Engin Deniz, MD

2019 Innovator Award Recipient

TITLE: Assistant Professor, Yale University
GOAL: Understanding the role of cilia in post-traumatic hydrocephalus


The disruption of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) circulation can cause hydrocephalus, but the normal dynamics of CSF flow and the pathophysiology of hydrocephalus remain poorly understood. We and others have shown that cilia, motile cell-surface projections, play a crucial role in normal CSF flow and that their disruption can lead to hydrocephalus. In this work, we ask two key questions: 1) how are cilia patterned to generate CSF circulation? and 2) how does ciliary dysfunction contribute to post-traumatic hydrocephalus? To answer these questions, we have developed the first animal model that enables in vivo imaging of the entire CSF circulation that is easily manipulable for study. In this proposal, we will map the cilia structure and function within the ventricular system and by inducing targeted intraventricular hemorrhages in tadpole brains, we will determine the contributions of ciliary dysfunction to post-traumatic perturbations in CSF circulation that lead to hydrocephalus.