Biography

Dr. Amit Srivastava is an assistant professor in the Department of Pediatric Surgery. He is a regenerative medicine scientist, with specialization in central nervous system (CNS) disorders. He received his Ph.D. in Biotechnology and his doctoral research was focused on the development of a new animal model of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis and investigation of molecular pathomechanism of the disease. He joined the Ohio State University as a postdoctoral researcher in 2009 where his work was focused on pathomechanism of motor neuron disease. Dr. Srivastava developed a new transgenic animal model of distal hereditary motor neuropathy and demonstrated age-dependent axonopathy due to mutation in HSPB1 gene. In 2012, Dr. Srivastava moved to the Johns Hopkins University as a postdoctoral fellow, where he rose to the rank of faculty at the Institute for Cell Engineering. At Johns Hopkins his work was focused on development of stem cell based-therapies for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and Multiple Sclerosis (MS). The other major focus of his research was non-invasive monitoring of cell transplantation, long-term risks versus benefits of engrafted cells, and the interaction of engrafted cells with the host microenvironment. He also worked to develop a dual MRI approach to non-invasively monitor cellular pathology in ALS.

Dr. Srivastava joined McGovern Medical School at the UTHealth in 2016. His current research is focused on the use of current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP)-compliant adult stem cells and mesenchymal stem cell-derived extracellular vesicles for the treatment of CNS injuries and other neurological conditions. Dr. Srivastava is the recipient of several scholarly awards including the American Society for Neural Therapy and Repair travel award, World Molecular Imaging Congress travel award and the Jerry Johnston Andrew award for spinal cord research.

In addition to his basic science and translational research works, Dr. Srivastava serves on the editorial boards of three medical journals and is an ad hoc reviewer of a number of peer-reviewed journals. He is also the editor of two protocol book volumes that provide both experienced and new investigators with a comprehensive knowledge on the fundamental techniques used in neuroscience and regenerative medicine fields.

Education

BS
Biology - D.D.U. Gorakhpur University, India
MS
Microbiology - A.A.I. Deemed University, Allahabad, India
PhD
Biotechnology - G.B. Technical University, Lucknow, India
Postdoctoral
Department of Molecular & Cellular Biochemistry - Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
Postdoctoral
Department of Radiology and Radiological Science, Division of MR Research - Institute for Cell Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD

Areas of Interests

Research Interests

CNS Disorders, Traumatic Brain Injury, Spinal Cord Injury, Regenerative Medicine, Stem Cell Therapy, Extracellular Vesicles

Research Information

Development of Advanced Therapeutic Strategies for Traumatic Brain injury

My research interests revolve around developing advanced therapeutic strategies for traumatic brain injury (TBI). TBI is a major public health and socioeconomic problem that affects both civilians and military personnel. However, despite being a major cause of mortality and morbidity there has been limited success in the development of effective treatments for TBI. Developing relevant therapeutic interventions for TBI has proven to be challenging, particularly due to the insidious, neurodegenerative course of the disease. Primary injury (mechanical damage to neuronal, glial, and vascular tissues caused by kinetic energy transfer) in TBI results in cell death and is not amenable to intervention. Secondary injury begins within a few hours after the initial mechanical insult and progresses by subsequent pathophysiological sequelae resulting in further neuronal damage. My research is focused on the development of therapeutic strategies that would simultaneously attenuate the secondary injury and begin to restore neuronal function in the brain after injury.

Use of Extracellular Vesicles as a Therapeutic Tool in CNS Disorders and Trauma

Another major focus of my research is the use of extracellular vesicles (EVs) as a therapeutic tool in CNS disorders and trauma. EVs carry proteins and genetic material that can profoundly modify cellular function and may possess regenerative capabilities. Use of stem cell derived-EVs presents distinct advantages over the use of whole stem cells, as they may be less likely to produce a pulmonary first pass effect. Similarly, the possibility to replace stem cells with EVs would overcome the problem of graft rejection, which is always a hurdle in diseases with strong immunological components. We have standardized an isolation method to obtain current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) compliant EVs from stem cells. We are further investigating the molecular mechanisms by which EVs modulate cellular function and exploring the therapeutic potential of EVs.

Circulating Extracellular Vesicles as Biomarkers in Traumatic Brain Injury

In cases of injury, EVs released by cells can exhibit an array of proteins and nucleic acids linked to the pathophysiologic events and may be used as biomarkers to predict degree of cellular damage or provide accurate prognosis. Micro RNAs (miRNAs) constitute a major regulatory gene family and are involved in most biological processes. Temporal changes in EV-miRNA profiles have been demonstrated to accurately predict disease recurrence and overall patient survival in disease, including cancer. We aim to determine the miRNA expression profiles of EVs in circulating blood of TBI patients and examine the possible relationship between disease severity and miRNA expression changes. Analysis of EVs would provide unique “miRNA fingerprints” that will be helpful in TBI classification and treatment.