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Sadhana Jackson, M.D.

Developmental Therapeutics and Pharmacology Unit

Building 10 Room 7D45
Center Drive MSC1414
Bethesda MD 20814
Office: (301) 594-7037

Fax: (301) 480-1615

Dr. Jackson attended Hampton University where she received her Bachelor of Science in Molecular Biology. She then obtained her MD from Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS). Dr. Jackson subsequently completed a residency in Pediatrics at Orlando Health and then completed a three-year fellowship in pediatric hematology/oncology at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Additionally, she completed a two-year joint fellowship in pediatric neuro-oncology and clinical pharmacology at Johns Hopkins Medical Institute before being selected as an NCI Assistant Clinical Investigator in the Clinical Investigator Development Program in 2015.

Dr. Sadhana Jackson is a board-certified pediatrician and pediatric hematologist/oncologist with clinical expertise and research efforts related to the blood-brain barrier and malignant glioma. Dr. Jackson’s clinical practice focuses on drug delivery of systemic agents for pediatric malignant brain tumor patients. She has extensive experience with use of intracerebral microdialysis to evaluate optimal drug entry in malignant tumors.

As an Investigator in NINDS, Dr. Jackson ties her clinical practice to her research efforts focused on understanding the heterogeneous permeability of the blood-brain barrier amongst malignant gliomas. With her laboratory and clinical studies, her team aims to modulate the tumor microenvironment to enhance effective treatments to the CNS for malignant gliomas. Using exquisite tools to measure drug concentrations and agents to transiently disrupt the BBB, her research aims to maximize therapies for prolonged survival in aggressive pediatric brain tumors

NIH Pharmacology course - BBB Pharmacology led by Dr. Jackson
ORWH Facebook Live hosted by Dr. Jackson

One of the major obstacles to effectively treating central nervous system (CNS) tumors is the integrity of the blood-brain barrier (BBB). The BBB prevents systemic drug delivery from reaching the brain and brain tumor tissue. While previous studies have mainly focused on circumventing the BBB, very few agents or mechanisms have been explored that modulate the tumor microenvironment to enhance effective therapies for malignant brain tumors. Our studies focus on understanding the heterogeneity of BBB permeability amongst malignant tumor cells and the role of the supportive BBB in tumor growth. Our collaborative laboratory and clinical investigations center around BBB biology, cancer biology, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics related to optimal CNS drug delivery.

Staff Image
  • Crystal Burgess
    Postbaccalaureate IRTA

  • Brandon Foster
    Postbaccalaureate IRTA

  • Amelie Vezina
    Postdoctoral Fellow

  • 1) Sadhana Jackson, Eva H Baker, Andrea M Gross, Patricia Whitcomb, Andrea Baldwin, Joanne Derdak, Cecilia Tibery, Jennifer Desanto, Amanda Carbonell, Kaleb Yohay, Geraldine O'Sullivan, Alice P Chen, Brigitte C Widemann, Eva Dombi (2020)
  • The MEK inhibitor selumetinib reduces spinal neurofibroma burden in patients with NF1 and plexiform neurofibromas
  • Neuro-Oncology Advances, vdaa095
  • 2) Jackson S, Meeks C, Vézina A, Robey RW, Tanner K, Gottesman MM (2019)
  • Model systems for studying the blood-brain barrier: Applications and challenges
  • Biomaterials, 2019 Sep;214:119217. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials, 2019.05.028. Epub 2019 May 18. Review
  • 3) Jackson S, Weingart J, Nduom EK, Harfi TT, George RT, McAreavey D, Ye X, Anders NM, Peer C, Figg WD, Gilbert M, Rudek MA, Grossman SA (2018)
  • The effect of an adenosine A2A agonist on intra-tumoral concentrations of temozolomide in patients with recurrent glioblastoma
  • Fluids Barriers CNS, 2018 Jan 15;15(1):2, doi: 10.1186/s12987-017-0088-8
  • 4) Jackson S, George RT, Lodge MA, Piotrowski A, Wahl RL, Gujar SK, Grossman SA (2017)
  • The effect of regadenoson on the integrity of the human blood-brain barrier, a pilot study
  • J Neurooncol, 2017 May;132(3):513-519. doi: 10.1007, s11060-017-2404-1. Epub 2017 Mar 17
  • 5) McCord M, Mukouyama YS, Gilbert MR, Jackson S (2017)
  • Targeting WNT Signaling for Multifaceted Glioblastoma Therapy
  • Front Cell Neurosci, 2017 Oct 13;11:318. doi: 10.3389, fncel.2017.00318. eCollection 2017. Review.
  • 6) Jackson S, Anders NM, Mangraviti A, Wanjiku TM, Sankey EW, Liu A, Brem H, Tyler B, Rudek MA, Grossman SA (2016)
  • The effect of regadenoson-induced transient disruption of the blood-brain barrier on temozolomide delivery to normal rat brain
  • J Neurooncol, 2016 Feb;126(3):433-9. doi: 10.1007, s11060-015-1998-4. Epub 2015 Dec 1
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