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Richard Allsopp, PhD

Richard Allsopp, PhD

Richard Allsopp, PhD
  • Full Member
    Cancer Biology Program
    University of Hawaii Cancer Center
  • Academic Appointments

  • Associate Professor, Institute of Biogenesis Research
    Department of Anatomy and Reproductive Biology
    John A. Burns School of Medicine
    University of Hawaii at Manoa


  • PhD, Biochemistry
    McMaster University
    Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
  • Postdoctoral Training, Biology
    Stanford University, CA

Research Focus

I began my career very early in the field of telomere biology, with a seminal publication in the field in PNAS in 1992, which showed that replicative lifespan of human cells is predicted very well by telomere length. Subsequently, I was part of a team at Geron Corporation in California which developed the modern method for detection of telomerase, an enzyme that is expressed in 90% of human tumors and is essential for their long term survival. I also helped cone murine catalytic component of telomerase, telomerase reverse transcriptase (Tert), which is essential for telomerase activity and which has aided in the study of cancer biology by many labs around the world. More recently, at John A Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM), I helped develop the first use of the modern cell sorter device, fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS), now used both in the Tropical Medicine department, and at Manoa at the Institute for Biogenesis Research. The use of FACS to sort cells is a technique widely used in cancer biology to purify and study many different types of tumor cells. Also recently, I have published a paper with fellow collaborators at JABSOM demonstrating that targeting of Tert, using a modern non-viral transposase based delivery system, is an effective way to repress telomerase activity and accelerate telomere shortening in tumor cells.

Selected Publications

  • Morris BJ, Donlon TA, He Q, Grove JS, Masaki KH, Elliott A, Willcox DC, Allsopp R, Willcox BJ. (2015). Genetic analysis of TOR complex gene variation with human longevity: a nested case-control study of American men of Japanese ancestry. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 70(2):133-42. doi: 10.1093.
  • Owens J, Mathews J, Davy P, Stoytchev I, Moisyadi S, Allsopp R. (2013). Effective Targeted Gene Knock-Down in Mammalian Cells using the piggyBac Transposase Based Delivery System. Mol Ther Nucleic Acids. 10;2: e137. PMID: 24326734
  • Allsopp R. Short telomeres flirt with stem cell commitment. (2013). Short telomeres flirt with stem cell commitment. Cell Stem Cell. 12(4) :383-4. PMID: 23561436
  • Jourdan-le Saux C, et al.* 2013. A Novel Telomerase Activator Suppresses Lung Damage in a Murine Model of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. PLoS ONE. 8(3) :e58423. PMID: 23516479 *- R. Allsopp is senior author.
  • Coussens M, Davy P, Brown L, Foster C, Andrews WH, Nagata M, Allsopp R. (2010). An RNAi Screen For TERT Transcriptional Regulators Identifies HIF1 As Critical For Telomerase Function In Murine Embryonic Stem Cells. PNAS. 107, 13842-7. PMID: 20643931.

Publication list via PubMed

Active Grants

  • R. Allsopp, PI
    Tilker Foundation
    "Analysis of Hif1-alpha Dependent Regulation of Tert Expression in Murine Stem Cells"
    The goal of the PI is to further elucidate the involvement of Hif1 in the regulation of telomerase in embryonic stem cells
  • R. Allsopp, PI
    NIH (R21)
    "Genetics of telomere dynamics in Okinawans"
    The goal of this grant is to assess the possible mechanistic connection between the protective and longevity associated FOXO3A variant with the regulation of telomeres in a long-lived human cohort.
  • R. Allsopp, PI
    NIH (R01)
    "Analysis of Hif1alpha-mediated Regulation of Telomerase & Telomeres in Stem Cells"
    The goal of this grant is to assess the detailed mechanism of Hif1 in the regulation of Tert expression in stem cells and to assess the role of Hif1 in regulating telomerase in vivo.
    9/1/11 – 8/31/15