Seminar Prof Afshin Beheshti

10 Oct 2023 – 2.30 pm CET
Aula Fleming – Faculty of Medicine

Professor Afshin Beheshti
Blue Marble Space Institute of Science, Seattle, WA, USA

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs involved in post-transcriptional gene regulation that have a major impact on many diseases. It is known that each miRNA can target hundreds of mRNAs and mediate many different biological processes such as immunity. MiRNAs can also be localized to the mitochondria and can originate from the mitochondrial DNA which is referred to as mitochondrial miRNAs. Mitochondrial dysfunction has been associated with many different health risks and diseases. In addition, miRNAs are found to circulating in body in all bodily fluids either free floating, in exosomes, or in lipids. These circulating miRNAs could potentially be utilized as minimally invasive biomarkers and
targets for therapeutics. My laboratory has been able to show that there are distinct miRNA signatures associated with different diseases which include cancer, COVID-19 and Post-Acute Sequelae of COVID-19 (PASC), and damage caused to the body due to spaceflight. In this presentation I will present the “plug-and-play” method of determining the key miRNA signature associated with these topics and how these circulating miRNAs drive mitochondrial dysfunction. For each topic, I will also demonstrate that the specific miRNA signature can be utilized as a novel liquid biomarker and target for development of therapeutics and countermeasures.