Diane L. Carlisle, PhD

  • Assistant 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. By differentiating these cells into motor neurons, she is able to identify changes in mitochondrial function in ALS motor neurons. 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.

Specialized Areas of Interest

Fetal basis for adult disease; use of stem cells for developmental modeling and drug discovery; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS); chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD).

Education & Training

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

Selected Publications

Suofu Y, Li W, Jean-Alphonse FG, Jia J, Khattar NK, Li J, Baranov SV, Leronni D, Mihalik AC, He Y, Cecon E, Wehbi VL, Kim J, Heath BE, Baranova OV, Wang X, Gable MJ, Kretz ES, Di Benedetto G, Lezon TR, Ferrando LM, Larkin TM, Sullivan M, Yablonska S, Wang J, Minnigh MB, Guillaumet G, Suzenet F, Richardson RM, Poloyac SM, Stolz DB, Jockers R, Witt-Enderby PA, Carlisle DL, Vilardaga JP, Friedlander RM. Dual role of mitochondria in producing melatonin and driving GPCR signaling to block cytochrome c releaseProc Natl Acad Sci USA 19;114(38):E7997-E8006, 2017.

Khattar NK, Yablonska S, Baranov SV, Baranova OV, Kretz ES, et al. Isolation of functionally active and highly purified neuronal mitochondria from human cortexJournal of Neuroscience Methods 263:1-6, 2016.

Yano H, Baranov SV, Baranova OV, Kim J, Pan Y, et al. Inhibition of mitochondrial protein import by mutant huntingtinNature Neuroscience 17(6):822-31, 2014.

Ben-Yehudah A, Campanaro BM, Wakefield LM, Kinney TN, Brekosky J, et al. Nicotine exposure during differentiation causes inhibition of N-myc expressionRespiratory Research 14:119, 2013.

Easley CA 4th, Ben-Yehudah A, Redinger CJ, Oliver SL, Varum ST, et al. mTOR-mediated activation of p70 S6K induces differentiation of pluripotent human
embryonic stem cells. Cellular Reprogramming 12(3):263-73, 2010.

Simerly CR, Navara CS, Castro CA, Turpin JC, Redinger CJ, et al. Establishment and characterization of baboon embryonic stem cell lines: an Old World Primate model for regeneration and transplantation researchStem Cell Research 2(3):178-87, 2009.

Carlisle DL, Liu X, Hopkins TM, Swick MC, Dhir R, et al. Nicotine activates cell-signaling pathways through muscle-type and neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in non-small cell lung cancer cellsPulmonary Pharmacology & Therapeutics 20(6):629-41, 2007.

Carlisle DL, Hopkins TM, Gaither-Davis A, Silhanek MJ, Luketich JD, et al. Nicotine signals through muscle-type and neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine
receptors in both human bronchial epithelial cells and airway fibroblastsRespiratory Research 5:27, 2004.

Carlisle DL, Devereux WL, Hacker A, Woster PM, Casero RA Jr. Growth status significantly affects the response of human lung cancer cells to antitumor
polyamine-analogue exposureClinical Cancer Research 8(8):2684-9, 2002.

Carlisle DL, Pritchard DE, Singh J, Owens BM, Blankenship LJ, et al. Apoptosis and P53 induction in human lung fibroblasts exposed to chromium (VI): effect of ascorbate and tocopherol. Toxicological Sciences 55(1):60-8, 2000.

Carlisle DL, Pritchard DE, Singh J, Patierno SR. Chromium(VI) induces p53-dependent apoptosis in diploid human lung and mouse dermal fibroblasts.
Molecular Carcinogenesis 28(2):111-8, 2000. 

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

Research Activities

In the past year, Dr. Carlisle used patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) to investigate mitochondrial function of motor neurons from sporadic and familial ALS patients. She differentiated iPSCs into motor neurons and isolated mitochondria for analysis.  Dr. Carlisle found proteomic and functional differences between ALS motor neurons and the controls. She also found that this phenotype was concordant between types of ALS, suggesting that this is a unifying and prevalent disease-related phenotype.