Please note: The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio will now be called "UT Health San Antonio."

Search Program Faculty/Research

Alexander Pertsemlidis, Ph.D.



We integrate in vitro, in vivo and in silico approaches to study noncoding RNA regulation of cell viability and drug response in cancer, aimed at developing sensitive, non-invasive methods for the early detection of cancer and novel therapeutic agents targeting specific cancer subtypes. Our long-term goals are the identification of noncoding RNAs for which serum expression is a biomarker of the presence or progression of tumors or of the likely response of a tumor to drug treatment, and of noncoding RNA mimics or inhibitors that can be delivered as therapeutic agents for the treatment of tumors, either independently or as adjuvants to conventional therapeutics.

Selected Publications

Lin J, Zandi R, Shao R P, Gu J, Ye Y, Wang J, Zhao Y, Pertsemlidis A, Wu X, Roth J A, Ji L. A miR-SNP biomarker linked to an increased lung cancer survival by miRNA-mediated down-regulation of FZD4 expression and Wnt signaling. Scientific Reports 2017;7(9029).

Zhao Z, Ma X, Li M, Sung D, Zhang M, Losiewicz MD, Chen Y, Pertsemlidis A, Yu X, Liu Y, Du L. A combined gene expression and functional study in neuroblastoma cell lines reveals the crosstalk between N-Myc and differentiation-inducing microRNAs in neuroblastoma. Oncotarget 2016;7(48):79372-79387.

Henry S, Kidner R, Reisenauer MR, Magedov IV, Kiss R, Mathieu V, Lefranc F, Dasari R, Evidente A, Yu X, Ma X, Pertsemlidis A, Cencic R, Pelletier J, Cavazos DA, Brenner AJ, Aksenov AV, Rogelj S, Kornienko A, Frolova LV. 5,10b- Ethanophenanthridine amaryllidaceae alkaloids inspire the discovery of novel bicyclic ring systems with activity against drug resistant cancer cells. European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 2016;120:313-328.

Zhao Z, Ma X, Sung D, Li M, Kosti A, Lin G, Chen Y, Pertsemlidis A, Hsiao TH, Du L. microRNA-449a functions as a tumor suppressor in neuroblastoma through inducing cell differentiation and cell cycle arrest. RNA Biology 2015;12(5):538-554.

Borkowski R, Du L, Zhao Z, McMillan E, Kosti A, Yang CR, Suraokar M, Wistuba I, Minna JD, White MA, Pertsemlidis A. Genetic mutation of p53 and suppression of the miR-17~92 cluster are synthetic lethal in non-small cell lung cancer due to upregulation of vitamin D signaling. Cancer Research 2015;75(4):1-10.

Zhao Z, Ma X, Hsiao TH, Lin G, Kosti A, Chen Y, Tomlinson G,Pertsemlidis A, Du L. A high-content morphological screen identifies novel microRNAs that control neuroblastoma cell differentiation. Oncotarget 2014;5(9):2499-512.

Du L, Zhao Z, Ma X, Hsiao TH, Chen Y, Young E, Suraokar M, Wistuba I, Minna JD, Pertsemlidis A. miR-93-directed downregulation of DAB2 defines a novel oncogenic pathway in lung cancer. Oncogene ‚ÄČ2014;33(34):4307-4315.

Du L, Borkowski R, Zhao Z, Ma X, Yu X, Xie XJ, Pertsemlidis A. A high-throughput screen identifies miRNA inhibitors regulating lung cancer cell survival and response to paclitaxel. RNA Biology 2013 Nov;10(11):1700-13.

Associate Professor
Greehey CCRI


Ph.D., Biophysics, University of California, 1995

M.S., Cellular and Molecular Biology, University of Michigan, 1988

B.S., Medieval History, Princeton University, 1987



Phone: 210-562-9062

Research Profile
More Info...

Graduate Students

Shaimar Gonzalez Morales