Yohei Kirino, PhD

Contact Dr. Kirino

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

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

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.