Dr. Bickel joined the department in 1999. He received his education from the Medical School at University of Ulm (Germany) and was awarded the Doctor of Medicine degree (1985). Completing a residency at Benjamin Franklin University Clinic (Berlin, Germany) he was board certified in Clinical Pharmacology (1991). Dr. Bickel then focused on blood-brain barrier research, working with Dr. William M. Pardridge (Department of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles) as a Visiting Scientist on a stipend from the German Research Foundation (1991-1994) and in his own lab at Philipps-University, Marburg (1994-1999). Dr. Bickel has been regularly invited to present at international meetings including Gordon Research Conferences. At Texas Tech, his lab has been supported by grants from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the American Heart Association, and the DoD Breast Cancer Research Program. He serves as reviewer on NIH study sections and for pharmacological/pharmaceutical journals.
Dr. Bickel’s research encompasses pharmacokinetic studies to characterize drug transport at the blood-brain barrier, and the development of novel drug targeting strategies to treat disorders of the central nervous system. In particular his lab is focusing on brain delivery of macromolecules (antibodies, oligonucleotide-based drugs) as therapeutics for neuroinflammatory disease or brain tumors. Applied methods range from protein coupling chemistry and analytical techniques (real-time PCR, gel electrophoresis, HPLC and FPLC) to flow cytometry and confocal imaging. Besides the pharmacokinetic experiments, we utilize in vivo disease models in rodents for therapeutic studies, e.g. cytokine administration to induce inflammatory conditions, middle cerebral artery occlusion to mimic human stroke, and tumor xenograft models.