Toxicokinetics and Toxicology Laboratory (National Cancer Institute)
- Ronald E. Cannon, Ph.D.
- Tel 984-287-3937
- P.O. Box 12233Mail Drop C2-02Durham, N.C. 27709
In the last decade, Ronald E. Cannon, Ph.D. has focused on understanding the regulation of ATP-driven, xenobiotic efflux pumps (ABC transporters) at the blood-brain barrier. This barrier resides within the brain capillary endothelium and is a limiting factor in treating central nervous system (CNS) disorders, for instance, neurodegenerative diseases, epilepsy, brain cancer, and neuro-AIDS. P-glycoprotein, a drug efflux transporter, is a critical element of that barrier. High level of expression, luminal membrane location, broad specificity, and high transport potency make P-glycoprotein a primary obstacle to drug delivery to the brain and thus to CNS pharmacotherapy. More recently Cannon has expanded his focus to include other ABC transporters, MRPs and BCRP, and the blood-spinal cord barrier.
Cannon is a Staff Scientist presently detailed to the Laboratory of Toxicology and Toxicokinetics under the NIEHS Director, Linda Birnbaum. His work has importance because ABC transporters govern the uptake, distribution, and excretion of a large number of therapeutic drugs, environmental pollutants, and waste products of cellular metabolism, Cannon believes “we must have a thorough understanding of barrier transport mechanisms and the signals that modulate them to design better therapeutic protocols and predict toxic interactions.”