Extracellular Vesicles and RNA
We are passionate about using extracellular vesicles (EVs) to diagnose and treat diseases, especially viral and neurodegenerative diseases. EVs are nanosized cell-derived "bubbles" that have many important biological functions in health and pathogenesis. Importantly, they can serve as intercellular signaling platforms, and since they carry telltale "return addresses" of their cell of origin, they can be informative as biomarkers of disease. One of the many cargoes of EVs is ribonucleic acid (RNA). Although it is still unclear how frequently EVs transfer functional RNA, EV-associated RNA adds another dimension of information on the individual EV's cell of origin.
Here in the Witwer lab (witwerlab.com), on any given day, we might be engineering ectosomes and exosomes to reverse HIV latency, probing the contributions of drug abuse to inflammation in HIV disease, evaluating cutting-edge technologies for separation and characterization of EVs and other extracellular RNA carriers, and searching for mechanisms of Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease. Please reach out with any opportunities to advance EV science together.
Virtual and open to all!
Usually Wednesdays at noon ET