at the University of Cambridge. His major contribution of has been the demonstration of the immune modulatory functions of somatic neural stem cells. Pluchino’s major recent focus is the exploitation of the cellular and molecular mechanisms regulating the therapeutic plasticity of neural stem cells

Their backgrounds come from different ends of the scientific spectrum, which Pluchino said was one of the major factors in the partnership. Pluchino said he is constantly searching for new investigative approaches. It was after he read the review article, "The Emerging Field of RNA Nanotechnology," published by Guo in Nature Nanotechnology that he gained interested in how he could apply Guo’s approach to cancer to his own vision of creating novel nanomedicine-based therapies in experimental neuroscience.

After extensive discussions and consultation, the two researchers have now agreed to pursue a joint collaboration between their two labs to utilize RNA nanotechnology for brain repair in syndromes where inflammation leads to chronic neural degeneration, such as multiple sclerosis, cerebral stroke and spinal cord injury.

As part of the collaboration, a postdoctoral scholar supported by Pluchino’s University of Cambridge laboratory will spend six months in Guo’s lab. The postdoc, Jayden Smith, will be learning how to apply Guo’s novel methods to neuroscience. Drs. Guo and Pluchino also will work jointly towards funding opportunities.

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