Funded Projects

Small RNA Biomarkers for Brain Injury

Funded May 2021
Submitted by James Jarvis
Project Team
portrait of Jarvis
James Jarvis
Pediatrics
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portrait of Ionita
Ciprian Ionita
Biomedical Engineering
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portrait of Poulsen
David Poulsen
Neurosurgery
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portrait of Siddiqui
Adnan Siddiqui
Neurosurgery
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Description
This project builds on the expertise of 5 UB investigators. Drs. Jarvis (Peds) and Poulsen (Neurosurg) have longstanding interests in small RNA biomarkers of complex disease traits. Dr. Ionita (Biomedical Eng.) develops technology to identify infarct core in ischemic stroke using CT and MRI. Dr. Tutino, a young investigator, studies the development of biomarkers for aneurysm and stroke and has worked in collaboration with Dr. Adnan Siddiqui (Neurosurg) to collect informative clinical samples. Dr. Poulsen’s lab recently found that of traumatic brain injury severity correlated with circulating populations of microRNA (miRNA) and transfer RNA fragments (tRNAf). Dr. Poulsen also used these small RNA signatures to define a response to pharmacotherapy. Other studies have shown promise in using plasma or serum profiles of miRNA or tRNAf as markers of complex disease traits. In this project, we determine if circulating small RNAs can serve as prognostic biomarkers for ischemic stroke. Here, we will test the following hypothesis: Circulating miRNA and tRNAf can be used to stratify the severity of acute ischemic stroke, help stratify patients for intervention procedures and identify the probability of good vs poor outcomes. In collaboration with Dr. Siddiqui, Dr. Tutino has collected and banked ~80 serum samples from stroke patients undergoing endovascular treatment. Dr. Jarvis’s laboratory, which has extensive experience in handling clinical samples for RNA biomarker work, will isolate small RNAs from n=40 samples (age, sex, demographic, and stroke time-course matched) and prepare them for RNA sequencing at the Buffalo Genomics Core. CT perfusing imaging will be analyzed by Dr. Ionita’s AI-enhanced pipeline for accurate calculation of infarct core. Correlation of tRNAf levels will be assessed between infarct core (initial stroke severity) and follow-up patient outcome (NIHSS, MRS). Data from this study is intended to support an R61/R33 application in response to PAR-19-315

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