HA-Funded Researcher Awarded $1.8M NIH Grant

The Hydrocephalus Association (HA) is funding the best and brightest. Since 2009, HA has spent $7.8 million on our research programs. Our researchers have then gone on to secure over $19 million in additional funding to continue their innovative work.

Kristopher Kahle, MD, PhD is our latest success story. Dr. Kahle was awarded the Innovator Award for Posthemorrhagic Hydrocephalus (PHH) in 2016 and the Innovator Award for Postinfectious Hydrocephalus (PIH) in 2017.

This year Dr. Kahle received a National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant worth $1.8 million over five years. This funding will allow Dr. Kahle and his research team to dig deeper into new theories on why posthemorrhagic and postinfectious hydrocephalus develop and test drugs to prevent or minimize hydrocephalus after a brain bleed or infection.

The Research

In 2017, with HA support, Dr. Kahle and medical student Jason Karimy published a seminal paper on cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) production after a brain bleed. Using an animal model, this paper showed that the choroid plexus produced too much CSF in the days after a brain bleed – 3 times more than normal! When they stopped this overproduction of CSF, the animals did not develop hydrocephalus.

They believe this same overproduction of CSF is happening after a brain infection, causing postinfectious hydrocephalus.

The NIH funding will allow Dr. Kahle and his team to understand exactly why the CSF is being overproduced and if the reasons are the same in posthemorrhagic and postinfectious hydrocephalus. They will then test drugs that target the molecular pathways involved to stop the CSF overproduction and development of hydrocephalus.

What is even more exciting is that the lab is testing drugs already approved for other conditions by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). If successful, it is possible to get these drugs to the clinic and into patients faster than drugs that are not already FDA approved.

About Dr. Kristopher Kahle

Kristopher T. Kahle, M.D., Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery and Pediatrics at Yale School of Medicine, and Director of Neonatal and Congenital Anomaly Neurosurgery in the Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery. He completed his MD/PhD at the Yale School of Medicine under the mentorship of Richard Lifton, and neurosurgical residency at the Massachusetts General Hospital. After residency, Dr. Kahle completed his pediatric neurosurgery fellowship at Boston Children’s Hospital and was Instructor at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Kahle performed a postdoctoral research fellowship with Stephen Elledge and David Clapham at Harvard University.

To learn about Dr. Kahle’s other work on the genetics of congenital hydrocephalus, click here and get involved!

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