University of California San Francisco
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
Robert Blelloch, MD, PhD

Robert Blelloch, MD, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Urology, UCSF
Peter R. Carroll, MD, Endowed Chair, UCSF

Cancer Center Program Memberships

Prostate Cancer | Experimental Therapeutics

Research Summary

My interest is in the role of non-coding small RNAs in stem cells, reprogramming, development and cancer. I did my PhD in the lab of Dr. Judith Kimble, where I studied the genetics of organ development in C. elegans. I also studied signaling pathways that regulate germline development. Following my clinical residency and fellowship, I expanded my research interests into the areas of epigenetics, reprogramming, stem cells, and mammalian development under the mentorship of another internationally renowned investigator, Dr. Rudolf Jaenisch. I have been an independent investigator since January 2006, in which time my laboratory has published over 30 primary papers in high-impact journals, including Nature, Nature Genetics, Nature Biotechnology, Nature Structural and Molecular Biology, Cell, Cell Stem Cell, Cell Reports, Genes and Development, and Current Biology. Our papers have been cited over 4000 times. I was promoted to professor in the summer of 2013, as a result of my development into an internationally recognized leader in post-transcriptional regulation of pluripotency and early mammalian development.


Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, B.S., 5/1989, Zoology
Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, M.A.T., 5/1990, Biology
University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin, Ph.D., 5/1999, Cell & Molec Biology
University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin, M.D., 5/2001, Medicine

Professional Experience

  • 7/01 - 7/02
    Resident, Pathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital
  • 3/03 - 7/02
    Chief Resident, Pathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital
  • 7/04 - 7/02
    Clinical Fellow, Harvard Medical School Joint Program of Transfusion Medicine
  • 8/02 - 12/02
    Post-Doctoral Fellow, Whitehead Institute of Biomedical Research
  • 12/05 - 7/10
    Assistant Professor, Institute for Regenerative Medicine and Comprehensive Cancer Center, Departments of Urology and Pathology, University of California, San Francisco
  • 7/10 - present
    Associate Professor, UCSF
  • 7/10 - present
    Chair, UCSF Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program Admissions Committee

Honors & Awards

  • 2000-2001
    Rath Wisconsin Distinguished Graduate Fellow
  • 2001
    GATE Pharmaceuticals Outstanding Medical Student Award
  • 2001
    Alpha Omega Alpha (Medical Student Honor Society)
  • 2001
    University of Wisconsin-Madison Commencement Student Speaker
  • 2004
    Paul E. Strandjord Young Investigator Award with Distinction
  • 2006-
    Peter Carroll Endowed Chair
  • 2007-2011
    Pew Scholar
  • 2009
    Kavli Fellow (National Academy of Sciences
  • 2011
    International Society of Stem Cell Research Outstanding Young Investigator Award.

Selected Publications

  1. Paikari A, Belair C, Saw D, Blelloch R. The eutheria-specific miR-290/miR-371 cluster modulates placental growth and maternal-fetal transport. Development. 2017 Sep 21.
    View on PubMed
  2. Ye J, Jin H, Pankov A, Song JS, Blelloch R. NF45 and NF90/NF110 coordinately regulate ESC pluripotency and differentiation. RNA. 2017 Aug; 23(8):1270-1284.
    View on PubMed
  3. Curtis A, Li DJ, DeVeale B, Onishi K, Kim MY, Blelloch R, Laird DJ, Hui EE. Patterning of sharp cellular interfaces with a reconfigurable elastic substrate. Integr Biol (Camb). 2017 Jan 23; 9(1):50-57.
    View on PubMed
  4. Gambardella G, Carissimo A, Chen A, Cutillo L, Nowakowski TJ, di Bernardo D, Blelloch R. The impact of microRNAs on transcriptional heterogeneity and gene co-expression across single embryonic stem cells. Nat Commun. 2017 Jan 19; 8:14126.
    View on PubMed
  5. D'Aniello C, Habibi E, Cermola F, Paris D, Russo F, Fiorenzano A, Di Napoli G, Melck DJ, Cobellis G, Angelini C, Fico A, Blelloch R, Motta A, Stunnenberg HG, De Cesare D, Patriarca EJ, Minchiotti G. Vitamin C and l-Proline Antagonistic Effects Capture Alternative States in the Pluripotency Continuum. Stem Cell Reports. 2017 Jan 10; 8(1):1-10.
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  6. Coffre M, Benhamou D, Rieß D, Blumenberg L, Snetkova V, Hines MJ, Chakraborty T, Bajwa S, Jensen K, Chong MMW, Getu L, Silverman GJ, Blelloch R, Littman DR, Calado D, Melamed D, Skok JA, Rajewsky K, Koralov SB. miRNAs Are Essential for the Regulation of the PI3K/AKT/FOXO Pathway and Receptor Editing during B Cell Maturation. Cell Rep. 2016 Nov 22; 17(9):2271-2285.
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  7. Tran ND, Kissner M, Subramanyam D, Parchem RJ, Laird DJ, Blelloch RH. A miR-372/let-7 Axis Regulates Human Germ Versus Somatic Cell Fates. Stem Cells. 2016 Jul; 34(7):1985-91.
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  8. Krishnakumar R, Chen AF, Pantovich MG, Danial M, Parchem RJ, Labosky PA, Blelloch R. FOXD3 Regulates Pluripotent Stem Cell Potential by Simultaneously Initiating and Repressing Enhancer Activity. Cell Stem Cell. 2016 Jan 07; 18(1):104-17.
    View on PubMed
  9. Wang ES, Reyes NA, Melton C, Huskey NE, Momcilovic O, Goga A, Blelloch R, Oakes SA. Fas-Activated Mitochondrial Apoptosis Culls Stalled Embryonic Stem Cells to Promote Differentiation. Curr Biol. 2015 Dec 07; 25(23):3110-8.
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  10. Patton JG, Franklin JL, Weaver AM, Vickers K, Zhang B, Coffey RJ, Ansel KM, Blelloch R, Goga A, Huang B, L'Etoille N, Raffai RL, Lai CP, Krichevsky AM, Mateescu B, Greiner VJ, Hunter C, Voinnet O, McManus MT. Biogenesis, delivery, and function of extracellular RNA. J Extracell Vesicles. 2015; 4:27494.
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  11. Parchem RJ, Moore N, Fish JL, Parchem JG, Braga TT, Shenoy A, Oldham MC, Rubenstein JL, Schneider RA, Blelloch R. miR-302 Is Required for Timing of Neural Differentiation, Neural Tube Closure, and Embryonic Viability. Cell Rep. 2015 Aug 04; 12(5):760-73.
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  12. Belair CD, Paikari A, Moltzahn F, Shenoy A, Yau C, Dall'Era M, Simko J, Benz C, Blelloch R. DGCR8 is essential for tumor progression following PTEN loss in the prostate. EMBO Rep. 2015 Sep; 16(9):1219-32.
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  13. Russ HA, Parent AV, Ringler JJ, Hennings TG, Nair GG, Shveygert M, Guo T, Puri S, Haataja L, Cirulli V, Blelloch R, Szot GL, Arvan P, Hebrok M. Controlled induction of human pancreatic progenitors produces functional beta-like cells in vitro. EMBO J. 2015 Jul 02; 34(13):1759-72.
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  14. Huskey NE, Guo T, Evason KJ, Momcilovic O, Pardo D, Creasman KJ, Judson RL, Blelloch R, Oakes SA, Hebrok M, Goga A. CDK1 inhibition targets the p53-NOXA-MCL1 axis, selectively kills embryonic stem cells, and prevents teratoma formation. Stem Cell Reports. 2015 Mar 10; 4(3):374-89.
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  15. Shenoy A, Danial M, Blelloch RH. Let-7 and miR-125 cooperate to prime progenitors for astrogliogenesis. EMBO J. 2015 May 05; 34(9):1180-94.
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  16. Kobayashi T, Papaioannou G, Mirzamohammadi F, Kozhemyakina E, Zhang M, Blelloch R, Chong MW. Early postnatal ablation of the microRNA-processing enzyme, Drosha, causes chondrocyte death and impairs the structural integrity of the articular cartilage. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2015 Jul; 23(7):1214-20.
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  17. Guo WT, Wang XW, Yan YL, Li YP, Yin X, Zhang Q, Melton C, Shenoy A, Reyes NA, Oakes SA, Blelloch R, Wang Y. Suppression of epithelial-mesenchymal transition and apoptotic pathways by miR-294/302 family synergistically blocks let-7-induced silencing of self-renewal in embryonic stem cells. Cell Death Differ. 2015 Jul; 22(7):1158-69.
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  18. Ye J, Blelloch R. Regulation of pluripotency by RNA binding proteins. Cell Stem Cell. 2014 Sep 04; 15(3):271-280.
    View on PubMed
  19. Shenoy A, Blelloch RH. Regulation of microRNA function in somatic stem cell proliferation and differentiation. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2014 Sep; 15(9):565-76.
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  20. Wang SY, Shiboski S, Belair CD, Cooperberg MR, Simko JP, Stoppler H, Cowan J, Carroll PR, Blelloch R. miR-19, miR-345, miR-519c-5p serum levels predict adverse pathology in prostate cancer patients eligible for active surveillance. PLoS One. 2014; 9(6):e98597.
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