Guerau_Mireia_460x460Assistant Professor 
College of Medicine
Department of Neuroscience, Health and Rehabilitation Sciences

Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center
535C Atwell Hall
453 W. 10th Ave.
Columbus, OH 43210-1240 

Research Interests: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small RNAs that modulate gene expression through mRNA degradation and inhibition of translation, thereby controlling important cellular processes. Although miRNAs have been linked to autoimmunity and inflammation, the mechanisms through which miRNAs regulate immune cell function and mediate disease are largely unknown. The Guerau-de-Arellano laboratory is interested in understanding the effects that miRNA has on immune cell phenotype and the development of central nervous system autoimmunity/inflammation. In multiple sclerosis (MS), naïve myelin-specific CD4+ T cells, which exist in all individuals, become activated and differentiate into pro-inflammatory phenotypes, ultimately causing demyelination and neurological disease.

Current Research: To investigate the molecular basis for this autoimmune predisposition, the Guerau-de-Arellano laboratory determined the miRNA profile of naïve CD4+ T cells collected from MS patients and identified several altered miRNAs. They are currently investigating how these miRNAs impact T cell phenotype and mediate susceptibility to autoimmunity.

Research Techniques:

Students in the Guerau-de-Arellano laboratory currently have the opportunity to learn these techniques:
  • Immunological techniques: Flow cytometry, ELISA and proliferation assay
  • Molecular biology techniques: RNA isolation, miRNA assays, Taqman Real-Time PCR and expression profiling
  • Tissue culture techniques: Culture of primary immune cell cultures and cell lines
Additional lab expertise includes:
  • Preparation of DNA constructs for microinjection/generation of transgenic mice
  • Models of autoimmune disease (diabetes and autoimmune polyendocrine syndrome-1/AIRE deficiency)
  • Thymic epithelial cell isolation

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