Todd Bradley, PhD
Director, Immunogenomics, Genomic Medicine Center; Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine; Research Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Kansas School of MedicineFull Biography
Todd Bradley, PhD, Genomic Medicine Center, was recently awarded a 1-year, $473,477 Administrative Supplement for Research on Pathobiological Mechanisms of Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 Infection (PASC) grant from the National Institutes of Health (3R01AI147778).
The grant is new supplemental funding to Dr. Bradley’s existing NIH award and was funded as part of the NIH Researching COVID to Enhance Recovery (RECOVER) initiative.
Dr. Bradley’s study, “Features and functions of ACE2 autoantibodies that developed after SARS-CoV-2 infection,” will focus on autoantibody responses that are generated after SARS-CoV-2 infection and how that may lead to long-term health effects.
The cause of the long-lasting effects of SARS-CoV-2 infection referred to as PASC, or long-COVID, are unknown. One possible mechanism for the manifestations of PASC could be the overactivation of the immune system that increases inflammation that fails to turn off.
Dr. Bradley’s research will focus on antibodies that are generated to the enzyme angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), which is used by SARS-CoV-2 to enter cells and infect them, but also plays a key role in regulation of tissue inflammation.
“We have found increased levels of ACE2 autoantibodies in individuals after SARS-CoV-2 infection that was correlated with COVID-19 disease severity,” said Dr. Bradley. “In this project, we will isolate and characterize ACE2 autoantibodies from these individuals that will lead to identifying ACE2 autoantibodies as biomarkers of PASC and determine if restoration of ACE2 function could be targeted for PASC therapies.”
Dr. Bradley explains that the impact of this research will determine the genetic and functional characteristics of ACE2 autoantibodies induced after SARS-CoV-2 infection that could serve as to identify or group individuals with PASC and serve as therapeutic targets for PASC.