Diane L. Carlisle, PhD

  • Associate Professor

Diane Carlisle, PhD, joined the Department of Neurological Surgery in October 2010. She received her undergraduate degree in molecular biology from Washington and Jefferson College and her graduate degree in molecular and cellular oncology from George Washington University where she identified new signaling pathways involved in occupational causes of lung cancer.

Dr. Carlisle came to the University of Pittsburgh after a postdoctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins University under the mentorship of Robert Casero Jr., PhD, in drug development for lung cancer. She then developed an independent research program using stem cells to investigate adult disease.

The mission of her laboratory is to use human pluripotent stem cells to model disease. She has an active program using stem cells generated from tissue samples donated by sporadic ALS patients and by Huntington’s Disease patients. By differentiating these cells into mature neurons, she is able to identify neurologic disease specific changes in mitochondrial function. In addition, she uses her expertise in pluripotent stem cell methods and directed differentiation to collaborate in her department, and across the university, in cross disciplinary projects that use pluripotent stem cell technologies.

Dr. Carlisle serves as faculty and course coordinator of the NIH-funded stem cell course, Frontiers in Stem Cells and Regeneration, which is held annually at the Marine Biological Laboratories in Woods Hole, Mass

Dr. Carlisle's publications can be reviewed through the National Library of Medicine's publication database.

Specialized Areas of Interest

Fetal basis for adult disease; use of stem cells for developmental modeling and drug discovery; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS); Huntington’s Disease.

Professional Activities

Course Coordinator, Frontiers in Stem Cells and Regeneration Course, Marine Bio Lab

Education & Training

  • BA, Biology, Washington & Jefferson College, 1994
  • PhD, Molecular and Cellular Oncology, George Washington University, 1999
  • Fellowship, Johns Hopkins University, 2001

Research Activities

In the past year, Dr. Carlisle has used patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) to investigate mitochondrial function of neural progenitors and neurons from sporadic and familial ALS patients as well as from Huntington’s Disease patients. She has differentiated iPSCs into neural progenitors and mature neurons and isolated mitochondria for analysis. She has found proteomic and functional differences between neurons and controls from neurodegenerative disease patients.