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

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.

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 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.