Current Research

Humanization of Neurovascular-targeting Variable Lymphocyte Receptors

Variable Lymphocyte Receptors (VLRs) derived from lamprey immune cells exhibit unique binding specificity for the human Blood-Brain Barrier (BBB) as a result of the evolutionary distance between lamprey and humans. The VLR binding affinity for the human BBB can be exploited as a novel drug delivery mechanism to shuttle therapeutics across the BBB to combat neurological diseases; however, a native VLR would trigger an immune response in humans. Therefore, it is necessary to determine the BBB binding sequences of the VLR and graft those sequences onto a human scaffold in order to maintain BBB binding specificity while eliminating immunological responses in humans.