Name: Shahid Nimjee
Department: Neurological Surgery
Lab Manager/Dept Contact: Debra Wheeler
Lab Manager/Dept Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lab Manager/Dept Phone: 614-292-1803
Preferred Method of Contact: Lab Manager/Dept Contact email or phone
Previous Mentoring: Yes (funded)
Category of Research: Translational
Research Description: Our lab focuses on elucidating the thrombo-inflammatory mechanisms of stroke and developing RNA-based therapies called aptamers to improve outcomes in thrombosis in the brain, heart and periphery. Aptamers are single-stranded oligonucleotides that can fold into a 3-dimensional conformation to bind to and inhibit protein function. Using an in vitro selection strategy we have identified an aptamer that binds to von Willebrand factor (VWF) and inhibits its activity. We have designed an antidote oligonucleotide to the aptamer that reverses its activity within 2 minutes. We are evaluating this drug-antidote pair in vivo as both therapeutic agents and to shed light on the mechanism of arterial thrombosis in stroke.
Specific Areas of Research Emphasis: Neuroscience; RNA biology; Vascular Disease
Name: Prajwal Rajappa
Department: Nationwide Children's Hospital and Pediatrics
Research Description: Dr. Rajappa is a physician-scientist who trained at Weill Cornell Medicine and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center with a focus on precision medicine and immunotherapy for adult and pediatric brain tumors. The Rajappa Translational Neuro-Oncology Lab is dedicated to understanding the role of the immune-microenvironment in brain tumor progression. Our aim is to rapidly translate research discoveries into effective treatment options for patients afflicted with Central Nervous System (CNS) tumors. Specifically, our laboratory is studying the mechanisms that potentiate low to high grade glioma progression. We use transgenic brain tumor mouse models that recapitulate low to high grade glioma progression and translate our findings with peripheral blood and tumor specimens from patients with CNS tumors. These models also serve as a platform to explore the contribution of the tumor microenvironment and myeloid cell heterogeneity in low grade glioma progression and also test novel therapeutic agents aimed at impairing malignant transformation. Currently, our team is using a multi-disciplinary approach that leverages single cell sequencing and NGS with world renown investigators such as Drs. Elaine Mardis and Richard Wilson at the Institute for Genomic Medicine(IGM). This targeted approach will further enhance our ability to investigate the dynamic nature of the immune microenvironment and explore personalized medicine approaches for gliomas and other CNS tumors.
Specific areas of Research Emphasis: Cancer therapy, Neuroscience, Other Cancer Biology & Clinical Cancer Research