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Assistant Professor
BIND 292
Phone: 765-496-1658

Personal Site: Link

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs that posttranscriptionally regulate the expression of protein-coding genes. The discovery of miRNAs has resulted in a paradigm shift in our knowledge about gene control and therapeutic intervention. Through their binding to their target genes, these “master regulators” induce subtle alterations in gene expression that can culminate in major phenotypic changes. This is based on the notion that miRNAs are pleiotropic, referring to the fact that miRNAs can bind to and affect multiple targets. Although the expression of an individual miRNA target may only change marginally, the combined effect of suppressing several targets at the same time results in a phenotypic transformation. This is most clearly illustrated in the context of cancer where miRNA dysregulation contributes to many types of cancer. In some instances the combination of multiple subtle changes causes the tumor cells to become addicted to a single miRNA. MiR-21 and miR-155 are two oncogenic miRNAs (oncomiRs) that have shown this type of addictive pattern in vivo. Similarly loss of key tumor suppressive miRNAs, through epigenetic silencing, genomic loss, and reduced upstream signaling and processing, has been correlated with disease state. Based on this knowledge we have embarked on three very distinct yet equally important areas of miRNA therapeutic biology.


Project 1: Using tumor suppressive miRNAs as cancer therapeutics and sensitizers


Project 2: Restoring let-7 processing through small molecule discovery


Project 3: Identification of miRNAs that potentiate KRAS- and/or p53- driven lung tumorigenesis


Education and Training

  • 2003-2009 - PhD, Emory University
  • 2009-2013 - Postdoctoral Fellow, Yale University
  • 2017, American Cancer Society, Research Scholar Awardee
  • 2015, Favorite Faculty Nominee, Purdue University
  • 2015, Student Loan Repayment Program, National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institutes
  • 2013, Pathway to Independence Award, National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institutes
  • 2013, Benjamin F. Trump Award, Aspen Cancer Conference
  • 2013, Aspen Cancer Fellow
  • 2012, Pilot Grant, Yale Center for Molecular Discovery
  • 2012, Student Loan Repayment Program, National Institutes of Health
  • 2012, Women in Cancer Research Scholar, American Association of Cancer Research
  • 2011, Postdoctoral Fellowship, American Cancer Society
  • 2010, Postdoctoral Fellowship, National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute
  • 2008, Graduate Student Research Festival, National Institutes of Health
Relevant Publications
  • Rangasamy, L., Venkatesh, C., Kanduluru, A.K., Srinivasaro, M., Bandara, A. You, F., Orellana, E.A., Kasinski, A.L., Low, P.S. (2017) New mechanism for release of endosomal contents: osmotic lysis via nigericin-mediated K+/H+ exchange. Under review
  • Pal, A.S., Kasinski, A.L. (2017) Animal models to study microRNA function. Advances in Cancer Research 135:53-118
  • Orellana, E.A., Tenneti, S., Rangasamy, L., Lyle, L.T., Low, P.S., Kasinski, A.L. (2017) FolamiRs: Ligand-targeted, vehicle-free delivery of microRNAs for the treatment of cancer. Science Translational Medicine, August 2; 9(401):eaam9327
  • Gilbert-Ross, M., Konen, J., Koo, J., Shupe, J., Robinson, B.S., Wiles 4th, W.G., Huang, C., Martin, W.D., Behera, M., Smith, G.H., Hill, C.E., Rossi, M.R., Sica, G.L., Rupji, M., Chen, Z., Kowalski, J., Kasinski, A.L., Ramalingam, S.S., Fu, H., Khuri, F.R., Zhou, W., Marcus, A.I. (2017) Targeting adhesion signaling in KRAS, LKB1 mutant lung adenocarcinoma. JCI Insight, March 9; 2(5):e90487 
  • Orellana, E.A., Kasinski, A.L. (2016) Sulforhodamine B (SRB) assay in cell culture to investigate cell proliferation. Bio-Protocol, November 5; 6(21) pii:e1984
  • Orellana, E.A., Kasinski, A.L. (2015) MicroRNAs in cancer: A historical perspective on the path from discovery to therapy. Cancers, July 27; 7(3):1388-1405
  • Kasinski, A.L., Kelnar, K., Stahlhut, C., Orellana, E., Zhao, J., Shimer, E., Dysart, S., Chen, X., Bader, A.G., Slack, F.J. (2015) A combinatorial microRNA therapeutics approach to suppressing non-small cell lung cancerOncogene, July; 34(27):3547-3555
  • Zeiger, E., Gollapudi, B., Aardema, M.J., Auerbach, S., Boverhof, D., Custer, L., Dedon, P., Honma, M., Ishida, S., Kasinski, A.L., Kim, J.H., Manjanatha, M.G., Marlowe, J., Pfuhler, S., Pogribny, I., Slikker, W., Stankowski, Jr., L.F., Tanir, J.Y., Tice, R., van Benthem, J., White, P., Witt., K.L, Thybaud, V. (2015) Opportunities to integrate new approaches in genetic toxicology: An ILSI-HESI workshop reportEnvironmental and Molecular Mutagenesis, April; 56(3):277-285
  • Humphrey, S.E., Kasinski, A.L. (2015) RNA-guided CRISPR-Cas technologies for genome-scale investigation of disease processesJournal of Hematology & Oncology, April 2; 8:31
  • *Adams, B.D., *Kasinski, A.L., Slack, F.J. (2014) Aberrant regulation and function of microRNAs in cancer. Current Biology, August 18; 24(16):R762-R776 *co-first author
  • Kasinski, A., Dong, X., Khuri, F.R., Boss, J., Fu, H. (2014) Transcriptional regulation of YWHAZ, the gene encoding 14-3-3ζ. PLoS One, April 1; 9(4):e93480
  • *Kasinski, A., *Slack, F.J. (2013) Small RNAs deliver a blow to ovarian cancer. Cancer Discovery, Nov; 3(11):1220-1221 *co-corresponding authors
  • Kasinski, A.L., Slack, F.J. (2013) Generation of mouse lung epethelial cells. Bio-Protocol, August 5; 3(15):e837
  • Kasinski, A.L., Slack, F.J. (2012) miRNA-34 prevents cancer initiation and progression in a therapeutically resistant K-ras and p53-induced mouse model of lung adenocarcinoma. Cancer Research, Nov 1; 72(21):5576-5587
  • Kasinski, A.L., Slack, F.J. (2012) Arresting the culprit: targeted antagomir delivery to sequester oncogenic miR-221 in HCC. Molecular Therapy – Nucleic Acids, March 20; 1(3):e12
  • Kasinski, A.L., Slack, F.J. (2011) MicroRNAs en route to the clinic: progress in validating and targeting miRNAs for cancer therapy. Nature Reviews Cancer, Nov 24; 11(12):849-864
  • Kim, M., Kasinski, A.L., Slack, F.J. (2011) MicroRNA therapeutics in pre-clinical cancer models. Lancet Oncology, Apr;12(4):319-321
  • Kasinski, A.L., Slack, F.J. (2010) Potential microRNA therapies targeting Ras, NFΚB and p53 signaling.  Current Opinion in Molecular Therapeutics, Apr; 12(2):147-157

Invited and Selected Presentations

  • The RNA Summit: Research, Diagnostics & Therapeutics, Boston, MA, November 13, 2017

  • 2nd International Aegean Conference on the Long and the Short of Non-Coding RNAs, Heraklion, Crete, Greece, June 9, 2017

  • 22nd Annual Meeting of the RNA Society, Prague, Czech Republic, May 30, 2017

  • American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting, Washington, DC, April 1, 2017

  • Keystone Symposia on Molecular and Cellular Biology, Banff, Alberta Canada, February 7, 2017

  • 6th International Symposium on Folate Receptors, Breckenridge, CO, September 19, 2016

  • American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA, April 16, 2016

  • Experimental Biology, San Diego, April 5, 2016

  • 3rd Annual Summit on Thoracic Malignancies and Head and Neck Cancer, Puerto Rico, December 10, 2015

  • Keystone Symposia on Molecular and Cellular Biology, Denver, CO, June 7, 2015

  • microRNA as Biomarkers and Diagnostics, Cambridge, MA, March 16, 2015

  • 2nd Annual Lung Cancer Summit, Dallas, TX, December 12, 2014

  • microRNA World Conference, Boston, MA, October 27, 2014

  • Aspen Cancer Conference, Aspen, Co, July 15, 2013 
  • NIH Lung SPORE Workshop, National Cancer Institute, Rockville, MD, July 11, 2013
  • Department of Molecular Pathology, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston Tx, April 5, 2013
  • Department of Clinical Cancer Prevention, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston Tx, March 26, 2013
  • Departments of Hematology and Medical Oncology, and Radiation Oncology, Emory University, Atlanta, Ga, March 13, 2013
  • Department of Biology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, December 12, 2012
  • The 4th Japanese Association for RNAi International Symposium, Hiroshima, Japan, August 30, 2012
  • Thoracic Oncology Board, Emory University, Atlanta GA, May 1, 2012
  • ILIS Health and Environmental Science Institute, Silver Springs MD, April 24, 2012
  • American Association of Cancer Research Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL, April 2, 2012
  • Eighth Annual microRNA in Human Disease and Development Meeting, Cambridge Healthtech, Cambridge, MA, March 12, 2012

Current Grant Funding

  • R01 NCI - CA205420 "Enhancing miRNA Therapeutics Through Combinatorial Targeting and Vehicle-Free Delivery"
  • R00 NCI - CA178091 "Identification and Therapeutic Application of miRNA Drivers in Lung Cancer"
  • RSG-17-198-01, American Cancer Society "Enhancing microRNA Therapeutics Through Vehicle-Free Delivery"

Professional Faculty Research

(Cancer and Molecular Biology) Identifying roles for microRNAs in cancer development and progression and using this knowledge for clinical applications. 

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