Some pathological processes, such as buildup of calcium in the arteries of the heart, occur in men and women even when other conventional risk factors and blood markers of disease are within a "normal" range. This means that other yet-unidentified cellular mechanisms, processes or factors contribute to disease development.
The long-term research goal of Muthuvel Jayachandran, Ph.D., is to identify, characterize and validate new cellular biomarkers for early and late disease processes. These cellular biomarkers need to be specific, sensitive, cost-effective, stable, reliable and easily interpreted by medical professionals so that early disease detection can lead to improved preventive and therapeutic strategies.
Dr. Jayachandran's research group studies the pathophysiological significance of cell-derived extracellular vesicles that contain and carry biologically active substances throughout the body. These vesicles are released when cells are injured or activated during all stages of disease processes.
These circulating extracellular vesicles fall into three distinct groups based on their size and where in the cell they originate:
- Matrix vesicles (30 to 300 nanometers) from the outer membrane of cells
- Exosomes or nanovesicles (30 to 100 nanometers) from multivesicular bodies inside of cells
- Microvesicles or microparticles (100 to 1000 nanometers), also from outer membrane of cells
Dr. Jayachandran's research is funded by the American Heart Association, National Institutes of Health and Mayo Clinic O'Brien Urology Research Center.
- Develop new, simple and cost-effective assays and techniques to identify and characterize the cell of origin of extracellular vesicles in a variety of biological fluids, such as blood, urine, saliva and cerebral spinal fluid
- Determine differences in production of extracellular vesicles in blood, urine and other biological fluids from healthy volunteers; cardiovascular and thrombotic disease-risk individuals; and patients diagnosed with cardiovascular disease, kidney stones and cognitive decline prior to development of Alzheimer's disease
- Characterize the content (transcriptome, proteome and metabolome) of extracellular vesicles that are only present or are significantly increased in the blood, urine and other biological fluids of people with beginning or established disease compared to age- and sex-matched apparently healthy controls
Significance to patient care
In clinical practice, biomarkers (a specific measurable indicator of normal or pathophysiological processes) are used in the diagnosis of suspected disease, prognosis, management of established disease, and assessment of effectiveness of therapy or drugs.
Dr. Jayachandran's research will lead to new tools for screening, diagnosis, prognosis, risk stratification and monitoring of pharmacological therapy for men and women with early and late disease processes and provide information related to cellular processes of active and healthy living with aging.
- Abstract award, First Place in Clinical and Translation Research, Women's Health 2014: The 22nd Annual Congress, NIH Office of Research on Women's Health, National Institutes of Health, 2014
- Best Oral Presentation, International Society for the Extracellular Vesicles (ISEV) Annual Meeting, 2013
- Fellow, American Heart Association, 2012
- Novel Methodology Development Award, Center for Translational Science Activities, Mayo Clinic, 2009
- Young Scientist Award, Association of Scientists of Indian Origin in America Inc., 2008
- Scientist Development Grant Award, American Heart Association, 2008