• The overall goal of my research is to determine the genetic and epigenetic events that drive epithelial cancer progression and metastasis. Cancer is the second leading cause of mortality in the United States. The genes required for cancer progression and dissemination remain an area of active investigation. The main research focus of my lab is to understand how non-coding RNA regulate these processes and, specifically, the functional role of microRNA (miRNA). miRNAs are small, non-coding RNA molecules that associate with protein complexes within the cell to regulate gene expression. The dysregulation of miRNA has been reported in nearly every human malignancy, yet the functional role for these molecules is unclear. My study of miRNA began during my doctoral training where I examined the role of miRNA in breast cancer metastasis with Dr. Danny Welch, an international leader in Breast Cancer research. With Dr. Welch, I demonstrated that miRNAs were regulated by genes which determine the metastatic potential of breast carcinoma. As a postdoctoral fellow I continued to study the role of miRNA in epithelial cancers and identified a specific miRNA that drove lung cancer progression. These were the first data to show an miRNA sufficient to drive an epithelial cancer and highlighted the functional importance of miRNA in cancer progression. I also identified several miRNA as novel prognostic markers for human cancer.
    My lab utilizes a functional genomics approach towards understanding and identifying novel non-coding RNA genes as drivers of lung cancer and evaluating the downstream mechanism of action for these genes in human malignancy. Having conducted my pre- and postdoctoral training in clinical departments at top research medical centers, my research is focused on making discoveries that will translate to improving patient outcomes. I have significant experience in evaluating patient lung tissue for non-coding RNA and correlating these levels to patient outcomes. I also have great expertise in manipulating miRNA in human lung cell lines to study their biological function and in utilizing multiple animal models in order to study lung cancer. I started my tenure-track faculty position in the Genetics Departments on June 1, 2016, and have been given a competitive startup package, lab space and tissue culture facility. I have a recruited 2 highly talented graduate students, a research technician, and promising undergraduate students and have put together a team of mentors to ensure my maturation as faculty. I am dedicated to the training of students, especially in todies difficult publishing and funding climate. Given these never before experienced challenges, I take my role as mentor very seriously and have a hands-on approach for training. This includes weekly individual meetings with all my trainees, a weekly lab meeting where everyone in the lab presents their data for the week, active participation of my trainees in the Genetics Works in Progress seminar series (which I run), the supervised writing of manuscripts and grants, and hands on training in the laboratory as I still have a bench in the lab.

    We currently have projects and funding for students interested in:
    Elucidating the role of novel ncRNA in human lung cancer
    Identifying novel modulators of breast cancer metastasis
    Understanding the role of ncRNA in health disparities
    Developing novel therapeutic approaches for targeting established cancer metastases
    Developing novel models of human malignancy
  • Selected Publications

    Academic Article

    Year Title Altmetric
    2022 Suppression of SIN3A by miR-183 promotes breast cancer metastasis. 2022
    2021 Perturbation of BRMS1 interactome reveals pathways that impact metastasisPLoS ONE.  16. 2021
    2021 Collagen modifying enzyme P4HA1 is overexpressed and plays a role in lung adenocarcinomaTranslational Oncology.  14. 2021
    2021 miR-31 displays subtype specificity in lung cancerCancer Research.  81:1942-1953. 2021
    2020 Perfusion and inflation of the mouse lung for tumor histologyJournal of Visualized Experiments.  2020:1-6. 2020
    2019 Targeting of SGK1 by miR-576-3p inhibits lung adenocarcinoma migration and invasion 2019
    2018 Hiding in plain sight: Rediscovering the importance of noncoding RNA in human malignancyCancer Research.  78:2149-2158. 2018
    2016 miR-31 and miR-17-5p levels change during transformation of follicular lymphomaHuman Pathology.  50:118-126. 2016
    2016 MicroRNA-31 initiates lung tumorigenesis and promotes mutant KRAS-driven lung cancerJournal of Clinical Investigation.  126:349-364. 2016
    2014 Differences in miRNA expression in early stage lung adenocarcinomas that did and did not relapsePLoS ONE.  9. 2014
    2014 Reproducible combinatorial regulatory networks elucidate novel oncogenic microRNAs in non-small cell lung cancerRNA.  20:1356-1368. 2014
    2013 The C-Terminal Putative Nuclear Localization Sequence of BReast cancer Metastasis Suppressor 1, BRMS1, Is Necessary for Metastasis SuppressionPLoS ONE.  8. 2013
    2012 Ubiquitous Brms1 expression is critical for mammary carcinoma metastasis suppression via promotion of apoptosisClinical and Experimental Metastasis.  29:315-325. 2012
    2012 Subsets of ATP-sensitive potassium channel (K ATP) inhibitors increase gap junctional intercellular communication in metastatic cancer cell lines independent of sur expressionFEBS Letters.  586:27-31. 2012
    2010 Linking metastasis suppression with metastamir regulationChinese Journal of Lung Cancer.  13:140-143. 2010
    2009 Breast cancer metastasis suppressor 1 coordinately regulates metastasis-associated microRNA expressionInternational Journal of Cancer.  125:1778-1785. 2009
    2009 Metastamir: The field of metastasis-regulatory microRNA is spreadingCancer Research.  69:7495-7498. 2009
    2009 Linking metastasis suppression with metastamiR regulationCell Cycle.  8:2673-2675. 2009
    2009 A shift from nuclear to cytoplasmic breast cancer metastasis suppressor 1 expression is associated with highly proliferative estrogen receptor-negative breast cancers 2009
    2009 Breast cancer metastasis suppressor 1 up-regulates miR-146, Which suppresses breast cancer metastasisCancer Research.  69:1279-1283. 2009
    2009 Multiple forms of BRMS1 are differentially expressed in the MCF10 isogenic breast cancer progression modelClinical and Experimental Metastasis.  26:89-96. 2009
    2007 The Myxococcus xanthus Nla4 protein is important for expression of stringent response-associated genes, ppGpp accumulation, and fruiting body developmentJournal of Bacteriology.  189:8474-8483. 2007
    Perturbation of BRMS1 interactome reveals pathways that impact cell migration

    Education And Training

  • Vanderbilt Medical Center Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology, Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Pathology Residency Program, University of Alabama at Birmingham 2010
  • Master of Science in Cell / Cellular and Molecular Biology, Washington State University at Pullman 2005
  • Bachelor of Science or Mathematics in Cell / Cellular and Molecular Biology, Washington State University at Pullman 2004
  • Full Name

  • Micky Edmonds