Biography

Dr. Amit Srivastava is an assistant professor in the Department of Pediatric Surgery. He received his Ph.D. in Biotechnology and his doctoral research was focused on the study of the pathomechanism of cerebral stroke. He subsequently trained at the Ohio State University and the Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Srivastava have held faculty positions, initially at Johns Hopkins University, and subsequently at UTHealth since 2016. Dr. Srivastava’s current research interest revolves around developing novel therapies for neurodegenerative disorders, trauma and hemorrhagic shock, and taking them from bench to bedside. He also has a longstanding interest in developing biomarkers for early diagnosis of neurodegenerative disorders. Dr. Srivastava has made several original contributions of major significance in the field of neuroscience. Specifically, two new animal models designed and characterized by him have assisted in the comprehension of pathophysiology of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis and distal hereditary motor neuropathy. He has also concentrated his efforts on the development of state-of-the-art stem cell, extracellular vesicles (EVs), and small molecule-based therapies for the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders and trauma, as well as the development of EV-miRNA-based disease biomarkers. Dr. Srivastava is 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. Dr. Srivastava’s research, designed to address critical biological questions, has made his work competitive for funding from DoD, NIH, private foundations, and industry partners. In addition to performing high impact research, Dr. Srivastava is also proficient in leading and supervising groups, establishing prolific collaborations and communicating scientific findings to scientific community. He has delivered several invited talks to a wide variety of audiences, sits on the editorial board of seven internationally recognized and peer-reviewed journals and was invited to guest edit special issues on neurodegenerative/neuroinflammatory disorders. Dr. Srivastava has also developed two laboratory protocol textbooks to provide both experienced and new investigators with comprehensive information on the fundamental techniques detailed step-by-step laboratory protocols used in biomedical research. Dr. Srivastava also has the distinction of serving on the NIH Drug Discovery for the Nervous System (DDNS) study section.

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 Interest

Research Interests

Neurodegeneration, Neuroinflammation, Trauma, Vascular Dysfunction, Regenerative Medicine, 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.