Dr. Michael (Mike) Namaka
Mike Namaka

Associate Professor, College of Pharmacy
Associate Professor, Rehabilitation Medicine
Associate Professor, Department of Human Anatomy & Cell Science
Associate Professor, Dept of Pharmacy, Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA)
Principal Investigator, Joint Lab of Biological Psychiatry (with Shantou University, China)
Adjunct Professor, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing, China
President, Manitoba Multiple Sclerosis Research Network Organization (MMSRNO)

At present Michael Namaka is a Associate Professor at the College of Pharmacy and Medicine in the University of Manitoba. In addition, Dr. Namaka is also cross-appointed as an Associate Professor in Rehab Medicine (Spinal Cord Injury) & Human Anatomy and Physiology in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Manitoba and the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority. Michael also is affiliated with Anesthesia Department of Medicine where he has an active clinical practice in the chronic pain clinic. Currently, Michael functions as Neuro-immunologist with a specialized expertise in multiple sclerosis (MS) and chronic pain. Michael heads a neuroscience research laboratory, which serves as the training center for several MD-PhD; PhD and Master’s students.

Dr. Namaka’s neuro-immunology team is exploring the use of epigenetic therapeutic interventional strategies targeted against immune system induced modifications to histones that can block the pathological expression of MeCP2. The elevated MeCP2 is directly responsible for the repression of BDNF that is essential to homeostatic signaling network between cytokines, chemokines and neurotrophins that govern pain processing and the degree of re-myelination and/or myelin repair. The identification of immune system-induced elevations MeCP2 with corresponding epigenetic histone modifications unveil a critical mechanism for targeted therapeutic epigenetic treatment intervention involving histones. As such, our research supports the use of epigenetic therapeutic intervention with agents that suppress MS and MS-induced NPP. Specifically, TSA restores the delicate cytokine, chemokine and neurotrophin homeostatic balance resulting in the suppression of immune system-induced MS and MS-induced NPP. The identification of immune system induced elevations in MeCP2 with corresponding epigenetic histone modifications unveil a critical mechanism for targeted therapeutic epigenetic treatment intervention involving histones. Our research supports the use of HDAC inhibitors such as trichostatin A (TSA) to reduce the immune system mediated induction of MeCP2 which facilitates the production of BDNF that is integral in suppression of pain; re-myelination and/or myelin repair and improvements in neurological disability scoring.

Since his appointment at the Faculty 13 years ago, Michael holds numerous research grants and has published 39 manuscripts, 2 book chapters, 1 editorial letter, 55 abstracts, 11non-peer-reviewed papers and has performed an excess of 100 invited presentations world-wide. Michael Namaka was awarded the prestigious international: “Commitment to Care Award for his innovative MS research and clinical neurology practice. In addition, Michael holds the elected office of Immediate Past President of Association of Faculties of Pharmacy of Canada (AFPC) since May 2010. Currently, Michael is the President and co-founder of the Manitoba Multiple Sclerosis Research Network Organization (MMSRNO). Dr. Karen Ethans is the other co-founder of the MMSRNO.

Biosketch

Contact Information:

204.474.8380
319 Apotex Center
Mike.Namaka@umanitoba.ca
website