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Julie Saugstad, BSc PhD
Oregon Health & Science University
Areas of Interest:
Alzheimer's disease, neurodegeneration, cerebrospinal fluid, plasma, microRNAs/miRNAs, extracellular vesicles, exosomes, biofluid biomarkers, cell-to-cell signaling
Biography & Research:
Dr. Saugstad is a Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology & Perioperative Medicine (APOM) Research Division at Oregon Health & Science University. She is also an affiliate faculty member in the Departments of Molecular & Medical Genetics and Neurology. Her lab is focused on extracellular RNAs as biomarkers for human disease, particularly in the context of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and neurodegeneration, and the role of these biomarkers in the pathology underlying AD. As members of the NIH Extracellular RNA Communication Consortium, her team discovered and validated miRNA biomarkers in cerebrospinal fluid from living donors that classify AD from normal controls. They also showed that select miRNAs trend with progression from control to mild cognitive impairment to AD. The lab is now working to evaluate the performance of the miRNA biomarkers in plasma, and to identify mRNA targets of the AD miRNAs that may be involved in early brain changes in AD. Additionally, her lab is studying the contribution of extracellular vesicles and their cargo as mediators of altered signaling in dementia. Her current research is funded by the NIH NIA, and past research was generously funded by the Department of Defense and the OHSU Center for Women's Health Circle of Giving.