Isabelle Aubert, PhD
Canada Research Chair in Brain Repair and Regeneration, Tier 1
Senior Scientist, Sunnybrook Research Institute
Professor, University of Toronto, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology (LMP)
Chair of the Wellness, Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Committee in LMP
Rikke Hahn Kofoed, PhD
Calrsberg Foundation International Post-Doctoral Fellow
Sunnybrook Research Institute
Dr. Aubert collaborative research programs aim to develop therapies for disorders of the brain, spinal cord and retina. She is evaluating drug, gene and cell therapies for their potential in maintaining neural and vascular health, promoting repair and regeneration of the central nervous system, halting degeneration and restoring function. Dr. Aubert uses transcranial focused ultrasound, guided by MRI, to facilitate the deliver therapeutics from the blood, through the blood-brain barrier, and into targeted brain areas. This approach can also be used to bypass the blood-spinal cord barrier and the blood-retinal barrier. She contributed to the discoveries that focused ultrasound, with no therapeutic added, promotes hippocampal neurogenesis, activates glial cells, reduces amyloid pathology and promotes cognitive functions in mouse models of Alzheimer disease.
Dr. Rikke Hahn Kofoed, post-doc in the Aubert lab, uses focused ultrasound to mediate non-invasive delivery of adeno-associated virus (AAV) to the brain. Her research focuses on establishing the parameters which impact successful AAV delivery to the brain using focused ultrasound. In addition, she is exploring novel AAV vectors for combination with focused ultrasound, to optimize brain gene delivery and build a tool-box that allows both targeted and widespread gene delivery.
Dr. Aubert and Dr. Kofoed are contributing to the preclinical research programs at Sunnybrook, evaluating the effects of focused ultrasound for blood-brain barrier modulation and its efficacy at delivering therapeutics that are relevant to ongoing and future clinical trials at Sunnybrook for patients with Alzheimer disease and other neurodegenerative disorders.
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