Leonid A. Pobezinsky

Leonid A. Pobezinsky, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Office phone: 413-545-2393

Fax: 413-545-6326

Email: lpobezinsky [at] umass [dot] edu

Office location: 427G ISB

Mailing address:

661 North Pleasant Street
Amherst, MA 01003

Ph.D.: Cancer Research Center, Moscow, Russia, 2003
Postdoctoral Training:
Experimental Immunology Branch, NCI/NIH

Lab website

Co-Investigator - Research Assistant Professor - Elena Pobezinskaya, PhD


ANIMLSCI 572 - Infection & Immunity

ANIMLSCI 581/697C - Cancer Biology

ANIMLSCI 794A - Immunology Journal Club

Non-coding RNAs in the immune system

Our laboratory is interested in the molecular mechanisms that control differentiation and transformation programs within an organism. The immune system constantly undergoes differentiation and is prone to malignant transformation providing an excellent model to study these programs. Thus, the focus of the laboratory is to identify key regulators of genes that are critical for normal function and for tumorigenesis of the immune system. Recently, non-coding RNAs, miRNAs, have been shown to control expression of many genes at the transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels. Specifically, we would like to understand the function of tumor suppressive and oncogenic miRNAs that are expressed in the immune cells.

The Pobezinsky Lab has been awarded a $3.75 million grant from Nonpareil miRNA Accelerator LLC. With this grant, they propose to enhance the efficacy of cancer immunotherapies using a novel strategy that is based on miRNA-dependent T cell-intrinsic mechanisms of gene regulation.

Angelou CC, Wells AC, Vijayaraghavan J, Dougan CE, Lawlor R, Iverson E, Lazarevic V, Kimura MY, Peyton SR, Minter LM et al..  2020.  Differentiation of Pathogenic Th17 Cells Is Negatively Regulated by Let-7 MicroRNAs in a Mouse Model of Multiple Sclerosis. Frontiers in Immunology. 10
Pobezinsky LA, Wells AC.  2018.  Let's fight cancer: let-7 is a tool to enhance antitumor immune responses. Future Oncology. 14:1141–1145.
Wells AC, Daniels KA, Angelou CC, Fagerberg E, Burnside AS, Markstein M, Alfandari D, Welsh RM, Pobezinskaya EL, Pobezinsky LA.  2017.  Modulation of let-7 miRNAs controls the differentiation of effector CD8 T cells. eLife. 6
Pobezinsky LA, Etzensperger R, Jeurling S, Alag A, Kadakia T, McCaughtry TM, Kimura MY, Sharrow SO, Guinter TI, Feigenbaum L et al..  2015.  Let-7 microRNAs target the lineage-specific transcription factor PLZF to regulate terminal NKT cell differentiation and effector function.. Nat Immunol. 16(5):517-24.
Katz G, Pobezinsky LA, Jeurling S, Shinzawa M, Van Laethem F, Singer A.  2014.  T cell receptor stimulation impairs IL-7 receptor signaling by inducing expression of the microRNA miR-17 to target Janus kinase 1.. Sci Signal. 7(340):ra83.
Van Laethem F, Tikhonova AN, Pobezinsky LA, Tai X, Kimura MY, Le Saout C, Guinter TI, Adams A, Sharrow SO, Bernhardt G et al..  2013.  Lck availability during thymic selection determines the recognition specificity of the T cell repertoire.. Cell. 154(6):1326-41.
Kimura MY, Pobezinsky LA, Guinter TI, Thomas J, Adams A, Park J-H, Tai X, Singer A.  2013.  IL-7 signaling must be intermittent, not continuous, during CD8⁺ T cell homeostasis to promote cell survival instead of cell death.. Nat Immunol. 14(2):143-51.
Pobezinsky LA, Angelov GS, Tai X, Jeurling S, Van Laethem F, Feigenbaum L, Park J-H, Singer A.  2012.  Clonal deletion and the fate of autoreactive thymocytes that survive negative selection.. Nat Immunol. 13(6):569-78.
Tai X, Van Laethem F, Pobezinsky L, Guinter T, Sharrow SO, Adams A, Granger L, Kruhlak M, Lindsten T, Thompson CB et al..  2012.  Basis of CTLA-4 function in regulatory and conventional CD4(+) T cells.. Blood. 119(22):5155-63.
Tikhonova AN, Van Laethem F, Hanada K-ichi, Lu J, Pobezinsky LA, Hong C, Guinter TI, Jeurling SK, Bernhardt G, Park J-H et al..  2012.  αβ T cell receptors that do not undergo major histocompatibility complex-specific thymic selection possess antibody-like recognition specificities.. Immunity. 36(1):79-91.
Van Laethem F, Sarafova SD, Park J-H, Tai X, Pobezinsky L, Guinter TI, Adoro S, Adams A, Sharrow SO, Feigenbaum L et al..  2007.  Deletion of CD4 and CD8 coreceptors permits generation of alphabetaT cells that recognize antigens independently of the MHC.. Immunity. 27(5):735-50.
Logunova NN, Viret C, Pobezinsky LA, Miller SA, Kazansky DB, Sundberg JP, Chervonsky AV.  2005.  Restricted MHC-peptide repertoire predisposes to autoimmunity.. J Exp Med. 202(1):73-84.
Name Phone Office
Ullom , Jake Graduate Student - MCB ISB 470
Pobezinskaya , Elena Research Assistant Professor 413-545-2405 427ZA ISB
Lynch , Adam Research Fellow 413-545-2051 ISB 470
Roberts , Eugenia Undergraduate Student ISB 470