UVA Researchers Lead $3.2 Million Study to Identify Unique and Shared Determinants of Stroke and Stroke Recurrence Risk

May 29, 2024 by

(From left) Bradford Worrall, MD, Keith Keene, PhD

(From left) Bradford Worrall, MD, Keith Keene, PhD

Bradford Worrall, MD, a Harrison Distinguished Teaching Professor of Neurology and Public Health Sciences and vice-chair for Clinical Research of Neurology, and Keith Keene, PhD, a professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences, resident faculty in the Center for Public Health Genomics, and founding director of the Center for Health Equity and Precision Public Health, were awarded a $3.2 million NIH R01 grant titled “Shared and novel contributors to risk of stroke and stroke recurrence in a multiethnic population – the role of social determinants of health, genetics, and epigenetics.”

As multiple principal investigators, Drs. Worrall and Keene will lead a multidisciplinary team from the University of Virginia School of Medicine, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, and the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health, to identify DNA methylation sites and genetic markers influencing susceptibility for recurrent stroke and identify key social and structural determinants of health that mediate stroke and stroke recurrence risk.

Stroke is the second leading cause of death worldwide and a leading cause of serious, long-term disability. Nearly one quarter of annual stroke events are recurrent attacks that are likely to be more disabling or fatal. This study will focus on the interplay of social and structural determinants of health, epigenetic factors, and genetic variants that have traditionally been understudied. To address this knowledge gap, this study will generate and evaluate DNA methylation data while leveraging genome-wide genetic data and phenotypic data from individuals without stroke, with an incident stroke, and with a recurrent stroke from the REasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) study and the Vitamin Intervention for Stroke Prevention (VISP) clinical trial genetics study. The investigators will perform epigenome-wide association analyses for stroke and recurrent stroke risk and utilize convergent -omics approaches, representing powerful and innovative techniques that may allow improved personalization of risk assessment and targeted prevention of strokes as we work to eliminate stroke disparities.


Filed Under: Research