Joe Erlichman

Professor Biology Department
Joe Erlichman

During the past decade, nanomaterials of many types have attracted increasing interest in different fields, such as material science, chemistry, biology, and therapeutics.   The development of nanotechnology products may play an important part in adding a new armamentarium of therapeutics to the treatment of diseases whose etiology derives from oxidative stress. Recent studies have shown that several nanoscale metal oxides such as Pt, Au, and nanoceria are potent antioxidants that have catalytic activities that often greatly exceed endogenously produced superoxide dismutase and catalase enzymatic activity. Cerium is a lanthanide series rare earth metal. In nanoparticle form (1-100 nm scale), cerium is combined with oxygen and adopts a crystalline structure. CeNPs have potent antioxidant activity – both superoxide dismutase- and catalase-mimetic activities have been described. Cerium can reversibly bind oxygen and shift oxidation states (Ce4+/Ce3+), giving the nanoparticle the ability to regenerate depending on the redox environment. Using 2.5 nm custom, synthesized nanoparticles we have shown this material decreases oxidative stress and damage in the brain both in our in vitro models of ischemic injury as well as whole-animal work (in collaboration with Dartmouth Medical School). In addition, we have shown that nanoceria decreases disease severity and improves motor function in rodent models of multiple sclerosis (Experimental Acute Encephalomylitis) and the transgenic, G93A model for Lou Gehrig's Disease (Amyotrophic Laterla Sclerosis). Taken together, these data suggest that nanosized cerium dioxide may be a useful therapeutic in treatment of stroke and other types of neurodegenerative disease.


Research Associate - Dartmouth Medical School, Lebanon, NH - 1996-1997
Research Associate - Wright State School of Medicine, Dayton, OH - 1994-1996
Postdoctoral Fellow - Dartmouth Medical School, Lebanon, NH - 1993-1994
Ph. D - Dartmouth Medical School, Lebanon, NH - 1988-1993
M.S - University of Colorado, Boulder, CO - 1986-1988
B.S. - University of Colorado, Boulder, CO - 1980-1984

Courses Offered:

Introduction to Neuroscience
Advanced Neuroscience
Human Anatomy and Physiology

Buddhism, Mindfulness and Neuroscience

Contact Information