Glyn Dawson, Ph.D.


  • Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Kennedy Retardation Research Center, Committee on Cancer Biology, Committee on Developmental Biology, Committee on Molecular Medicine/MPMM


Ph.D., Bristol, 1967


The University of Chicago
WP C490 MC 4068
5841 South Maryland Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60637

Phone:  (773) 702-6430

Lab Website


Lipid-Derived Second Messengers; Response of Normal and Malignant Brain Cells to Stress

For many years my research has focused on the role of sphingolipids in the central nervous system, the neuropathology that results from genetic defects in their metabolism, and how this might be corrected.  We use cell culture, labeling, and chromatography coupled to Mass-Spectrometry for their identification and various molecular biology-driven approaches (including mouse models) to study the regulation of their synthesis, transport and eventual degradation in lysosomes.  Sphingolipids are also involved in regulating neural cell death, differentiation and nerve regeneration and are especially enriched in myelin so our research involves such human diseases as Multiple Sclerosis.  A major barrier to therapy of neurodegenerative diseases is the blood brain barrier. We have therefore developed nanoparticle semiconductor technology (6nm quantum dots) coupled to design of specific charged polymer coatings and cell-penetrating lipopeptides to allow us to specifically deliver a therapeutic cargo to neurons. This specificity can be demonstrated in pyramidal neurons in the rat hippocampus and the developing chick nervous system and allows us to manipulate drugs and peptides for therapeutic endeavors.

Research Papers in PubMed