Kenneth Whitaker Witwer

Ph.D. Associate Professor of Molecular and Comparative Pathobiology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Kenneth Whitaker WitwerDr. Kenneth W. Witwer is an associate professor of molecular and comparative pathobiology and neurology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. His research focuses on extracellular vesicles, RNA-mediated regulation, biomarker discovery, and therapeutic modulation of innate and intrinsic defenses. His group is particularly interested in neurodegenerative diseases including the HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s. Witwer has served as Secretary General and Executive Chair of Science and Meetings for the International Society for Extracellular Vesicles (ISEV), the leading scientific organization in his field. He has been a scientific advisor to the US National Institutes of Health (Extracellular RNA Communication Consortium, Stage 1) and the US Environmental Protection Agency (FIFRA SAP). He is an associate editor of the Journal of Extracellular Vesicles. Dr. Witwer investigates extracellular vesicles (EVs) and ribonucleic acids (RNAs) in human disease, including HIV, neurodegenerative diseases, and substance use. RNA molecules are found not only inside, but also outside of human cells in biological fluids such as blood plasma, urine, and cerebrospinal fluid. Although quite labile, these molecules are protected from degradation by molecular shuttles such as EVs. Rapidly expanding research programs over the last several years indicate that EVs and their nucleic acid cargo may provide early warning of disease, contribute to the defense against disease, and serve as models for effective therapies.


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