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Gabriel Rocha

DPhil Student

My research focuses on studying the blood-brain-barrier and how different pathologies may affect it. The cerebrovascular field has been growing as an important area of neurodegenerative diseases, with significant phenotypes shown in diseased patients. I am interested as to how diabetes, hyperglycemia, and insulin resistance affects the blood brain barrier, and how that can lead to cognitive impairment. My research currently takes on two aims:

1. Develop an IPSC - brain endothelial cell protocol to model diseases on a dish. Once established, creating an iBBB including pericytes and astrocytes can help identify sources of pathologies within the BBB.

2. Develop a protocol to isolate endothelial and pericytic populations from human post-mortem, fresh frozen tissue, and run transcriptomic analyses on isolated nuclei. This will uncover differentially expressed genes and therapeutic targets to be tested on the IPSC model.