Guoku Hu, PhD laboratory

Research GoalsGuoku Hu

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Dr. Hu's biographical information

Research Goals

To explore the effects of noncoding RNAs, including lncRNA and miRNA, and their dysregulation during neuropathogenesis associated with drugs, such as morphine and cocaine. I also am interested in establishing extracellular vesicle (EV)-based methodology of RNA drug delivery for the treatment of central nervous system complications associated with drug abuse. My ultimate goal is to elucidate the functional aspects of EVs and ncRNAs in drug addiction and also to identify novel therapeutic strategies that could enhance neuronal function and survival in patients afflicted with these disorders.


Shilpa Buch, PhD
Howard Fox MD, PhD


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

Techniques used in the laboratory

Molecular biology
Rodent models

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