Peter Searson,PHD

Joseph R. and Lynn C. Reynolds Professor of Engineering

Specialization: Blood brain barrier.


Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering

3400 N. Charles Street

Croft Hall 120

Baltimore, MD 21218


Searson lab

The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is a 600 km network of capillaries and microvessels that supplies nutrients and other essential molecules to the brain while maintaining tight control of the microenvironment, preventing fluctuations in chemistry, transport of immune cells, and the entry of toxins and pathogens.  

Almost all diseases of the brain are associated with disruption or dysfunction of the BBB, which leads to entry of blood components, immune cells, and pathogens into the brain, and ultimately causes neuroinflammation, oxidative stress, and neurotoxicity.   We use tissue engineering and stem cell technology to build physiological models of the BBB that can recapitulate multiple processes regulated by the brain microvascular endothelial cells.   We use these models for fundamental studies of disruption or dysfunction of the BBB (e.g. the role of stress, inflammation, pathogens), disease models (e.g. brain cancer), developing strategies for drug and gene delivery to the brain (e.g. transient opening of the BBB), and the development of strategies for BBB repair (e.g. in response to disease or trauma).  


To advance neuroscience discovery by uniting neuroscience, engineering and computational data science to understand the structure and function of the brain.