Dr. Todd Bradley Receives Supplemental NIH Funding To Continue Research on Antibody Responses to SARS-CoV-2
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.
Children’s Mercy Kansas City is an independent, non-profit, 390-bed pediatric health system, providing over half a million patient encounters each year for children from across the country. Children’s Mercy is ranked by U.S. News & World Report in all ten specialties. We have received Magnet® recognition five times for excellence in nursing services. In affiliation with the University of Missouri-Kansas City, our faculty of nearly 800 pediatric specialists and researchers is actively involved in clinical care, pediatric research and educating the next generation of pediatricians and pediatric subspecialists. The Children’s Mercy Research Institute (CMRI) integrates research and clinical care with nationally recognized expertise in genomic medicine, precision therapeutics, population health, health care innovation and emerging infections. In 2021 the CMRI moved into a nine-story, 375,000-square-foot space emphasizing a translational approach to research in which clinicians and researchers work together to accelerate the pace of discovery that enhances care.