awardMs. Ava Marsh replaced Mr. Dylan Kirschenbaum as Laboratory Manager. Ava is a star student at the University of Miami, majoring in Biochemistry. Her honors and awards include PRISM Honors Program (Advanced Program for Integrated Science and Math, focusing on interdisciplinary training for a future in science), placements on the Provost’s Honor Roll, Dean’s Lists, and President’s Scholarship.

awardMs. Marta Przybyla (a PhD student) and Dr. Arkadiusz Liskiewicz (a postdoctoral scholar) from the Academy of Physical Education and the Silesian Medical University attended the 2017 Miami Winter Symposium (Jan 22-25, 2017) upon receiving Travel Awards funded by the International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (IUBMB).

awardThe lab received multiple travel awards to attend the 23rd Conference of the Society on NeuroImmune Pharmacology in Philadelphia on March 29 - April 1, 2017. Luc Bertrand and Marta Skowronska received full travel awards and registration fee waivers. In addition, their abstracts were selected for oral presentations at the conference. Diana Avila, Ana Leda, and Joon Cho received registration fee waivers. Jessica Deaver, our undergraduate student, also received a registration fee waiver.

Ibolya E. András, Ana Leda, Marta Garcia Contreras, Luc Bertrand, Minseon Park, Marta Skowronska, Michal Toborek

Extracellular vesicles of the blood-brain barrier: role in the HIV-1 associated amyloid beta pathology


HIV-infected brains are characterized by increased amyloid beta (Aβ) deposition. It is believed that the blood-brain barrier (BBB) is critical for Aβ homeostasis and contributes to Aβ accumulation in the brain. Extracellular vesicles (ECV), like exosomes, recently gained a lot of attention as potentially playing a significant role in Aβ pathology.

Luc Bertrand, Levi Dygert and Michal Toborek



The introduction of antiretroviral drugs (ARVd) changed the prognosis of HIV infection from a deadly disease to a chronic disease. However, even with undetectable viral loads, patients still develop a wide range of pathologies, including cerebrovascular complications and stroke. It is hypothesized that toxic side effects of ARVd may contribute to these effects.