Nathan Cherrington is currently a Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology, a Professor of Public Health, the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies in the College of Pharmacy, as well as the Director of the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center.
Recently he has been working on a research proposal for Circumventing the Blood-Testis Barrier. The focus of his grant is on xenobiotic disposition across the blood-testis barrier. In order to have an effect, numerous xenobiotics require access to the MGT (Male Genital Tract). To do so, xenobiotics must first avoid the barrier function transporters and pass through Sertoli cells to reach the adluminal compartment. Inward-facing transporter proteins, located at the basolateral and luminal membranes, allow specific compounds that cannot pass by passive diffusion to cross the blood-testis barrier via transepithelial transport. The strategy of using the transepithelial transport mechanisms that are already present in Sertoli cells to successfully gain access to this sanctuary site represents a novel research focus. Rather than studying why drugs fail to cross the blood-testis barrier, the experiments represent a unique opportunity to define the biological characteristics of the blood-testis barrier. Since working on his grant, the NIH has funded Dr. Cherrington's R01 proposal in the amount of $1,477,440.