Identifying Biomarkers of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Dr. Bernie Daigle, Jr is identifying and evaluating diagnostic biomarkers for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from multiple high-throughput "omics" datasets and demographic/clinical covariates collected from Iraq and Afghanistan veteran volunteers. Dr. Daigle will be developing and applying novel statistical and machine learning algorithms to these data to more accurately diagnose PTSD in future subjects.

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is the fifth most common psychiatric disorder, with an occurrence rate of approximately 8% in the United States. There is a pressing need to identify reliable molecular and physiological biomarkers of PTSD for the accurate diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment of the disorder.

The Department of Defense-funded Systems Biology of PTSD Consortium has collected blood samples and demographic/clinical data from over 200 male combat veterans with and without PTSD for the purposes of identifying these biomarkers. In collaboration with the Consortium, Dr. Bernie Daigle, Jr from the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Memphis is searching for blood-based biomarkers from DNA, RNA, protein, metabolite, and endocrine measurements.

Dr. Daigle recently received funding from the US Army Research laboratory under Grant No. W911NF-17-1-0069 to develop and apply novel statistical and machine learning algorithms to these data in order to more accurately diagnose PTSD in future subjects. His research is also supported by Leidos Biomedical Research, Inc. via funds from the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health. Ultimately, Dr. Daigle's efforts should provide a deeper understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying PTSD.