In our latest episode, Jason and Matthew talk with Andrew Grande (MD, FAHA, FAANS) and Walter Low (PhD) - two brain specialists at the University of Minnesota who focus on neuroregenerative and neurorestorative therapies for various brain disorders, including traumatic brain injury.
Why are we talking to brain specialists about TBI? Because in our efforts to pass an SCI funding bill in Texas, we came across a broad coalition of brain specialists (called the Texas Brain Institute) who are trying to pass a multi-billion dollar bill in brain research.
And so we wanted to explore the overlaps in brain research and SCI research. Specifically, we were curious to learn about where there might be opportunities for collaboration between the two disciplines. Could more intentional alignment and cooperation deliver better strategies and harness larger investments that would benefit brain and CNS disorders as well as spinal cord injury? Finally, we discuss the successful collaborations that have been created through the MN SCI/TBI Research Grant Program.
Walter C. Low, Ph.D. is a Professor in the Department of Neurosurgery and the Stem Cell Institute at the University of Minnesota. His research is focused on the development of stem cell and gene engineering technologies for the repair of the brain and spinal cord. His work involves the development of gene therapies to express normal genes and their corresponding proteins to restore enzymes in the brain and restore metabolic pathways involved in learning and memory. He has adapted his gene therapy approaches to insert genes to activate molecular signaling pathways involved in neuronal development in the brain and spinal cord to repair neuronal connections damaged as a result of traumatic injuries.
Andrew Grande, MD, FAHA, FAANS, is a vascular neurosurgeon and physician scientist at the University of Minnesota with a strong interest in cerebrovascular disease. His clinical practice is focused on neurosurgical and endovascular treatment of brain aneurysms.