Lynne T. Bemis, PhD

Chair of Biomedical Sciences, Department of Biomedical Sciences

Lynne T. Bemis

Contact Info

Office Phone 218-726-6775

Fax 218-726-7937

Office Address:
223 SMed
1035 University Drive
Duluth, MN 55812

Mailing Address:
DMED Biomedical Sciences
336 SMed
1035 University Dr
Duluth, MN 55812

Chair of Biomedical Sciences, Department of Biomedical Sciences

Associate Professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences

Post-Doctoral Fellowship, AMC Cancer Research Center, 1992 - 1994

PhD, University of New Hampshire, (Biochemistry), 1989


Research Summary/Interests

The complex role of extracellular RNA (exRNA) in health and disease is just beginning to be elucidated. Previously it was thought that RNA molecules could not survive in the circulation or in extracellular locations. However, with improved methods at detecting small RNAs it has become clear that microRNAs and other small RNA molecules exist in all biological fluids and are expected to play a role very much like cytokines thereby regulating many events in both health and disease. My research focus includes projects on identifying novel RNA molecules as biomarkers for earlier cancer detection, specifically in ovarian cancer and melanoma. We have identified novel RNA molecules in the urine of ovarian cancer patients and are currently exploring the role of these molecules in ovarian cancer cells and determining their ability to distinguish advanced stage ovarian cancer patients from less aggressive stage disease. In addition, we have identified a novel isomir that appears to be robustly expressed in melanoma cell lines and regulates BRAF, a therapeutically targetable molecule for melanoma patients. Another aspect of microRNAs that is of interest in my laboratory is the numerous modified microRNA molecules that exist in patient samples. Our studies of modified microRNAs allowed us to identify a novel target of microRNA-21 that is expressed in brain tumors. This is an ongoing project that was made possible by the funding from the generous support of the American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA). In addition, to our work in cancer biology we are also interested in the role of small RNAs in infectious disease. We are currently studying small RNAs expressed in patients with Lyme disease and with tuberculosis. The field of small RNAs is rapidly expanding and we expect to continue these studies in additional models of infectious disease.


Patents Methods and Compositions for Treating Cancer (Patent Issued No. 60/954,981) (Bemis LT Inventor)


See also: PubMed

  • Hatzel JN, Bouma GJ, Cleys ER, Bemis LT, Ehrhart EJ, McCue PM. "Identification of heat shock protein 10 within the equine embryo, endometrium, and maternal peripheral blood mononuclear cells."Theriogenology 83.5 (2015): 832-839.
  • Donson, A. M., Kleinschmidt-DeMasters, B. K., Aisner, D. L., Bemis, L. T., Birks, D. K., Levy, J. M. M., Smith, A. A., Handler, M. H., Foreman, N. K. and Rush, S. Z. (2014), Pediatric Brainstem Gangliogliomas Show BRAFV600E Mutation in a High Percentage of Cases. Brain Pathology, 24: 173–183. doi: 10.1111/bpa.12103
  • Michael W. Graner, Laura M. Epple, Nathaniel L. Dusto, Alex M. Lencioni, Meheret Nega, Matthew Herring, Ben Winston, Helen Madsen, Lynne T. Bemis, Thomas J. Anchordoquy. "Circulating exosomes as new biomarkers for brain disease and injury." SPIE Defense, Security, and Sensing. International Society for Optics and Photonics, 2013.
  • Bennett PE, Bemis L, Norris DA, Shellman YG. miR in Melanoma Development: MiRNAs and Acquired Hallmarks of Cancer in Melanoma. Physiol Genomics. 2013 Sep 17.
  • Kenneth W. Witwer, Edit I. Buzás, Lynne T. Bemis, Adriana Bora, Cecilia Lässer, Jan Lötvall, Esther N. Nolte-‘t Hoen, Melissa G. Piper, Sarada Sivaraman, Johan Skog, Clotilde Théry, Marca H. Wauben, Fred Hochberg. Standardization of sample collection, isolation and analysis methods in extracellular vesicle research. Journal of Extracellular Vesicles 2013, 2: 20360.
  • Epple LM, Bemis LT, Cavanaugh RP, Skope A, Mayer-Sonnenfeld T, Frank C, Olver CS, Lencioni AM, Dusto NL, Tal A, Har-Noy M, Lillehei KO, Katsanis E, Graner MW. Prolonged remission of advanced bronchoalveolar adenocarcinoma in a dog treated with autologous, tumour-derived chaperone-rich cell lysate (CRCL) vaccine. Int J Hyperthermia. 2013 Aug;29(5):390-8.
  • Walter ND, Bemis L, Edwards M, Ovrutsky AR, Chan ED. Need for rigor in design, reporting, and interpretation of transcriptomic biomarker studies. J Clin Microbiol. 2012 50(12):4190-1.
  • Xiaoping Y, Bemis LT, Su L-J, Gao D, Flaig TW. miR-125b Regulation of Androgen Receptor Signaling Via Modulation of the Receptor Complex Co-Repressor NCOR2. BioResearch Open Access 2012 1(2):55-62. DOI: 10.1089/biores.2012.9903
  • Reuland S, Smith S, Bemis LT, et al MicroRNA-26a is Strongly Down-regulated in Melanoma and Induces Cell Death through Repression of Silencer of Death Domains (SODD) J Invest Dermatol. 2012 Nov 29. doi: 10.1038/jid.2012.400.
  • Epple LM, Griffiths SG, Dechkovskaia AM, Dusto NL, White J, Ouellette RJ, Anchordoquy TJ, Bemis LT, Graner MW. Medulloblastoma exosome proteomics yield functional roles for extracellular vesicles. PLoS One. 2012;7(7):e42064
  • Macy ME, Birks DK, Barton VN, Chan MH, Donson AM, Kleinschmidt-Demasters BK, Bemis LT, Handler MH, Foreman NK. Clinical and molecular characteristics of congenital glioblastoma. Neuro Oncol. 2012. 14(7):931-41.
  • Arcaroli JJ, Quackenbush KS, Powell RW, Pitts TM, Spreafico A, Varella-Garcia M, Bemis L, Tan AC, Reinemann JM, Touban BM, Dasari A, Eckhardt SG, Messersmith WA. Common PIK3CA mutants and a novel 3' UTR mutation are associated with increased sensitivity to saracatinib. Clin Cancer Res. 2012. 18(9):2704-14.
  • Macy ME, Birks DK, Barton VN, Chan MH, Donson AM, Kleinschmidt-Demasters BK, Bemis LT, Handler MH, Foreman NK. Clinical and molecular characteristics of congenital glioblastoma. Neuro Oncol. 2012. 14(7):931-41.
  • Epple LM, Griffiths SG, Dechkovskaia AM, Dusto NL, White J, Ouellette RJ, Anchordoquy TJ, Bemis LT, Graner MW. Medulloblastoma exosome proteomics yield functional roles for extracellular vesicles. PLoS One. 2012;7(7):e42064
  • Deng Y, Deng H, Bi F, Liu J, Bemis LT, Norris D, Wang XJ, Zhang Q. MicroRNA-137 targets carboxyl-terminal binding protein 1 in melanoma cell lines. Int J Biol Sci. 2011;7(1):133-7.PMID: 21278922
  • Xiong Y, Li Z, Ji M, Tan AC, Bemis J, Tse JV, Huang G, Park J, Ji C, Chen J, Bemis LT, Bunting KD, Tse W. MIR29B regulates expression of MLLT11 (AF1Q), an MLL fusion partner, and low MIR29B expression associates with adverse cytogenetics and poor overall survival in AML. Br J Haematol.. 2011;153(6):753-7.
  • Franklin WA, Haney J, Sugita M, Bemis L, Jimeno A, Messersmith WA. KRAS mutation: comparison of testing methods and tissue sampling techniques in colon cancer. J Mol Diagn. 2010 Jan;12(1):43-50.
  • Pillai MM, Yang X, Balakrishnan I, Bemis L, Torok-Storb B, MiR-886-3p Down Regulates CXCL12 (SDF1) Expression in Human Marrow Stromal Cells. PLoS One. 2010; 5(12):e14304.. PMID: 21179442
  • Flaig TW, Su LJ, McCoach C, Li Y, Raben D, Varella-Garcia M, Bemis L.T. Dual epidermal growth factor receptor and vascular endothelial growth factor receptor inhibition with vandetanib sensitizes bladder cancer cells to cisplatin in a dose- and sequence-dependent manner.BJU Int. 2009 Jun;103(12):1729-37.
  • Cappuzzo, F., Varella-Garcia, M. and Bemis L.T. HER2 mutation and response to trastuzumab therapy in non-small-cell lung cancer. N Engl J Med. (2006) 354(24):2619-21.
  • Bemis, L.T., Chan, D.A., Sutphin, P.D., Frederick, B.A., Qi, L., Stenmark, K., Giaccia, A.J. and Zundel, W. CSN5 Regulates Hypoxia Inducible Factor-1? Stability by Preventing 4-Prolyl-Hydroxylation at Proline 564. Genes & Development, (2004). 18(7):739-44.
  • Moore, L., Shriver; M. Bemis, L.T., Hickler, B., Wilson; M., Brutsaert, T., Parra, E., Vargas, E. Maternal Adaptation to High Altitude Pregnancy: An Experiment of Nature. Placenta (2004) 25 Suppl:S60-71.
  • Bemis, L.T. and Schedin, P. Reproductive state of rat mammary gland stroma modulates breast cancer cell migration and invasion Cancer Research. (2000) 60:3414-3418.
  • Li, F., Bielke, W., Andres, A.-C., Friis, R.R., Bemis, L.T., Geske, F.J. and Strange, R. Isolation of cDNAs from mammary epithelium undergoing postlactational apoptotic cell death. Cell Death and Differentiation (1995) 2l1:98-117.
  • Dickson, R., Larsen, B., Viitanen, P.V., Tormey, M.B., Geske, F.J., Strange, R. and Bemis, L.T. Cloning, Expression and Purification of a Functional Non-Acetylated Mammalian Mitochondrial Chaperonin 10. (1994) J Bio Chem 269:26858-26864.

Community Education

Genetic Education for Native Americans (GENA) is a community based educational program developed in collaboration with Dr. Linda Burhansstipanov and Dr. Bemis to explain genetics in terms that are useful to community members and college students. (

Selected publications from GENA

  • Burhansstipanov L. and Bemis LT Effective Educational Strategies Combining Emerging Genetic Science and Native American Cultural Issues. California Journal of Health Promotion. (2007) 5:128-138.
  • Dignan MB, Burhansstipanov L, Bemis L.T. Successful implementation of genetic Education for Native Americans workshops at national conferences. Genetics. (2005) 169(2):517-21.
  • Burhansstipanov, L., Bemis, L.T., Dignan, M. and Dukepoo, F.C. Development of a Genetics Education Workshop Curriculum for Native American College and University Students. Genetics. (2001) 158:941-948.
  • Romero, F., Bemis, L.T., Dignan, M. and Burhansstipanov, L. Genetic Research and Native American Cultural Issues. Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering. . (2001) 7:97-106.
  • Burhansstipanov, L., Bemis, L.T., and Dignan, M. Native American cancer education: genetic and cultural issues. J Cancer Educ (2001) 16(3):142-5.