Sarah Linnstaedt, PhD received her undergraduate degree at Virginia Tech and her doctoral degree at Georgetown University in Washington DC. She then completed a Post-Doctoral Fellowship at Duke University, researching the role of small regulatory RNAs, called microRNAs, in the pathogenesis of B cell lymphomas. While working as a post-doc, in addition to her interest in the mechanistic role of microRNAs, Dr. Linnstaedt also became interested in the potential of microRNAs to serve as biomarkers of various disease states. She soon noticed a particular need for the discovery of these diagnostic molecules in the chronic pain field and joined The Department of Anesthesiology TRYUMPH research team in the Fall of 2012 to commence such studies. With the mentorship and collaboration of Dr. Samuel McLean and the use of blood samples from his large prospective Emergency Department based study of chronic pain development following Motor Vehicle collision (MVC), she has been able to examine microRNA signatures that are predictive of chronic pain development after traumatic or stressful events. With these microRNA signatures, Dr. Linnstaedt can gain insight into molecular mechanisms driving the development of chronic pain. Techniques currently used in her laboratory include genetic association analyses, cell culture assays, molecular cloning, next generation sequencing, quantitative PCR, and bioinformatics and statistical analyses of RNA expression data.
Dr. Linnstaedt’s long term goals are to define diagnostic molecules and therapeutic targets that will help improve the outcome of individuals experiencing chronic pain following traumatic or stressful events. She very much enjoys mentoring the amazing group of students in her laboratory and outside of research, Dr. Linnstaedt spends time with family and friends, travels to new destinations, and takes lots and lots of photos.