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Robert Raffai, Ph.D.

Robert Raffai, Ph.D.

Professor of Surgery
Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery

Contact Information

SFVAMC (112G)
4150 Clement Street
San Francisco, CA 9412
Phone: (415) 750-2115
Fax: (415) 750-2181
Robert.Raffai@ucsf.edu
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  • 1986-90, McGill University Faculty of Medicine, Canada, B.Sc., Biochemistry
  • 1990-93, University of Montreal, Canada, Other, Biochemistry
  • 1993-98, University of Ottawa, Canada, Ph.D., Biochemistry
  • 1997-01, J. David Gladstone Institutes, Postdoctoral Fellow, Mouse Models of Human Disease
  • 2001-04, J. David Gladstone Institutes, Postdoctoral Fellow, Mouse Models of Human Disease

Dr. Raffai earned a PhD in immunobiology of apolipoproteins and antibody engineering within the Lipoprotein Research Group at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute in 1998. He subsequently trained extensively in lipoprotein metabolism and atherosclerosis research as a postdoctoral fellow at the J. David Gladstone Institutes with Dr. Karl H. Weisgraber. He subsequently established a research program focused on exploring the biology of atherosclerosis within the Department of Surgery at UCSF and the VA Medical Center in San Francisco. He is currently Associate Professor of Surgery and Director of the Atherosclerosis Research Laboratory. Dr. Raffai's research program focusses on elucidating the interplay between metabolism and inflammation in atherosclerosis cardiovascular disease and heart failure. Through studies of mouse models developed in his laboratory, Dr. Raffai's team uncovered new pathways through which a protein called ApoE participates in suppressing the progression and in enhancing the regression of atherosclerosis. Their discovery linked ApoE metabolism to microRNA-control of immune cell activation and protection from atherosclerosis in mice with hyperlipidemia. The laboratory now explores how apoE expression in macrophages contributes to the regulated release of non-coding RNA including microRNA into exosomes that can be communicated to cells at a distance to influence inflammation and atherosclerosis. The lab also explores the role of apoE in altering the microRNA composition of plasma lipoproteins that can also serve as a source of extracellular communication. A  more recent topic in the lab include to explore how diabetic hyperglycemia alters the biogenesis and regulated release of microRNA in exosomes derived from myeloid cells, and how these exRNA can serve to enhance systemic and vascular inflammation and atherosclerosis. Our goal is to uncover mechanism through which to prevent microRNA dysregulation in myeloid cells of diabetic mice and to infuse exRNA as novel treatments for diabetic atherosclerosis. Dr. Raffai has trained four postdoctoral fellows and numerous college graduate students in the study of lipoprotein metabolism and immune cell regulation of atherosclerosis.

Most recent publications from a total of 46
  1. Duong P, Chung A, Bouchareychas L, Raffai RL. Cushioned-Density Gradient Ultracentrifugation (C-DGUC) improves the isolation efficiency of extracellular vesicles. PLoS One. 2019; 14(4):e0215324. View in PubMed
  2. Adeosun SO, Hou X, Shi L, Stockmeier CA, Zheng B, Raffai RL, Weisgraber KH, Mosley TH, Wang JM. Female mice with apolipoprotein E4 domain interaction demonstrated impairments in spatial learning and memory performance and disruption of hippocampal cyto-architecture. Neurobiol Learn Mem. 2019 05; 161:106-114. View in PubMed
  3. Srinivasan S, Yeri A, Cheah PS, Chung A, Danielson K, De Hoff P, Filant J, Laurent CD, Laurent LD, Magee R, Moeller C, Murthy VL, Nejad P, Paul A, Rigoutsos I, Rodosthenous R, Shah RV, Simonson B, To C, Wong D, Yan IK, Zhang X, Balaj L, Breakefield XO, Daaboul G, Gandhi R, Lapidus J, Londin E, Patel T, Raffai RL, Sood AK, Alexander RP, Das S, Laurent LC. Small RNA Sequencing across Diverse Biofluids Identifies Optimal Methods for exRNA Isolation. Cell. 2019 Apr 04; 177(2):446-462.e16. View in PubMed
  4. Das S, Ansel KM, Bitzer M, Breakefield XO, Charest A, Galas DJ, Gerstein MB, Gupta M, Milosavljevic A, McManus MT, Patel T, Raffai RL, Rozowsky J, Roth ME, Saugstad JA, Van Keuren-Jensen K, Weaver AM, Laurent LC. The Extracellular RNA Communication Consortium: Establishing Foundational Knowledge and Technologies for Extracellular RNA Research. Cell. 2019 Apr 04; 177(2):231-242. View in PubMed
  5. Murillo OD, Thistlethwaite W, Rozowsky J, Subramanian SL, Lucero R, Shah N, Jackson AR, Srinivasan S, Chung A, Laurent CD, Kitchen RR, Galeev T, Warrell J, Diao JA, Welsh JA, Hanspers K, Riutta A, Burgstaller-Muehlbacher S, Shah RV, Yeri A, Jenkins LM, Ahsen ME, Cordon-Cardo C, Dogra N, Gifford SM, Smith JT, Stolovitzky G, Tewari AK, Wunsch BH, Yadav KK, Danielson KM, Filant J, Moeller C, Nejad P, Paul A, Simonson B, Wong DK, Zhang X, Balaj L, Gandhi R, Sood AK, Alexander RP, Wang L, Wu C, Wong DTW, Galas DJ, Van Keuren-Jensen K, Patel T, Jones JC, Das S, Cheung KH, Pico AR, Su AI, Raffai RL, Laurent LC, Roth ME, Gerstein MB, Milosavljevic A. exRNA Atlas Analysis Reveals Distinct Extracellular RNA Cargo Types and Their Carriers Present across Human Biofluids. Cell. 2019 Apr 04; 177(2):463-477.e15. View in PubMed
  6. Théry C, Witwer KW, Aikawa E, Alcaraz MJ, Anderson JD, Andriantsitohaina R, Antoniou A, Arab T, Archer F, Atkin-Smith GK, Ayre DC, Bach JM, Bachurski D, Baharvand H, Balaj L, Baldacchino S, Bauer NN, Baxter AA, Bebawy M, Beckham C, Bedina Zavec A, Benmoussa A, Berardi AC, Bergese P, Bielska E, Blenkiron C, Bobis-Wozowicz S, Boilard E, Boireau W, Bongiovanni A, Borràs FE, Bosch S, Boulanger CM, Breakefield X, Breglio AM, Brennan MÁ, Brigstock DR, Brisson A, Broekman ML, Bromberg JF, Bryl-Górecka P, Buch S, Buck AH, Burger D, Busatto S, Buschmann D, Bussolati B, Buzás EI, Byrd JB, Camussi G, Carter DR, Caruso S, Chamley LW, Chang YT, Chen C, Chen S, Cheng L, Chin AR, Clayton A, Clerici SP, Cocks A, Cocucci E, Coffey RJ, Cordeiro-da-Silva A, Couch Y, Coumans FA, Coyle B, Crescitelli R, Criado MF, D'Souza-Schorey C, Das S, Datta Chaudhuri A, de Candia P, De Santana EF, De Wever O, Del Portillo HA, Demaret T, Deville S, Devitt A, Dhondt B, Di Vizio D, Dieterich LC, Dolo V, Dominguez Rubio AP, Dominici M, Dourado MR, Driedonks TA, Duarte FV, Duncan HM, Eichenberger RM, Ekström K, El Andaloussi S, Elie-Caille C, Erdbrügger U, Falcón-Pérez JM, Fatima F, Fish JE, Flores-Bellver M, Försönits A, Frelet-Barrand A, Fricke F, Fuhrmann G, Gabrielsson S, Gámez-Valero A, Gardiner C, Gärtner K, Gaudin R, Gho YS, Giebel B, Gilbert C, Gimona M, Giusti I, Goberdhan DC, Görgens A, Gorski SM, Greening DW, Gross JC, Gualerzi A, Gupta GN, Gustafson D, Handberg A, Haraszti RA, Harrison P, Hegyesi H, Hendrix A, Hill AF, Hochberg FH, Hoffmann KF, Holder B, Holthofer H, Hosseinkhani B, Hu G, Huang Y, Huber V, Hunt S, Ibrahim AG, Ikezu T, Inal JM, Isin M, Ivanova A, Jackson HK, Jacobsen S, Jay SM, Jayachandran M, Jenster G, Jiang L, Johnson SM, Jones JC, Jong A, Jovanovic-Talisman T, Jung S, Kalluri R, Kano SI, Kaur S, Kawamura Y, Keller ET, Khamari D, Khomyakova E, Khvorova A, Kierulf P, Kim KP, Kislinger T, Klingeborn M, Klinke DJ, Kornek M, Kosanovic MM, Kovács ÁF, Krämer-Albers EM, Krasemann S, Krause M, Kurochkin IV, Kusuma GD, Kuypers S, Laitinen S, Langevin SM, Languino LR, Lannigan J, Lässer C, Laurent LC, Lavieu G, Lázaro-Ibáñez E, Le Lay S, Lee MS, Lee YXF, Lemos DS, Lenassi M, Leszczynska A, Li IT, Liao K, Libregts SF, Ligeti E, Lim R, Lim SK, Line A, Linnemannstöns K, Llorente A, Lombard CA, Lorenowicz MJ, Lörincz ÁM, Lötvall J, Lovett J, Lowry MC, Loyer X, Lu Q, Lukomska B, Lunavat TR, Maas SL, Malhi H, Marcilla A, Mariani J, Mariscal J, Martens-Uzunova ES, Martin-Jaular L, Martinez MC, Martins VR, Mathieu M, Mathivanan S, Maugeri M, McGinnis LK, McVey MJ, Meckes DG, Meehan KL, Mertens I, Minciacchi VR, Möller A, Møller Jørgensen M, Morales-Kastresana A, Morhayim J, Mullier F, Muraca M, Musante L, Mussack V, Muth DC, Myburgh KH, Najrana T, Nawaz M, Nazarenko I, Nejsum P, Neri C, Neri T, Nieuwland R, Nimrichter L, Nolan JP, Nolte-'t Hoen EN, Noren Hooten N, O'Driscoll L, O'Grady T, O'Loghlen A, Ochiya T, Olivier M, Ortiz A, Ortiz LA, Osteikoetxea X, Østergaard O, Ostrowski M, Park J, Pegtel DM, Peinado H, Perut F, Pfaffl MW, Phinney DG, Pieters BC, Pink RC, Pisetsky DS, Pogge von Strandmann E, Polakovicova I, Poon IK, Powell BH, Prada I, Pulliam L, Quesenberry P, Radeghieri A, Raffai RL, Raimondo S, Rak J, Ramirez MI, Raposo G, Rayyan MS, Regev-Rudzki N, Ricklefs FL, Robbins PD, Roberts DD, Rodrigues SC, Rohde E, Rome S, Rouschop KM, Rughetti A, Russell AE, Saá P, Sahoo S, Salas-Huenuleo E, Sánchez C, Saugstad JA, Saul MJ, Schiffelers RM, Schneider R, Schøyen TH, Scott A, Shahaj E, Sharma S, Shatnyeva O, Shekari F, Shelke GV, Shetty AK, Shiba K, Siljander PR, Silva AM, Skowronek A, Snyder OL, Soares RP, Sódar BW, Soekmadji C, Sotillo J, Stahl PD, Stoorvogel W, Stott SL, Strasser EF, Swift S, Tahara H, Tewari M, Timms K, Tiwari S, Tixeira R, Tkach M, Toh WS, Tomasini R, Torrecilhas AC, Tosar JP, Toxavidis V, Urbanelli L, Vader P, van Balkom BW, van der Grein SG, Van Deun J, van Herwijnen MJ, Van Keuren-Jensen K, van Niel G, et al. Minimal information for studies of extracellular vesicles 2018 (MISEV2018): a position statement of the International Society for Extracellular Vesicles and update of the MISEV2014 guidelines. J Extracell Vesicles. 2018; 7(1):1535750. View in PubMed
  7. Raffai RL. MicroRNA-146a & hematopoiesis: friend or foe in atherosclerosis. Noncoding RNA Investig. 2018 Jul; 2. View in PubMed
  8. Bouchareychas L, Raffai RL. Apolipoprotein E and Atherosclerosis: From Lipoprotein Metabolism to MicroRNA Control of Inflammation. J Cardiovasc Dev Dis. 2018 May 23; 5(2). View in PubMed
  9. Li K, Rodosthenous RS, Kashanchi F, Gingeras T, Gould SJ, Kuo LS, Kurre P, Lee H, Leonard JN, Liu H, Lombo TB, Momma S, Nolan JP, Ochocinska MJ, Pegtel DM, Sadovsky Y, Sánchez-Madrid F, Valdes KM, Vickers KC, Weaver AM, Witwer KW, Zeng Y, Das S, Raffai RL, Howcroft TK. Advances, challenges, and opportunities in extracellular RNA biology: insights from the NIH exRNA Strategic Workshop. JCI Insight. 2018 Apr 05; 3(7). View in PubMed
  10. Li K, Wong DK, Hong KY, Raffai RL. Cushioned-Density Gradient Ultracentrifugation (C-DGUC): A Refined and High Performance Method for the Isolation, Characterization, and Use of Exosomes. Methods Mol Biol. 2018; 1740:69-83. View in PubMed
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