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Dara L. Aisner, MD, PhD

Associate Professor


  • 7/2009 – 6/2010 | Fellow, ​​Molecular and Genetic Pathology, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Pennsylvania Hospital - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 7/2008 - 6/2009 | Fellow, Surgical Pathology Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Pennsylvania Hospital - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 7/2007 - 6/2008 | Resident/Clinical Fellow, Anatomic Pathology; National Institutes of Health, & 7/2004 - 9/2006 Bethesda, Maryland
  • 5/1996 - 6/2004 | MD; University of Texas Southwestern Medical School at Dallas - Dallas, Texas
  • 5/1996 - 6/2004 | PhD; University of Texas Southwestern Graduate School - Dallas, Texas
  • 8/1992 - 6/1996 | BS, Magna Cum Laude, Molecular Biology with honors; Vanderbilt University - Nashville, ​​Tennessee

Academic Appointments:

  • 8/2010 - Current | Associate Professo​r, University of Colorado School of Medicine

Honors, Special Recognitions and Awards:

  • CAP Foundation Research Grant, 2009-2010; Project Title: Identification and V​alidation of Gene Targets for CpG Promoter Methylation for Risk Stratification in GIST
  • REACH Resident Research Award Grant, 2009-2010; Project Title: MicroRNA Expression in H.pylori associated Gastric Carcinogenesis
  • H.T. Enterline Surgical Pathology Fellowship Award; University of Pennsylvania; June 2009
  • Merck Scholars Training Grant, University of Texas Southwestern Medical School Medical Scientist Training Program
  • Magna cum Laude; Vanderbilt University; June 1996
  • Phi Beta Kappa; Vanderbilt University; March 1996

Professional Society Membership:

  • 2004 - Current | United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology
  • 2009 - Current | Association for Molecular Pathology Member, Training and Education Committee
  • 2009 - Current | International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer


  • Colorado - Unrestricted
  • Maryland - Unrestricted (Inactive)​

 Board Certification:

  • Anatomic Pathology (June, 2008)
  • Molecular Genetic Pathology (Board Eligible)

Review and Referee Work:

  • Ad Hoc Reviewer, Journal of Molecular Diagnostics, 2009
  • Ad Hoc Reviewer, Journal of Molecular Diagnosis and Therapy, 2009
  • Ad Hoc Reviewer, Journal of Thoracic Oncology, 2010​

Invited Lectures:

  • 'Molecular diagnostic applications in anatomic pathology', at Pennsylvania Association of Pathologists Annual Meeting, Harrisburgh, PA, April, 2010​ 


  Journal Publications:

  • D O'Mahony, I Debnath, J Janik, DL Aisner, E Jaffe, T Waldmann, J Morris: Cardiac involvement with human T-cell lymphotrophic virus type-1-associated adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma: The NIH experience. Leuk Lymphoma 2008, 49:439-46.
  • DL Aisner, DM Berman, A Maker, S Rosenberg: Loss of S100 antigenicity in malignant melanoma. Hum Pathol 2005, 36:1016– 1019.
  • DL Aisner, WE Wright, JW Shay: Telomerase regulation: not just flipping the switch. Curr Opin Genet Dev 2002, 12:80-5.
  • X Yi, DM White, DL Aisner, JA Baur, WE Wright, JW Shay: An alternate splicing variant of the human telomerase catalytic subunit inhibits telomerase activity. Neoplasia 2000, 2:433-40.
  • PA McChesney, DL Aisner, BC Frank, WE Wright, JW Shay: Telomere dynamics in cells with introduced telomerase: a rapid assay for telomerase activity on telomeres. Mol Cell Biol Res Commun 2000, 3:312-8.
  • VM Tesmer, LP Ford, SE Holt, BC Frank, X Yi, DL Aisner, M Ouellette, JW Shay, WE Wright: Two inactive fragments of the integral RNA cooperate to assemble active telomerase with the human protein catalytic subunit (hTERT) in vitro. Mol Cell Biol 1999, 19:6207-16.
  • MM Ouellette, DL Aisner, I Savre-Train, WE Wright, JW Shay: Telomerase activity does not always imply telomere maintenance. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 1999, 254:795-803.
  • SE Holt, DL Aisner, J Baur, VM Tesmer, M Dy, M Ouellette, JB Trager, GB Morin, DO Toft, JW Shay, et al: Functional requirement of p23 and Hsp90 in telomerase complexes. Genes Dev 1999, 13:817-26.
  • SE Holt, DL Aisner, JW Shay, WE Wright: Lack of cell cycle regulation of telomerase activity in human cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 1997, 94:10687-92.

   Books and Book Chapters:

  • AR Sepulveda and DL Aisner: Molecular Basis of Diseases of the Gastrointestinal Tract. In "Molecular Pathology: The Molecular Basis of Human Disease" by Coleman WB and Tsongalis GJ; Academic Press, Burlington, MA, 2009 pp365-394.
  • Roundtable on Evidence Based Medicine: The Learning Healthcare System Workshop Summary ed. L Olsen, DL Aisner,  JM McGinnis; National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 2007 


  • DL Aisner, Y Yao, Y Wen, AR Sepulveda: Increasing CpG methylation in a four gene panel during progression of ulcerative colitis to dysplasia, poster presentation at Association for Molecular Pathology Annual Meeting, November 2009, Orlando, Florida
  • D Nielsen, J Strubinger, C McGrath, CD Watt, DL Aisner, VM Van Deerlin: Clinical performance of Invader v2 ASR assay and correlation with HPV genotyping, poster presentation at Assocation for Molecular Pathology Annual Meeting, November 2009, Orlando, Florida
  • DL Aisner, Y Yao, Y Wen, AR Sepulveda: Progressive increase of MGMT (O6-methylguanine DNA methyltransferease) CpG methylation levels from colitis to low-grade dysplasia in ulcerative colitis, poster presentation at Digestive Diseases Week 2009, Chicago, Illinois
  • DL Aisner, DM Berman, A Maker, S Rosenberg: Loss of S100 antigenicity in malignant melanoma, platform presentation at USCAP 2005, San Antonio, Texas
  • DL Aisner, PA McChesney, CT Iucu, JA Baur, WE Wright, JW Shay: Characterization of putative phosphorylation sites and variants of the catalytic protein component of telomerase, Telomeres and Telomerase Symposium, Cold Spring Harbor, January, 2001.
  • HD Love, S Soltaninasaab, J McAfee, DL Aisner, W LeStourgeon: hnRNP C proteins exist as a 390KDa dodecamer which binds 690nts of RNA during hnRNP assembly RNA Processing Cold Spring Harbor, January, 1995.​ 

Office Location:

 Research Center 1 South

 Room 5102




 Office Phone:

 Office Fax:

(303) 724-3495

(303) 724-3096


Mailing Address:

 University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

 12801 East 17th Avenue

 Mailstop 8104

 Aurora, CO 80045​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​