Drs. Dennis Simon, Robert Clark, and Michael Morowitz received a multi-PI R01 award from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke titled, “Impact of microbiota-derived metabolites on traumatic brain injury-related neurodegeneration.”
Traumatic brain injury (TBI)-related neurodegeneration (TReND) and chronic neuroinflammation, a proposed mechanism of TReND, contribute to additional morbidity after TBI. This discovery-based translational proposal will investigate chronic intestinal dysbiosis, specifically the depletion of acetate-producing commensal bacteria, as a novel mechanism of TReND and chronic microglial activation. Identifying functional alterations to the gut microbiome and robust effects of a promising and translatable therapy, acetate, will provide a foundation for innovative clinical trials to monitor the microbiome and replete microbial metabolites to improve neurologic recovery after TBI.
This represents another outstanding example of collaborative team science between investigators at the Safar Center, the Division of Pediatric Surgery at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, and the University of Pittsburgh Brain Trauma Research Center, among others. Congratulations to Drs. Simon, Clark, and Morowitz, and the entire team.