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David E. Cobrinik, MD, PhD

TitleAssociate Professor of Research Ophthalmology
InstitutionUniversity of Southern California
DepartmentPediatrics
AddressCHL 4650 W Sunset Blvd
Off Campus
Los Angeles CA 90027
Phone+1 323 361 2275
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    Collapse Biography 
    Collapse Awards and Honors
    1996  - 1999James S. McDonnell Foundation Scholar
    1992  - 1995Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow
    1989  - 1992American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellow
    1983American Cancer Society Joseph S. Silber Pre-doctoral Fellow
    1982Oscar E. Schotté Award for Biological Research, Amherst College

    Collapse Overview 
    Collapse Overview
    Our research seeks to improve understanding of retinal development and its relationship to retinal diseases. This goal stems from my long interest in a childhood retinal tumor called retinoblastoma, a cancer that develops in response to inactivation of the RB1 tumor suppressor gene and loss of functional pRB protein. One of our goals is to understand why cells of the retina but not other tissues routinely form cancers in response to pRB loss, and to use this knowledge to develop more effective therapies for retinoblastoma and other RB1-mutant cancers. We recently found that retinoblastomas arise from cone photoreceptor precursors, and that cone precursor-specific proliferation-related signaling pathways collaborate with pRB loss to enable tumorigenesis. This finding suggests that cone precursors signaling pathways can be targeted to suppress retinoblastoma development. Current studies aim to 1) define developmental signaling pathways that sensitize retinal cells to Rb loss, 2) define the step-by-step events through which Rb loss converts normal retinal cells to malignant retinoblastomas, and 3) target novel vulnerabilities in the pRB-deficient cone precursor circuitry.

    With our colleagues at the CHLA Vision Center we also model retinal development and diseases using human pluripotent stem cells. We can produce normal-appearing developing retinas in vitro, opening the door to previously unimagined vision research opportunities. Current efforts aim to define similarities and differences between human retina produced in vitro and in vivo, and to thereby improve the verisimilitude of the in vitro retinal development model.


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    Collapse Bibliographic 
    Collapse Publications
    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Researchers can login to make corrections and additions, or contact us for help.
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    1. Berry JL, Xu L, Kooi I, Murphree AL, Prabakar RK, Reid MW, Stachelek K, Le BHA, Welter L, Reiser BJ, Chevez-Barrios P, Jubran R, Lee TC, Kim JW, Kuhn P, Cobrinik D, Hicks J. Genomic cfDNA Analysis of Aqueous Humor in Retinoblastoma Predicts Eye Salvage: The Surrogate Tumor Biopsy for Retinoblastoma. Mol Cancer Res. 2018 Jul 30. PMID: 30061186.
      View in: PubMed
    2. Berry JL, Cobrinik D, Hicks J. Potential of Aqueous Humor as a Surrogate Tumor Biopsy for Retinoblastoma-Reply. JAMA Ophthalmol. 2018 Mar 22. PMID: 29566117.
      View in: PubMed
    3. Berry JL, Xu L, Murphree AL, Krishnan S, Stachelek K, Zolfaghari E, McGovern K, Lee TC, Carlsson A, Kuhn P, Kim JW, Cobrinik D, Hicks J. Potential of Aqueous Humor as a Surrogate Tumor Biopsy for Retinoblastoma. JAMA Ophthalmol. 2017 Nov 01; 135(11):1221-1230. PMID: 29049475.
      View in: PubMed
    4. Xu XL, Li Z, Liu A, Fan X, Hu DN, Qi DL, Chitty DW, Jia R, Qui J, Wang JQ, Sharaf J, Zou J, Weiss R, Huang H, Joseph WJ, Ng L, Rosen R, Shen B, Reid MW, Forrest D, Abramson DH, Singer S, Cobrinik D, Jhanwar SC. SKP2 Activation by Thyroid Hormone Receptor ß2 Bypasses Rb-Dependent Proliferation in Rb-Deficient Cells. Cancer Res. 2017 12 15; 77(24):6838-6850. PMID: 28972075.
      View in: PubMed
    5. Browne AW, Arnesano C, Harutyunyan N, Khuu T, Martinez JC, Pollack HA, Koos DS, Lee TC, Fraser SE, Moats RA, Aparicio JG, Cobrinik D. Structural and Functional Characterization of Human Stem-Cell-Derived Retinal Organoids by Live Imaging. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2017 07 01; 58(9):3311-3318. PMID: 28672397.
      View in: PubMed
    6. Li WL, Buckley J, Sanchez-Lara PA, Maglinte DT, Viduetsky L, Tatarinova TV, Aparicio JG, Kim JW, Au M, Ostrow D, Lee TC, O'Gorman M, Judkins A, Cobrinik D, Triche TJ. A Rapid and Sensitive Next-Generation Sequencing Method to Detect RB1 Mutations Improves Care for Retinoblastoma Patients and Their Families. J Mol Diagn. 2016 07; 18(4):480-93. PMID: 27155049.
      View in: PubMed
    7. Berry JL, Cobrinik D, Kim JW. Detection and Intraretinal Localization of an 'Invisible' Retinoblastoma Using Optical Coherence Tomography. Ocul Oncol Pathol. 2016 Apr; 2(3):148-52. PMID: 27239455; PMCID: PMC4881267.
    8. Dimaras H, Corson TW, Cobrinik D, White A, Zhao J, Munier FL, Abramson DH, Shields CL, Chantada GL, Njuguna F, Gallie BL. Retinoblastoma. Nat Rev Dis Primers. 2015 08 27; 1:15021. PMID: 27189421.
      View in: PubMed
    9. Cobrinik D. Retinoblastoma Progression. EBioMedicine. 2015 Jul; 2(7):623-4. PMID: 26288828; PMCID: PMC4534706.
    10. Xu XL, Singh HP, Wang L, Qi DL, Poulos BK, Abramson DH, Jhanwar SC, Cobrinik D. Rb suppresses human cone-precursor-derived retinoblastoma tumours. Nature. 2014 Oct 16; 514(7522):385-8. PMID: 25252974; PMCID: PMC4232224.
    11. Cobrinik D, Ostrovnaya I, Hassimi M, Tickoo SK, Cheung IY, Cheung NK. Recurrent pre-existing and acquired DNA copy number alterations, including focal TERT gains, in neuroblastoma central nervous system metastases. Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2013 Dec; 52(12):1150-66. PMID: 24123354.
      View in: PubMed
    12. Ciavarra G, Ho AT, Cobrinik D, Zacksenhaus E. Critical role of the Rb family in myoblast survival and fusion. PLoS One. 2011 Mar 10; 6(3):e17682. PMID: 21423694; PMCID: PMC3053373.
    13. Xu XL, Lee TC, Offor N, Cheng C, Liu A, Fang Y, Jhanwar SC, Abramson DH, Cobrinik D. Tumor-associated retinal astrocytes promote retinoblastoma cell proliferation through production of IGFBP-5. Am J Pathol. 2010 Jul; 177(1):424-35. PMID: 20508032; PMCID: PMC2893684.
    14. Wang H, Bauzon F, Ji P, Xu X, Sun D, Locker J, Sellers RS, Nakayama K, Nakayama KI, Cobrinik D, Zhu L. Skp2 is required for survival of aberrantly proliferating Rb1-deficient cells and for tumorigenesis in Rb1+/- mice. Nat Genet. 2010 Jan; 42(1):83-8. PMID: 19966802; PMCID: PMC2990528.
    15. Xu XL, Fang Y, Lee TC, Forrest D, Gregory-Evans C, Almeida D, Liu A, Jhanwar SC, Abramson DH, Cobrinik D. Retinoblastoma has properties of a cone precursor tumor and depends upon cone-specific MDM2 signaling. Cell. 2009 Jun 12; 137(6):1018-31. PMID: 19524506.
      View in: PubMed
    16. Harb G, Vasavada RC, Cobrinik D, Stewart AF. The retinoblastoma protein and its homolog p130 regulate the G1/S transition in pancreatic beta-cells. Diabetes. 2009 Aug; 58(8):1852-62. PMID: 19509021; PMCID: PMC2712776.
    17. Cobrinik D, Francis RO, Abramson DH, Lee TC. Rb induces a proliferative arrest and curtails Brn-2 expression in retinoblastoma cells. Mol Cancer. 2006 Dec 12; 5:72. PMID: 17163992; PMCID: PMC1764425.
    18. Lee TC, Almeida D, Claros N, Abramson DH, Cobrinik D. Cell cycle-specific and cell type-specific expression of Rb in the developing human retina. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2006 Dec; 47(12):5590-8. PMID: 17122153.
      View in: PubMed
    19. Elison JR, Cobrinik D, Claros N, Abramson DH, Lee TC. Small molecule inhibition of HDM2 leads to p53-mediated cell death in retinoblastoma cells. Arch Ophthalmol. 2006 Sep; 124(9):1269-75. PMID: 16966622.
      View in: PubMed
    20. Cobrinik D. Pocket proteins and cell cycle control. Oncogene. 2005 Apr 18; 24(17):2796-809. PMID: 15838516.
      View in: PubMed
    21. MacLean HE, Guo J, Knight MC, Zhang P, Cobrinik D, Kronenberg HM. The cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p57(Kip2) mediates proliferative actions of PTHrP in chondrocytes. J Clin Invest. 2004 May; 113(9):1334-43. PMID: 15124025; PMCID: PMC398433.
    22. Fang W, Mori T, Cobrinik D. Regulation of PML-dependent transcriptional repression by pRB and low penetrance pRB mutants. Oncogene. 2002 Aug 15; 21(36):5557-65. PMID: 12165854.
      View in: PubMed
    23. Laplantine E, Rossi F, Sahni M, Basilico C, Cobrinik D. FGF signaling targets the pRb-related p107 and p130 proteins to induce chondrocyte growth arrest. J Cell Biol. 2002 Aug 19; 158(4):741-50. PMID: 12177046; PMCID: PMC2174007.
    24. Rossi F, MacLean HE, Yuan W, Francis RO, Semenova E, Lin CS, Kronenberg HM, Cobrinik D. p107 and p130 Coordinately regulate proliferation, Cbfa1 expression, and hypertrophic differentiation during endochondral bone development. Dev Biol. 2002 Jul 15; 247(2):271-85. PMID: 12086466.
      View in: PubMed
    25. Liberto M, Cobrinik D, Minden A. Rho regulates p21(CIP1), cyclin D1, and checkpoint control in mammary epithelial cells. Oncogene. 2002 Feb 28; 21(10):1590-9. PMID: 11896588.
      View in: PubMed
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