A Genetic Mechanism Contributing to Racial Differences in Vascular Disease

Heart attacks and strokes result from clots formed in the blood vessels of the heart or brain, respectively. The laboratory of Paul Bray, MD, demonstrated that platelets from Black individuals were more reactive than those from White individuals, suggesting a genetic basis for some of the racial discrepancy observed in vascular diseases associated with clotting. Continue reading → A Genetic Mechanism Contributing to Racial Differences in Vascular Disease

Research Statement

Dr. Bray has over 30 years of experience in the molecular genetics and cell biology of platelets. In particular, he has a long research interest in arterial thrombosis and has expertise in platelet molecular biology, genetics, RNA expression, microRNAs, genomics and functional characterization of genetic variants, having discovered the first inherited platelet risk factor for myocardial infarction. He has expertise in platelet physiology and designing assays to assess platelet reactivity. He designed and conducted research studies that recruited cohorts to identify genes, SNPs and mRNAs associated with human platelet activation. He was the first to demonstrate viral-vector mediated gene expression in cultured megakaryocytes.

His laboratory has used human platelet mRNA expression profiling to discover novel platelet mRNAs and microRNAs associated with platelet aggregation and differentially expressed between different hematopoietic cells. Dr. Bray has extensive experience with candidate SNP and pharmacogenetics association studies in large cohorts, having collaborated and published with the investigators in TIMI, Framingham, John’s Hopkins’ GeneSTAR, the Women’s Health Initiative, and HERS. The PRAX1 study was designed and executed by Dr. Bray. This study resulted in the identification of racial differences in platelet function, and he demonstrated several novel molecular mechanisms to explain these racial differences. He and his collaborators at Baylor College of Medicine generated and maintain a public, user-friendly, interactive web tool (http://www.plateletomics.com) to query human platelet mRNA, microRNA and protein expression, mouse platelet mRNA, and human RNA-demographic and RNA-functional associations, facilitating discovery of mechanisms of platelet-megakaryocyte gene expression.

Dr. Bray has had 30 years of continuous funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and currently is PI on three NIH R01 grants. He has published more than 160 peer-reviewed papers, book chapters and invited reviews.