Kudos to Karin Reuter-Rice and her entire team for the submission of her Translating Duke Health Pilot (Duke Health Neuroscience "Brain Resilience and Repair") application entitled "Novel Genetic and Immune Predictors of Neurocognitive Resilience and Repair in Pediatric TBI." This proposal is for a two-year period with a start date of Jan. 15, 2018.
Pediatric TBI results in unpredictable outcomes and immense burden to families and healthcare systems. The goal of this first-of-its-kind study is to determine immune and genetic variants associated with neurocognitive resilience and repair, which will allow rapid identification and appropriate triage of at-risk patients. Aim 1 will use a GWAS in a dbGaP pediatric TBI cohort to identify genetic variants that predict outcomes. Aim 2 will examine genetic and immune signatures in existing (n=60) and prospective (n=150) DUHS cohorts of children with TBI to identify neurocognitive phenotypes that predict good outcomes. We will validate the top genetic variants identified in Aim 1 using the Aim 2 cohorts, and perform immune profiling of phenotypically-defined immune subsets in peripheral blood mononuclear cells that predict good neurocognitive outcomes in the prospective cohort. Findings will inform a multi-center study of how the immune system and genetic variability affect brain resilience and repair in TBI.