Dr. Tajiri Awarded Byrd Institute Research Funding

Dr. Naoki Tajiri, Assistant Professor in the School of Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Sciences and the Department of Neurosurgery & Brain Repair, has been awarded a $20,000 grant by the USF Health Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute for research on “Stem cell-paved biobridges in TBI with AD-like pathology.” In association with this award he is considered an Associate Member of the Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute.

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI) are both significant clinical problems characterized by debilitating symptoms with limited available treatments. Interestingly, both neurological diseases are characterized by neurovascular damage. This impaired brain vasculature correlates with the onset of dementia, a symptom associated with hippocampal degeneration seen in both diseases. Vascular damage is a major pathological link between TBI and AD, in that TBI victims are predisposed to AD symptoms due to altered brain vasculature; vice versa, the progression of AD pathology may be accelerated by TBI especially when the brain insult worsens hippocampal degeneration. Dr. Tajiri will remain committed to advancing cell therapy for TBI and AD and find pathological link between TBI and the AD-like pathology which is our overarching strategic goal in this study.