Niketa Patel


Dr. Niketa A. Patel, Ph.D. has developed and established a strong program in cellular and molecular mechanisms of metabolic diseases. Her research established a long noncoding RNA, GAS5, as a druggable RNA in neurological and metabolic diseases and developed an RNA-targeting therapeutic which improves cognition and decreases neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration while improving insulin signaling in the brain. Her lab works extensively with human adipose-derived stem cells to characterize its genomic landscape in diabetes and obesity. Her research was pivotal to demonstrate that the adipose stem cells' niche is altered in obesity which significantly contributes to the advent of metabolic diseases associated with obesity. Her group extended their research to the secretome of human adipose stem cells (hASC) and showed that exosomes, nanovesicles secreted by hASC, are a cell-free therapeutic which drives the regenerative and repair processes in brain injury and neuronal diseases. Her research integrates human studies (translational relevance to human physiology / pathophysiology), in vitro cell studies (for mechanistic studies of alternative splicing and role of noncoding RNA; elucidation of cause vs. effect), in vivo rodent studies (for determining whole body systemic impact of novel inhibitors and stabilizers) and cutting-edge transcriptomics (such as spatial transcriptomics, RNAseq global analysis of coding and noncoding RNA and cellular signaling). Overall, she has successfully integrated RNA biology with cellular signaling in biologically relevant systems to elucidate the cause and consequences of neuroendocrine and metabolic diseases.

Earned Awards