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Alexander Pertsemlidis’s Biography

Alexander Pertsemlidis, Associate Professor, The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

Dr. Pertsemlidis obtained his doctoral degree from the University of California at Berkeley. He completed Alexander Pertsemlidis Imagepostdoctoral fellowships in computational biology and genetics at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. He is currently at the Greehey Children’s Cancer Research Institute at the UT Health Science Center in San Antonio, where he is Associate Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and Cellular and Structural Biology and director of the Cancer Biology Discipline in the Integrated Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program. His laboratory investigates the roles of non-coding RNAs in cancer pathogenesis and in modulating cancer cell drug response and seeks to identify those that are diagnostic markers or therapeutic targets or agents.

Identifying Non-coding RNA Biomarkers and Therapeutic Agents Through Expression Profiling and Functional Screens

Thursday, 1 December 2016 at 09:45

To identify non-coding RNAs that regulate tumor cell viability and drug response, we have combined high-throughput screening with expression profiling by NGS and other methods. Candidate targets are validated using qRT-PCR, protein quantification, and luciferase reporter assays. The response of cancer cells to perturbations in candidate ncRNA levels is assessed through flow cytometric analysis of cell cycle phase distribution and through colony formation and caspase activation assays, and validated in mouse xenograft models. We have identified ncRNAs that have significant effects on cell viability and drug response. These ncRNAs have intrinsic value as biomarkers and therapeutic agents, and the vulnerabilities that they uncover can be targeted with pathway-specific perturbations.