Dr. Walter Low is a Professor in the Department of Neurosurgery and serves as the Associate Head for Research. He earned his PhD in Bioengineering from the University of Michigan, and was a National Science Foundation/NATO Fellow in Neurophysiology/Neuroscience at the University of Cambridge in England. He is currently Director of the Research Laboratories in the Department of Neurosurgery.
Dr. Low was formerly on the faculty at Indiana University School of Medicine where he was the Director of the Graduate Program in Physiology and Biophysics. He has served as a member of numerous grant review study sections for the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the Veterans Administration Medical Centers.
The h-index for the scientific impact of Dr. Low's research publications is ranked above the 95th percentile among faculty in neurosurgery departments in the United States.
Dr. Low's research is focused on translating neuroscience developments from the laboratory to the clinic. He has been involved in a number of technologies that include neural progenitor/stem cell therapies, gene therapies, neuroprotective therapies, and medical devices for treating a variety of neurological conditions. Neural disorders of interest include ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke, Parkinson's disease, brain tumors, Alzheimer's disease, lysosomal storage disorders of the brain, Huntington's disease, spinal cord injury, and traumatic brain injury.
Dr. Low's group was the first to: Demonstrate that the transplantation of cholinergic neurons into the hippocampal formation could restore learning and memory function in a rat model of Alzheimer's disease Demonstrate the efficacy of immunotherapy for eradicating intracranial tumors in rodents Receive FDA approval for clinical trials in the United States to study the efficacy of deep brain stimulation for the treatment of Parkinson's disease. Read more.
Brain and tumor immunology and development of cancer vaccines
Dr. Low's laboratory is focused on the study of brain tumors. Primary tumors that originate in the brain represent some of the most malignant types of cancers. Patients diagnosed with grade IV glioblastoma multiforme have a mean survival time of 11 months after diagnosis. Our studies of brain tumors have emphasized the development of immunotherapeutic approaches for the treatment of these tumors. Cancer vaccines consisting of cytokines and tumor antigens are used to stimulate cells of the immune system to recognize and destroy tumors within the brain.
Fellowships, Residencies, and Visiting Engagements
Honors and Recognition
Grants and Patents
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