Laboratory of Translational RNA Genomics


Principal Investigator
Mohammad Ali Faghihi, M.D., Ph.D

Mohammad Ali Faghihi, M.D., Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor at The Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine. Additionally, Dr. Faghihi is a founding member of the Center for Therapeutic Innovation at the John P. Hussman Institute for Human Genomics. He received his medical doctorate (M.D.) degree from Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Iran in 1994. He received his Ph.D. degree in Biomedical Sciences at the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden in 2007. He served as a Senior Staff Scientist at the Department of Neuroscience at the Scripps Research Institute, Florida, before joining University of Miami. Dr. Faghihi is an expert in the field of RNA genetics, interested in non-coding RNA, particularly natural antisense transcripts and their involvement in neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis and Fragile X Syndrome.

Postdoctoral fellow
Macro Magistri, PhD

Dr. Marco Magistri received his master degree in biotechnology from the University of Eastern Piedmont in Italy and his PhD in pharmaceutical sciences from the University of Geneva, Switzerland. During his graduate studies Dr. Magistri became interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms by which long noncoding RNAs regulate chromatin remodeling and epigenetic states in cancer. At the end of his graduate studies he received the “Fellowship for Prospective Researcher” from Swiss National Science Foundation, which is a fellowship designed for postdoctoral fellows at the beginning of their career who wish to enhance their scientific training by working at a research institution abroad Switzerland. He then moved to the University of Miami to join the laboratory of Dr. Mohammad Faghihi, one of the pioneers in studying long noncoding RNAs in CNS. Dr. Magistri is now involved in several projects aimed to reveal the functions of long noncoding RNAs in nervous system developments and neurodegeneration.

Graduate student
Dmitry Velmeshev

Dmitry Velmeshev received his honored bachelor degree in biology and honored master degree in biophysics from Moscow State University, Russia. In his transition to PhD studies he did a short stay in Dr. Grigori Enikolopov’s lab at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory where he worked on studying basic processes of adult mammalian neurogenesis as a visiting student. After that he was accepted into the PhD program in Biomedical Science at the University of Miami. After starting in the PhD program, Dmitry became interested in transcriptional and epigenetic mechanisms regulating gene expression, especially long noncoding RNAs, and their roles in neurodevelopmental diseases such as autism. Part of his work in the lab led to identification of many antisense long noncoding RNAs expressed from genetic loci associated with autism. His other interest is the application of high-throughput genomics and bioinformatics techniques such as RNA sequencing to analyze transcriptomes. Dmitry’s current projects include studying dysregulation of long noncoding RNAs in different brain regions of autism patients as well as development of software tools for user-friendly analysis of next-generation sequencing data.

Graduate student
Roya Pedram Fatemi

Farzaneh Modarresi, M.D.

Undergraduate volunteer
Patrick Lally

Undergraduate volunteer
Evan D’Elia

Undergraduate volunteer
Prutha Patel

Undergraduate volunteer
Kelly Rivera