The Kannan lab is focused on understanding the role of neuroinflammation in injury and repair in the juvenile brain and in developing targeted nanotherapies to enable normal brain development. Our translational lab focuses on bench to bedside development of novel dendrimer nanotherapies to modulate glial cells and injured neurons to attenuate injury and enable repair.
In collaboration with the Center for Nanomedicine, JHU Drug Discovery and Kennedy Krieger Institute we are developing novel nanotherapies that target glutamate, NAAG and kynurenine pathways in immune cells and glia in the brain for treatment of disorders such as cerebral palsy, autism, Rett syndrome and traumatic brain injury. Some of the therapies developed in our labs are now in clinical trials.
Our group has shown that maternal inflammation/infection leads to neuroinflammation in the neonatal brain leading to cerebral palsy as seen in children. We have also shown that targeting and modulating glial cells using dendrimer nanotherapies can attenuate the brain injury and lead to improvement in neurologic deficits in pre-clinical models of cerebral palsy and Rett syndrome.
Current projects include (1) Studying the role of NAAG and microglial activation in cerebellar development and cerebellar learning and targeting glutamate carboxypeptidase to attenuate cerebellar injury in cerebral palsy; (2) Dendrimer targeted therapies for Rett Syndrome with a focus on targeting glutaminase enzyme in glial cells and (3) Understanding the role of immune dysregulation and developing targeted therapies in traumatic brain injury, autism, cardiac arrest and mental health disorders.
Sujatha Kannan, MD
Professor, Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine & Pediatrics
Vice Chair for Research, Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine
Richard Traystman Endowed Chair
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine