Location: 5.053R - DTL


Medicine/Hematology & Medical Oncology

Aguiar, Ricardo, M.D, Ph.D.


Personal Statement:

Dr. Aguiar is an MD with clinical training in Hematology & Oncology, and a PhD education in the field of leukemia. His post-doctoral training at the Hammersmith Hospital, University of London, and at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, broadened his expertise in both leukemia and lymphoma biology. For the past 10 years, Dr. Aguiar has taught at the University of Texas Health Science Center and has mentored over 30 students at various educational and training levels, most of whom went on to graduate school or second professional positions in academia or industry. His laboratory uses genome-wide and focused strategies to study lymphoma biology. Active projects in Dr. Aguiars group include: a) the interplay between miR – 155 and the TGFb pathway, b) the intersection between microRNAs and constitutively active NF-kB signals, c) preclinical and clinical examination of the role of PDE4B as therapeutic target in lymphoma and, more recently, d) the role of D2HGDH-associated metabolic imbalance in lymphoma biology. The research has been funded throughout the years by private, state and federal agencies, including the Voelcker Fund, the American Society of Hematology, V Foundation, Pardee Foundation, Leukemia Research Foundation, CPRIT, NIH/NCI, DOD, and the VA. Lastly in regards to the recent foray into the emerging field of cancer and metabolism, they have just had an important manuscript accepted for publication in Nature Communications.


M.D., Medicine at the Federal University of Paraiba, Brazil Ph.D., Medicine -Leukemia Biology at the University of Sao Paula, Brazil


Dr. Aguiar’s research program is centered on the identification and functional characterization of the genetic abnormalities found in hematologic malignancies, with emphasis in diffuse large B cell lymphoma. His ultimate goals are to better understand the pathogenesis and to develop novel targeted therapeutic strategies for this disease. Active research lines stem from his recently published work and include: 1) Detailed characterization of the intersection between cAMP signals and multiple survival pathways in lymphomas, towards the validation of phosphodiesterase 4 inhibitors for the treatment of lymphoid tumors; 2) Lymphomagenic intersection between microRNAs and NF-κB pathways; 3) Interplay between metabolic imbalance, epigenetic and lymphoma biology; 4) Characterization of the role of the transcription factor IRF8 in B cell lymphoma biology. To fulfill these research goals, we use a combination of in vitro and in vivo approaches, in particular genetically engineered mouse models and primary human tumors.

Awards & Accomplishments

1999 Career Development Award (Special Fellow), Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of America
2001 New Investigator Award – Leukemia Research Foundation
2002 V Scholar – The V Foundation
2004 1st Novartis-Brazil Oncology Award
Scholar in Basic Sciences – American Society of Hematology
Young Investigator Award – The Voelcker Fund
UTHSCSA Nominee: The O’Donnell Awards in Medicine, Engineering and Science of the Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas (TAMEST)
Best of ASH selection – 53rd Annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology
Acceptance into the Veteran Administration’s Intramural Program for Non-Clinician Scientists
CTRC Discovery of Year Award
Protégée – Meeting of the Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas (TAMEST)


  • Member, American Society of Hematology
  • Member, MD-PHD Program Advisory Committee, UTHSCSA
  • Leader, Translational Research Working Group in Hematological Malignancies
  • Member, Editorial Board, Frontiers in Non-Coding RNA
  • Member, MD-PHD Program Steering Committee, UTHSCSA


  • Lin A-P, Abbas S, Kim S-W, Ortega M, Bouamar H, Escobedo Y, Varadarajan P, Qin Y, Sudderth J, Schulz E,  Deutsch A, Mohan S, Ulz P, Neumeister P, Rakheja D, Gao X, Hinck A, Weintraub S, DeBerardinis R, Sill H, Dahia PLM and Aguiar RCT. D2HGDH regulates α-alpha-ketoglutarate levels and dioxygenases function by modulating IDH2. Nature Communications, 6:7768, 2015. PMCID: PMC4515030
  • Bouamar H, Jiang D, Wang L, Lin AP, Ortega M, Aguiar RCT. MicroRNA-155 control of p53 activity is context dependent and mediated by Aicda and Socs1. Mol Cell Biol, 35:1329-40, 2015. PMCID: PMC4372698
  • Ortega M, Bhatnagar H, Lin AP, Wang L, Aster JC, Sill H, Aguiar RCT. A microRNA-mediated regulatory loop modulates NOTCH and MYC oncogenic signals in B- and T-cell malignancies. Leukemia. 2015; 29:968-76. PMC4391979
  • Jiang D & Aguiar RCT. MicroRNA-155 controls RB phosphorylation in normal and malignant B lymphocytes via the non-canonical TGFB1-SMAD5 signaling module. Blood, 123:86-93, 2014. PMCID: PMC3879909.
  • Bouamar H, Abbas S, Lin AP, Wang L, Jiang D, Holder K, Kinney M, Hunicke-Smith S, Aguiar RCT. A capture-sequencing strategy identifies IRF8, EBF1 and APRIL as novel IGH fusion partners in B-cell lymphoma. Blood, 122:726-33, 2013. PMCID: PMC3731929
  • Kim SW, Ramasamy K, Bouamar H, Lin AP, Jiang D, Aguiar RCT. MicroRNAs miR-125a and miR-125b constitutively activate the NF-κB pathway by targeting the tumor necrosis factor alpha-induced protein 3 (TNFAIP3, A20). Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 109: 7865-70, 2012. PMCID: PMC3356650.
  • Kim S-W, Rai D, Aguiar RCT. Gene-set enrichment analysis unveils the mechanism for the phosphodiesterase 4B control of glucocorticoid response in B-cell lymphoma. Clinical Cancer Research, 17: 6723–32, 2011. PMID: 21742807
  • Rai D, Kim SW, McKeller MR, Dahia PLM, Aguiar RCT. Targeting of SMAD5 links microRNA-155 to the TGFβ pathway and lymphomagenesis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 107: 3111-6, 2010. PMCID: PMC2840369
  • Kim SW, Rai D, McKeller M, Aguiar RCT. Rational combined targeting of phosphodiesterase 4B and SYK in DLBCL. Blood, 113:6153-60, 2009. PMCID: PMC2699235
  • Li C, Kim SW, Rai D, Bolla A, Kinney M, Robetorye R, Aguiar RCT. Copy number abnormalities, MYC activity and the fingerprint of normal B-cells define the microRNA profile of DLBCL. Blood, 113: 6681-90, 2009. PMCID: PMC3401058