Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation

Meet the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s
Eric Shusta
Professor of Chemical & Biological Engineering
College of Engineering 


Research area Overcoming the blood-brain barrier through the development of non-invasive delivery methods that target drugs to the brain for the treatment of neurological diseases.

What excites you about your work? 

“The newest set of brain targeting molecules we found through immunization and screening of lamprey antigen receptors (VLRs). These VLRs appear somewhat agnostic to the specific brain disease, in that they target brain tissue that is exposed to the bloodstream during various neurological diseases. We believe these targeting molecules could therefore be applied as a platform technology across multiple conditions. Targeting molecules like this don’t ferry cargo into the brain under normal conditions, but anywhere there’s a blood-brain barrier disruption, they can deliver drugs directly to the site of pathology.”

What do you hope to achieve? 

“We hope these brain targeting VLRs can ferry drug cargo directly to the site of pathology for the treatment of diseases such as brain cancer, stroke and traumatic brain injury.

Through different, innovative approaches, Eric has developed a toolbox of options for crossing the blood brain barrier. I’m excited to see these combined with effective therapeutics that industry partners need to deliver across the barrier.

– Jennifer Gottwald, WARF, Director of Licensing

Want to learn more?

Jennifer Gottwald, [email protected], 608.960.9854