The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Leonid Pobezinsky

Assistant Professor

Research areas include non-coding RNAs in the immune system.

Current Research
Our laboratory is interested in the molecular mechanisms that control differentiation and transformation programs within an organism. The immune system constantly undergoes differentiation and is prone to malignant transformation providing an excellent model to study these programs. Thus, the focus of the laboratory is to identify key regulators of genes that are critical for normal function and for tumorigenesis of the immune system. Recently, non-coding RNAs, miRNAs, have been shown to control expression of many genes at the transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels. Specifically, we would like to understand the function of tumor suppressive and oncogenic miRNAs that are expressed in the immune cells.

One of the goals of our research is to be able to manipulate immune responses and control malignant transformation using knowledge about miRNA-mediated suppression of gene expression. To reach this goal we will explore the mechanisms of the transcriptional control of tumor suppressive and oncogenic miRNAs in the immune system. In addition, we plan to identify small molecules that will modulate transcription of such miRNAs.

Learn more at www.vasci.umass.edu/research-faculty/leonid-a-pobezinsky

Academic Background

  • PhD Cancer Research Center, Moscow, Russia, 2003
  • Postdoctoral Training: Experimental Immunology Branch, NCI/NIH
Katz G, Pobezinsky LA, Jeurling S, Shinzawa M, Van Laethem F, Singer A. 2014. T cell receptor stimulation impairs IL-7 receptor signaling by inducing expression of the microRNA miR-17 to target Janus kinase 1.. Sci Signal. 7(340):ra83.
Van Laethem F, Tikhonova AN, Pobezinsky LA, Tai X, Kimura MY, Le Saout C, Guinter TI, Adams A, Sharrow SO, Bernhardt G et al.. 2013. Lck availability during thymic selection determines the recognition specificity of the T cell repertoire.. Cell. 154(6):1326-41.
Kimura MY, Pobezinsky LA, Guinter TI, Thomas J, Adams A, Park J-H, Tai X, Singer A. 2013. IL-7 signaling must be intermittent, not continuous, during CD8⁺ T cell homeostasis to promote cell survival instead of cell death.. Nat Immunol. 14(2):143-51.
Pobezinsky LA, Angelov GS, Tai X, Jeurling S, Van Laethem F, Feigenbaum L, Park J-H, Singer A. 2012. Clonal deletion and the fate of autoreactive thymocytes that survive negative selection.. Nat Immunol. 13(6):569-78.
Pobezinsky LA, Wells AC. 2018. Let's fight cancer: let-7 is a tool to enhance antitumor immune responses. Future Oncology. 14:1141–1145.
Wells AC, Daniels KA, Angelou CC, Fagerberg E, Burnside AS, Markstein M, Alfandari D, Welsh RM, Pobezinskaya EL, Pobezinsky LA. 2017. Modulation of let-7 miRNAs controls the differentiation of effector CD8 T cells. eLife. 6
Pobezinsky LA, Etzensperger R, Jeurling S, Alag A, Kadakia T, McCaughtry TM, Kimura MY, Sharrow SO, Guinter TI, Feigenbaum L et al.. 2015. Let-7 microRNAs target the lineage-specific transcription factor PLZF to regulate terminal NKT cell differentiation and effector function.. Nat Immunol. 16(5):517-24.
 
Contact Info

Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences
427J ISB
661 North Pleasant Street
Amherst, MA 01003

(413) 545-2393
lpobezinsky@umass.edu

www.vasci.umass.edu/research-faculty/leonid-a-pobezinsky