Ricardo Aguiar, MD, PhD
I direct a vibrant research program centered on the study of hematological malignancies, in particular B-cell lymphomas. Prior to joining the UTHSCSA, I was a member of the Lymphoma Program at the Dana-Farber-Harvard Medical School Cancer Center. For the past several years, my group has made important contribution to our understanding of the clinical heterogeneity found in lymphomas. These observations allow clinicians to better identify patients with more an aggressive disease and, importantly, provide a blueprint for the development of novel targeted treatments that are more effective and less toxic. The discoveries from my laboratory have been published in top-ranked scientific journals, including Nature Medicine, Nature Genetics, Proceedings of the national Academy of Science and Blood. I am the Principal Investigator of multiple research grants from the National cancer Institute (NCI) and the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT). I am also the recipient of a VA Merit Review grant.
2006 Scholar in Basic Sciences, American Society of Hematology;
2009 Young Investigator Award, The Voelcker Fund;
2010 UTHSCSA Nominee: The O'Donnell Awards in Medicine, Engineering and Science of the Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas (TAMEST);
2012 Acceptance into the Veteran Administration's Intramural Program for Non-Clinician Scientists;
2012 CTRC Discovery of Year Award
The research in my laboratory is centered on the identification and functional characterization of the genetic abnormalities found in B-cell lymphomas. Studying classical genes and microRNAs, our goals are to better understand the pathogenesis of these disorders, and to develop novel targeted therapeutic strategies. Active research lines in the lab stem from our recently published and funded work, and include:
1. Combinatorial targeting of phosphodiesterase 4B and interacting survival pathways in B-cell malignancies;
2.Targeting of the TGF-beta pathway by miRNA-155 in B-cell lymphomas;
3. Mapping the microRNA/NF-kB pathway interactome in lymphoid cancer;
4. The genetics of metabolic disruptions in B-cell lymphoma
1. Detailed characterization of the intersection between cAMP signals and multiple survival pathways in normal and malignant B-lymphocytes;
2. MicroRNA-155 and B-cell lymphomagenesis: Regulation and target identification;
3. A next-generation sequencing strategy to identify chromosomal translocations targeting the immunoglobulin loci in B-cell malignancies;
4. Genetic and epigenetic interplay between microRNA and the NF-kB pathway in B-cell lymphomas
- MicroRNAs miR-125a and miR-125b constitutively activate the NF-κB pathway by targeting the tumor necrosis factor alpha-induced protein 3 (TNFAIP3, A20).
Kim SW, Ramasamy K, Bouamar H, Lin AP, Jiang D, Aguiar RC
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A: 2012-05-15; 109(20); 7865-70 Epub: 2012-05-01.
PMID: 22550173 LINK:
- Gene set enrichment analysis unveils the mechanism for the phosphodiesterase 4B control of glucocorticoid response in B-cell lymphoma.
Kim SW, Rai D, Aguiar RC
Clin Cancer Res: 2011-11-01; 17(21); 6723-32 Epub: 2011-07-08.
PMID: 21742807 LINK:
- Germline mutations in TMEM127 confer susceptibility to pheochromocytoma.
Qin Y, Yao L, King EE, Buddavarapu K, Lenci RE, Chocron ES, Lechleiter JD, Sass M, Aronin N, Schiavi F, Boaretto F, Opocher G, Toledo RA, Toledo SP, Stiles C, Aguiar RC, Dahia PL
Nat Genet: 2010-03-01; 42(3); 229-33 Epub: 2010-02-14.
PMID: 20154675 LINK:
- Targeting of SMAD5 links microRNA-155 to the TGF-beta pathway and lymphomagenesis.
Rai D, Kim SW, McKeller MR, Dahia PL, Aguiar RC
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A: 2010-02-16; 107(7); 3111-6 Epub: 2010-02-01.
PMID: 20133617 LINK: