Hemraj Dodiya, PhD

My long-term research interest involves the development of a comprehensive understanding of the microbiota-gut-brain axis and its role in the pathogenesis of age-associated neurodegenerative disorders. My research experience and doctoral training have provided me with an excellent background in multiple biological disciplines including biotechnology, pharmacology, neuroscience, gastroenterology and molecular biology. My pre-doctoral work at Rush University includes both pre-clinical and clinical research. The majority of these studies were focused on gene therapy and stem cell based therapeutic interventions for neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease (PD), Huntington’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). During my doctoral training with Prof. Ali Keshavarzian (an active clinician and researcher in Gastroenterology) and Prof. Jeffrey H. Kordower (an internationally recognized Neuroscientist), my research focused on investigating a possible role of intestinal dysfunction in PD pathogenesis via gut-brain axis. During my post-doctoral training, I plan to evaluate the role of the microbiome-brain axis in AD, targeting molecular level mechanisms aiming to fulfill the knowledge gap in microbiome-immune interaction of Alzheimer’s pathogenesis under the mentorship of Prof. Sangram S. Sisodia (an internationally recognized expert in Alzheimer’s disease) at the U of Chicago. My choice of mentor, collaborators and research projects will give me a solid foundation to reach my short-term goal of studying the microbiota-brain axis in AD in a sex-specific manner. The expertise and proven track record that I present in the gut-brain axis field, alongside fruitful collaborations with multidisciplinary leaders and being immersed in an enabling scientific environment, allows me to successfully interrogate my proposed research studies and develop into a future independent faculty.