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Maria G. Castro, PhD

Professor of Neurosurgery

Professor of Cell & Developmental Biology

MSRB II, Room 4570

Department of Neurosurgery

University of Michigan School of Medicine

1150 West Medical Center Drive
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5689

Office – 734-764-0850

Fax – 734-764-7051

Email – mariacas@umich.edu

Research Interests

Development of immunotherapies for primary and metastatic brain cancer: from basic immunobiology mechanisms to translational immune-therapeutics. Tumor immune-microenvironment: its role in tumor progression and response to therapeutics. Cross talk between cancer cells and hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells. Mechanisms affecting the migration of immune cells from peripheral lymphoid organs to the tumor microenvironment . For my research I use adenoviral and lentiviral vectors to deliver transgenes, both in vitro and in vivo, these are considered to be part of the nanotechnology armamentarium, also, I have started to use polyacrylamide based nanoparticles to deliver chemotherapeutic small molecules systemically for cancer therapy.

I bring to MNIMBS expertise in in vivo and in vitro brain cancer models, metastatic brain cancer models, endogenous, lentiviral mediated brain cancer models. I will also bring expertise in cancer immunology, imaging and small molecules. I also aim to collaborate with members of MNIMBS in order to combine viral vector and small molecule mediated anti-cancer therapies together with nanoparticle formulations.

Selected Publications

  • Candolfi M, Xiong W, Yagiz K, Liu C, Muhammad AK, Puntel M, Foulad D, Zadmehr A, Ahlzadeh GE, Kroeger KM, Tesarfreund M, Lee S, Debinski W, Sareen D, Svendsen CN, Rodriguez R, Lowenstein PR, Castro MG. (2010) Gene therapy-mediated delivery of targeted cytotoxins for glioma therapeutics. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 107(46):20021-20026. Epub 2010 Oct 28. PMCID: PMC2993419
  • Yang J, Sanderson N, Wawrowsky K, Castro MG, Lowenstein PR. (2010) Kupfer-type immunological synapses are not relevant to cytolytic T-cell function in vivo. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 107(10):4716-4721. Epub 2010 Jan 19. PMCID: PMC2842057
  • Candolfi M, Yagiz K, Foulad d, Ahlsadeh GE, Tesarfreund M, Muhammad AKM, Puntel M, Kroeger KM, Liu C, Lee S, Curtin J, King GD, Lerner J, Sato K, Lowenstein PR, Castro MG. (2009) Release of HMGB1 in response to proapoptotic glioma killing strategies: efficacy and neurotoxicity. Clinical Cancer Research 15(13):4401-4414. Portrayed on the Highlights Section. PMCID: PMC2769255
  • Curtin JF, Liu N, Candolfi M, Ziong W, Assi H, Yagiz Y, Edwards, MR, Michelsen KS, Kroeger KM, Liu C, Muhammad AKM, Clark M, Arditi M, Comin-Anduix B, Ribas A, Lowenstein PR, Castro MG. (2009) HMGB1 mediates endogenous TLR2 activation and brain tumor regression. PLoS Medicine Jan 13; 6(1):e10; PMCID: PMC2621261
  • Ali S, King G, Curtin JF, Candolfi M, Xiong W, Liu C, Puntel M, Cheng Q, Prieto J, Ribas A, Kupiec-Weglinski J, van Rooijen N, Lassmann H, Lowenstein PR, Castro MG, (2005) Combined immuno-stimulation and conditional cytotoxic gene therapy provide long-term survival in a large glioma model. Cancer Research 65:7194-7204. Portrayed on the highlights section of Cancer Research
  • Larocque D, Sanderson NRS, Bergeron J, Curtin J, Girton J, Wibowo M, Bondale N, Kroeger KM, Yang J, Lacayo LM, Reyes KC, Farrokhi C, Pechnick RN, Castro MG, Lowenstein PR, (2010) Exogenous fms-like tyrosine kinase 3 ligand overrides brain immune privilege and facilitates recognition of a neo-antigen without causing autoimmune neuropathology. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA. 107(32):14443-14448. Epub July 26. PMCID: PMC2922551
  • Xiong W, Goverdhana S, Kroeger K, Ng P, Palmer D, Lowenstein PR, Castro MG, (2006)  Regulatable Gutless Adenovirus Vectors Sustain InducibleTransgene Expression in the Brain in the Presence of an Immune Response Against Adenoviruses.  Journal of Virology 80(1):27-37. Portrayed on the cover.
  • Umana P, Gerdes CA, Stone D, Davis JR, Ward D, Castro MG, Lowenstein PR (2001) Efficient FLPe recombinase enables scalable production of helper-dependent adenoviral vectors with negligible helper-virus contamination. Nature Biotechnology, 19:582-585.
  • Thomas CE, Schiedner G, Kochanek S, Castro MG, Lowenstein PR (2000) Peripheral infection with adenovirus causes unexpected long-term brain inflammation in animals injected intracranially with first generation, but not with high-capacity adenovirus vectors: towards realistic long-term neurological gene therapy for chronic diseases. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A., 97:7482-7487.
  • Dewey R, Morrissey G, Cowsill C, Stone D, Dodd NJF, Bolognani F, Southgate TD, Castro MG, Lowenstein PR, (1999) Chronic brain inflammation and persistent HSV1 TK expression in survivors of syngeneic glioma treated by adenovirus-mediated gene therapy: Nature Medicine 5,1256-63.

 

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