Research Projects

A flow chart illustrating the Hazrati Lab’s hypothesis of the impact of mild traumatic brain injury on DNA. See description after image

Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) inuces DNA damage, which we hypothesize as a driver of acute symptoms after concussion. Under normal healthy conditions, this damage may be repaired by DNA repair pathways allowing for recovery from mTBI. However, under pathological conditions or persistent DNA damage stress (i.e. perhaps with repetitive impacts over time) we hypothesize that DNA damage induced by mTBI results in cellular senescence, and underlying cause of various neurodegenerative diseases and long-term neurological problems.

Men and women experience brain injury differently, with women tending to report more severe symptoms for a longer period of time. We previously have shown that brains with a history of head trauma have reduced expression of several DNA repair genes, including BRCA1. We are currently studying the protective role of some of these DNA repair factors in transgenic mouse models of brain trauma.

A flow chart illustrating the Hazrati Lab’s hypothesis of the role of DNA repair mechanisms in producing sex differences after brain trauma. See accompanied image text for details.
See a list of Dr. Hazrati’s funding