Paul Robbins



Dr. Paul Robbins is a Professor of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics and the Associate Director of the Institute on the Biology of Aging and Metabolism (iBAM) and the Medical Discovery Team on the Biology of Aging at the University of Minnesota.

He was one of the first to identify enhancer elements that regulate transcription at a distance, the first to show that the retinoblastoma tumor suppressor regulates transcription and the first to develop gene therapies for autoimmune disease including an ongoing clinical trial for osteoarthritis. More recently, he was part of a collaborative team that was the first to identify senotherapeutic compounds, able to reduce the senescent cell burden and extend healthspan and lifespan in mouse models, that are in more than 15 clinical trials for age related diseases and conditions.

Research Summary

The pathways important for driving autoimmune and inflammatory diseases as well as age related degeneration are surprisingly similar. For example, inhibition of the transcription factor NF-?B is therapeutic in mouse models of autoimmunity and inflammation as well as Duchenne muscular dystrophy and aging. Similarly, inhibition of IL-1ß signaling by gene transfer of the IL-1 receptor antagonist protein is therapeutic in multiple models of diseases. The Robbins Lab is developing novel approaches to treat autoimmune (type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis), inflammatory (inflammatory bowel disease, delayed type hypersensitivity) and age-related degenerative diseases using biologics and small molecules. The therapeutic approaches being developed include: 1) AAV mediated gene transfer of anti-inflammatory or immunosuppressive agents; 2) Peptide and small molecule inhibitors of the transcription factor of NF-?B; 3) Novel osteogenic peptides; 4) Adult stem cells; 5) Microvesicles (exosomes) derived from immunoregulatory or stem cells able to block inflammation or promote regeneration; and 6) Identification of drugs able to reverse cellular senescence for improving healthy aging. Although the majority of the studies are being performed in mouse models of disease, approaches to treat osteoarthritis by intra-articular AAV-mediated gene transfer and Duchenne muscular dystrophy by systemic treatment with a NF-?B inhibitory peptide will soon be entering the clinic.




312 Church St SE

Minneapolis, MN 55455-0215