University of Nebraska Medical Center

Laboratory of Guoku Hu, PhD

Laboratory Goals

Investigating the intricate communication mechanisms mediated by EVs and the ciliary functions within neural cells holds the key to unraveling disease progression and potential therapeutic targets. Furthermore, my focus extends to exploring the therapeutic potential of EVs derived from regulatory T cells and stem cells. The interplay between these specialized vesicles and the intricate signaling networks involved in neurodegenerative processes provides a promising avenue for developing novel therapeutic interventions aimed at mitigating the impact of these debilitating disorders. By delving into these multifaceted aspects, I aim to contribute to advancing our understanding of neurodegeneration and fostering the development of innovative therapeutic strategies.

Techniques used in the laboratory

  • Molecular biology
  • Neurobiology
  • Rodent models
  • Bioinformatics


Professor, Department of Neurological Sciences
Senior Associate Dean of Research and Development, College of Medicine
Director, Center for Integrative and Translational Neuroscience

Margaret R. Larson Professor of Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases
Chair, Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Neuroscience


Laboratory of Howard E. Gendelman, MD

Howard E. Gendelman, MD

Professor & Vice Chair for Administration, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology


Steve Caplan, PhD

Professor, Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Anatomy


Gurumurthy Channabasavaiah, PhD

Associate Professor, Division of Cardiology, Department of Internal Medicine


Associate Professor and Interim Bioimaging Core Lab Director, Radiology Research Division



Intranasal delivery of exosomes loaded with miRs -223 & -124 as a therapeutic strategy for HAND in cocaine users

Multiple PI: Hu/Chivero/Gurumurthy

Source: NIH R21DA046831

The goal of this proposal is to design and develop miRNA-depleted-extracellular vesicles (EV) loaded with specific miRNAs for in vivo delivery as a means to ameliorate HIV protein (Tat) & cocaine-induced microglial activation in the brain.

Role: MPI

Exosome-mediated anti-miRNA delivery into the CNS: A novel therapeutic for HAND on opiate Users

Multiple PI: Hu/Guo

Source: NIH R21DA042704

The goal of this proposal is to design and develop an extracellular vesicle (EV)-based strategy of in vivo anti-microRNA (miR) delivery as a means to ameliorate morphine & HIV protein (Tat)-induced microglial activation & migration in the brain.

Role: MPI

HIV-1 Mediated synaptodendritic injury and microglial activation: Role of extracellular vesicle miRNAs

Multiple PI: Buch/Hu

Source: NIH R01MH112848

The overarching goal of this application is to explore the mechanisms by which HIV Tat mediates synaptodendritic injury & microglial activation via intercellular cross talk involving extracellular vesicles (EVs) and their fingerprint cargo of miRNAs.

Role: MPI

HIV Tat & Cocaine-mediated alterations in microglial migration & activation involve epigenetic regulation of miRNAs

Multiple PI: Buch/Hu/Guo

Source: NIH R01DA043138

The goal of the proposed research is to investigate the role of HIV Tat and cocaine in mediating alterations in microglial migration & activation via epigenetic regulation of miRNAs.

Role: Co-PI