Penalva Lab

Luiz O.F. Penalva, Ph.D.

Dr. Penalva and staff

Rank: Professor
Department: Cell Systems & Anatomy
Office: 3.100.10
Tel: 210-562-9049

Major components of my research program include:

  • Screening and characterization of RBPs and miRNAs implicated in neuronal stem cell function and brain tumors.
  • Construction of regulatory maps for neuronal differentiation and brain tumor development.
  • Development and improvement of computational and functional methods for miRNA/RBP target identification and functional outcome.
  • Development of RNA based approaches for therapy.

Lab Research


RNA biology, genomics, RNA binding proteins, miRNAs, alternative splicing, translation, brain tumors


RNA binding proteins (RBPs) and miRNAs play major roles in gene expression by controlling all stages of mRNA processing, its transport, localization, decay and translation. My laboratory studies these two regulators from a global perspective. We use a combination of genomics, systems biology, biochemistry, bioinformatics and molecular biology to investigate the networks formed by RNA binding proteins, miRNAs and their target genes and evaluate their impact on biological processes, cancer and disease states. I am particularly interested in the neuronal tissue and the analysis of gene regulators implicated in both differentiation and brain tumor development.


  1. Musashi1 in brain tumor development
  2. miRNAs in neurogenesis and brain tumor development
  3. Alternative splicing and translation regulation 
  4. Understanding the dynamics of translation regulation

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Lab Staff

Adam Kosti                    
Graduate Research Assistant

Mei Qiao                         
Senior Research Associate


Adam Kosti from Penalva Lab Publishes First, First-Author Paper

SCITECH EUROPA: RNA-based Therapeutics for Childhood Cancers