The Commonwealth Health Research Board (CHRB) awarded Assistant Professor Alicia Pickrell with a grant to study Traumatic Bran Injury (TBI). 

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the most commonly acquired central nervous system (CNS) injury affecting both civilian and military populations in the United States. This highly complex, heterogeneous epidemic results in excessive morbidity and long-term disability for an estimated 5.3 million Americans with an annual economic cost of $37.8 billion. In Virginia (VA), over 2% of the population suffer from disabilities related to TBI, and an estimated 28,000 Virginians sustain a TBI annually. Inflammation in the brain after the mechanical insult contributes to neurodegeneration affecting functional outcomes for patients.  We profiled a novel immune response in a preclinical mouse model of TBI. TBI-injured mice showed an abnormal upregulation of Type I interferons.

In this proposal, we plan to characterize this novel interferon pathway after TBI to decipher whether targeting interferon signaling therapeutically reduces inflammation and neurodegeneration in the brain after injury. This CHRB grant was awarded to PI: Dr. Alicia Pickrell (for the School of Nerouscience) and Co-I: Dr. Michelle Theus (VetMed) who is also affiliated faculty for the School of Nerouscience.