Yohei Kirino, PhD

Contact Dr. Kirino

1020 Locust Street
JAH Suite #M-81
Philadelphia, PA 19107

(215) 503-8648
(215) 955-5058 fax

Medical School

PhD in Integrated Biosciences, University of Tokyo - 2006
MSc The University of Tokyo (Integrated Biosciences) - 2003

Postgraduate Training and Faculty Appointment:

2006-2009 Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Pennsylvania

2009-2010 Research Associate, University of Pennsylvania

2010-2013 Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

2013-  Assistant Professor, Computational Medicine Center, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Thomas Jefferson University

Fellowship and Award:

2003 Integrated Bioscience Award, The University of Tokyo

2003 Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Fellowship

2006 Student of the Year Award 2006, The University of Tokyo

2007 Human Frontier Science Program Long-term Fellowship

2012 The Martz Translational Breast Cancer Career Development Award              

Research Interests:

Small regulatory RNAs have emerged recently as one of the most novel and exciting areas of gene expression regulation. Three major classes of small regulatory RNAs have been identified so far: microRNAs (miRNAs), short-interfering RNAs (siRNAs) and PIWI-interacting RNAs (piRNAs). Our overall research goal is to understand biogenesis and molecular function of the small regulatory RNAs, and use the knowledge to develop a novel therapeutic application in human diseases.

The Kirino lab is particularly focused on piRNAs, the most recently discovered small regulatory RNAs. piRNAs are 24-31 nucleotides and interact with PIWI proteins to play essential roles in germline development. We are currently taking advantage of mouse, Drosophila and Bombyx systems to clarify the biogenesis and function of piRNAs, and to uncover the molecular mechanism of germline development regulated by piRNAs. Since recent studies have shown that PIWI proteins are aberrantly expressed in a variety of cancers and their expression correlates with clinical prognosis, the research project will impact biomedical goals of understanding and conquering cancers as well as reproductive system diseases. We are also performing tRNA researches to develop novel biomarkers and therapeutic applications for cancers and mitochondrial diseases.

Focus [keywords]:

RNA Biology, RNA Biochemistry, Non-coding RNA, Small Regulatory RNA, miRNA, piRNA, AGO, PIWI, Developmental Biology, Germline Development, Transposon Silencing, tRNA, RNA modification, Translation, Codon Recognition, Cancer, Mitochondria, Mitochondrial Disease