Dr. Pasinetti is the Director of Basic and Biomedical Research and Training at the Geriatric Education and Clinical Research at the James J Peters Veterans Affairs, Bronx where he developed programs to train health science students in the field of geriatrics in order to help increase the basic knowledge of aging, transmit this knowledge to health care providers, and improve the quality of care delivered to elders. Collectively, the work of the Pasinetti lab directly develops research to improve the care and treatment for the aging Veteran population while at the same time training many of the healthcare professional which will provide that care for years to come.
Dr. Pasinetti’s VA laboratory has a strong record of successful and productive research endeavors investigating the mechanisms associated with neurodegenerative disorders, with an emphasis on disorders affecting the veteran population, including traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). For example, the lab characterized novel biomarkers that are able to identify molecular fingerprints associated with mood/anxiety disorders in subjects with TBI at the molecular level. In these studies, together with ongoing investigations funded by the Department of Defense (DoD) to the laboratory at the Bronx VA, our group recently identified novel microRNAs that are selectively regulated in patients with comorbid mTBI/PTSD, but not in patients with TBI or PTSD alone. The Pasinetti lab also found that these microRNAs are selectively regulated in a mouse model of repeated social defeat stress. These clinical and preclinical studies in the field of mood/anxiety disorders and TBI led the research group to further investigate the role of psychological stress in mood/anxiety disorders and other conditions, such as TBI, allowing them to apply their extensive knowledge in integrative therapeutic approaches, and ultimately allowing the research team to design studies aimed at identifying novel interventions to attenuate psychological stress and to promote resilience in models of depression and anxiety.