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Since 2008, I have directed my research towards translational applications and have successfully advanced the diagnostic use of urinary exosomes and microvesicles (collectively referred to as extracellular vesicles, or EVs). EVs are vesicles released from all cells, and contain a snapshot of the parent cell cytoplasm. The analysis of EVs in biofluids can be used as a non-invasive biopsy. For example, I have shown that EVs contain intact RNA whose stability is dictated by the precision of isolation and sample handling. This finding has advanced the diagnostic use of EVs and has allowed the development of ‘clinical laboratory friendly’ EV RNA isolation kits, which enable reproducible results - an important cornerstone of any diagnostic. From 2010-2013, I was the Director of Research 13 at Exosome Diagnostics, Inc, a biotechnology company I helped co-found based on our research at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School, Neurology and Nephrology Divisions. During this time I initiated the development of a Prostate Cancer Detection Platform from my work on urinary EVs. I have now returned to academia with the goal of passing on my industry experience and helping to guide others with similar budding translational research interests. In addition, I have initiated new areas of research including the development and testing of much needed novel therapeutics for CKD. This research utilizes my diagnostic EV platform to enable us to follow therapeutic efficacy non-invasively.


  1. Russo LM, Sandoval RM, McKee M, Osicka TM, Collins AB, Brown D, Molitoris BA, Comper WD. The normal kidney filters nephrotic levels of albumin retrieved by proximal tubule cells: retrieval is disrupted in nephrotic states.Kidney Int. 2007; 71(6): 504-13.
  2. Russo LM, Sandoval RM, Campos SB, Molitoris BA, Comper WD, Brown D. Impaired tubular uptake explains albuminuria in early diabetic nephropathy. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2009; 20(3): 489-94.
  3. Miranda KC, Bond DT, McKee M, Skog J, Păunescu TG, Da Silva N, Brown D, Russo LM. Nucleic acids within urinary exosomes/microvesicles are potential biomarkers for renal disease. Kidney Int. 2010; 78(2): 191-9.
  4. Russo LM, Srivatsan S, Seaman M, Suleiman H, Shaw AS, Comper WD. Albuminuria associated with CD2AP knockout mice is primarily due to dysfunction of the renal degradation pathway processing of filtered albumin. FEBS Lett. 2013; 587: 3738-41.
  5. Miranda KC, Bond DT, Levin JZ, Adiconis X, Sivachenko A, Russ C, Brown D, Nusbaum C, Russo LM. Massively parallel sequencing of human urinary exosome/microvesicle RNA reveals a predominance of non-coding RNA. PLoS One. 2014; 9(5): e96094.
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