Kenro Kusumi

1100 S. McAllister Ave.
Armstrong Hall, Suite 240
PO Box 872501
Tempe
Professor
Faculty
TEMPE Campus
Mailcode
2501

Biography

Kenro Kusumi is dean of natural sciences and professor of the School of Life Sciences and in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (The College) at Arizona State University. He received his BA from Harvard College in Biochemical Sciences and his PhD in Biology from MIT. He carried out postdoctoral training as a Hitchings-Elion Fellow of the Burroughs Wellcome Fund at the National Institute for Medical Research in London. Kusumi was previously faculty at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where he served as director of pediatric orthopaedic research. At ASU, he has served in a number of roles including as director of the School of Life Sciences and associate dean in The College. Kusumi helped to launch the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix in 2006, where he continues on the faculty in the Department of Basic Medical Sciences, and is adjunct faculty at the Translational Genomics Research Institute.

Kusumi is committed to developing equitable and inclusive programs for students, and he is working to create a more inclusive academic environment, including serving as mentor and faculty advisor in university LGBTQ organizations.

Kusumi’s research uses the power of genome biology to help conserve and study the functional adaptations of reptiles. Among the reptiles, more than half of the living turtle species are threatened with extinction, and Kusumi has sequenced the genome of the threatened Mojave desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) as a tool for conservation efforts. The anole lizards have been described as the “Darwin’s finches” of reptiles, and Kusumi has led the first genome-scale analysis of accelerated evolution associated with their functional adaptations. His group has also uncovered sets of genes that are critical in the ability of anole lizards to adapt and regenerate parts of their bodies.

Education

  • Burroughs Wellcome Fund Hitchins-Elion Postdoctoral Fellow, National Institute for Medical Research, Medical Research Council, London, UK 1998-2000
  • Ph.D. Dept. of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology 1997
  • A.B. Harvard College, Harvard University 1988

Videos

Conserving the Mojave Desert Tortoise

Google Scholar

Research Interests

Kusumis research at ASU uses the power of genome biology to help conserve and study the functional adaptations of reptiles. Among the reptiles, more than half of the living turtle species are threatened with extinction, and Kusumi has sequenced the genome of the threatened Mojave desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) and Sonoran desert tortoise (G. morafkai) as resources for conservation efforts. His group is extending genomic analysis to the Texas tortoise (G. berlandieri).The anole lizards have been described as the Darwins finches of reptiles, and Kusumis group has led the first genome-scale analysis of accelerated evolution associated with their functional adaptations. His group has also uncovered sets of genes that are critical in the ability of anole lizards to adapt and regenerate parts of their bodies. They are using genomic approaches to study the evolution of wildlife on the Baja California peninsula.

Research Group

Publications

  • Edwards T, Tollis M, Hsieh P-H, Gutenkunst RN, Liu Z, Kusumi K, Culver M, Murphy RW. Assessing models of speciation under different biogeographic scenarios: an empirical study using multi-locus and RNA-seq analyses. Ecol Evol. 2016 https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.1865      
  • Hutchins ED^, Eckalbar WL^, Wolter JM, Mangone M, Kusumi K. Differential expression of conserved and novel microRNAs during tail regeneration in the lizard Anolis carolinensisBMC Genomics. 2016 17:339https://doi.org/10.1186/s12864-016-2640-3.
  • Djordjevic D, Kusumi K, Ho JWK. XGSA: a statistical method for cross-species gene set analysis. Bioinformatics. 2016 32(17): i620-i628. https://doi.org/10.1093/bioinformatics/btw428                                  
  • Rupp SM, Webster TH, Olney KC, Hutchins ED, Kusumi K, Wilson Sayres MA. Evolution of Dosage Compensation in Anolis carolinensis, a Reptile with XX/XY Chromosomal Sex Determination. Genome Biol Evol. 2017 Jan 1;9(1):231-240. doi:10.1093/gbe/evw263
  • Tollis M, DeNardo DF, Cornelius JA, Dolby GA, Edwards T, Henen BT, Karl AE, Murphy RW, Kusumi K. The Agassiz’s desert tortoise genome provides a resource for the conservation of a threatened species. PLOS ONE. 2017 12(5): e0177708.  https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0177708
  • Giampietro PF, Pourquie O, Raggio C, Ikegawa S, Turnpenny PD, Gray R, Dunwoodie SL, Gurnett CA, Alman B, Cheung K, Kusumi K, Hadley-Miller N, Wise C.. Summary of the First Inaugural Meeting of the International Consortium for Scoliosis Genetics and the International Consortium for Vertebral Anomalies and Scoliosis, March 16-18, 2017, Dallas, Texas. Am J Med Genet, 2017 176A:253-256. https://doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.a.38550
  • Kusumi K. Investigating Regeneration: Extended Rebuilding Capacity. Dev Cell. 2017 43:375. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.devcel.2017.11.009
  • Tokuyama M, Xu C, Fisher RE, Wilson-Rawls J, Kusumi K, Newbern JM. Developmental and adult-specific processes contribute to de novo neuromuscular regeneration in the lizard tail. Dev Biol. 2018 433:287-296. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ydbio.2017.10.003
  • Tollis M^, Hutchins ED^, Stapley J, Rupp SM, Eckalbar WL, Maayan I, Lasku E, Infante C, Dennis SR, Robertson JA, May C, Crusoe MR, Bermingham E, DeNardo DF, Hsieh ST, Huentelman MJ, Kulathinal R, McMillan O, Menke DB, Pratt SC, Rawls A, Sanjur O, Wilson-Rawls J, Wilson Sayres MA, Fisher RE, Kusumi K. Comparative genomics reveals accelerated evolution in conserved pathways during the diversification of anole lizards. Genome Biol Evol. February 2018 10(2):489-506  https://doi.org/10.1093/gbe/evy013
  • Sannan NF, Shan X, Gregory-Evans K, Kusumi K, Gregory-Evans CY. Anolis carolinensis as a model to understand molecular and cellular basis of foveal development. Exp Eye Res. 2018 pii: S0014-4835(18)30052-6 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.exer.2018.05.012
  • Palade J, Djordjevic D, Hutchins ED, George R, Cornelius JA, Rawls A, Ho JWK, Kusumi K, Wilson-Rawls J. Identification of satellite cells from anole lizard skeletal muscle and demonstration of increased musculoskeletal potential. Dev Biol. 2018 433:344-356. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ydbio.2017.08.037                                      
  • Xu C, Hutchins ED, Tokuyama MA, Wilson-Rawls J, Kusumi K. Transcriptional analysis of scar-free wound healing during early stages of tail regeneration in the lizard, Anolis carolinensisJ Immunol Regen Med. March 2020 7(2020):100025. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.regen.2019.100025
  • Orton JP, Morales M, Fontenele RS, Schmidlin K, Kraberger S, Leavitt DJ, Webster TH, Wilson MA, Kusumi K, Dolby GA, Varsani A. Virus Discovery in Desert Tortoise Fecal Samples: Novel Circular Single-Stranded DNA Viruses. Viruses. 2020 Jan 26;12(2). pii: E143. https://doi.org/10.3390/v12020143
  • Dolby GA, Morales M, Webster TH, DeNardo DF, Wilson MA, Kusumi K. Discovery of a New TLR Gene and Gene Expansion Event through Improved Desert Tortoise Genome Assembly with Chromosome-Scale Scaffolds. Genome Biol Evol. 2020 Feb 1;12(2):3917-3925. https://doi.org/10.1093/gbe/evaa016
  • Xu C, Dolby GA, Drake KK, Esque TC, Kusumi K. Immune and sex-biased gene expression in the threatened Mojave desert tortoise, Gopherus agassizii. PLOS ONE 2020 26;15(8):e0238202.  https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0238202
  • Xu C, Palade J, Fisher RE, Smith CI, Clark AR, Sampson S, Bourgeois R, Rawls A, Elsey RM, Wilson-Rawls J, Kusumi K. Comparative anatomy and histology reveal that the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) exhibits regenerative capacity of the tail. Sci Rep 2020 10:20122. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-77052-8
  • Romero-Diaz C, Xu C, Campos SM, Herrmann MA, Kusumi K, Hews DK, Martins EP. Brain transcriptomic responses of Yarrow’s spiny lizard, Sceloporus jarrovii, to conspecific visual or chemical signals. Genes Brain Behavior. May 2021 https://doi.org/10.1111/gbb.12753
  • Westfall AK, Telemeco RS, Grizante MB, Waits DS, Clark AD, Simpson DY, Klabacka RL. Sullivan AP. Perry GH, Cox CL, Cox RM, Gifford ME, John-Alder HB, Sears MW, Angilletta MJ, Tollis M, Leaché AD, Langkilde T, Kusumi K, Schwartz TS. A chromosome-level genome assembly for the Eastern fence lizard (Sceloporus undulatus), a reptile model for physiological and evolutionary ecology. Gigascience. In press.

Research Activity

  • Dolby, Greer; Kusumi, Kenro. Collaborative Research: Testing Evolutionary Psuedocongruence Along the Baja California Peninsula Through Integration of Geologic and Genomic Data. NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION (10/1/19-9/30/22).
  • Dolby, Greer; Kusumi, Kenro. AZGF/ASU Sonora Mud Turtle Project. ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF GAME AND FISH (3/26/20-12/31/25).
  • DeNardo, Dale; Dolby, Greer; Kusumi, Kenro. IMAGiNE: Testing multi-level controls on an aridity tolerance phenotype over time through physiogenomic data integration. NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION (9/1/21-8/31/24).
  • McCracken, Shawn; Kusumi, Kenro; Dolby, Greer. “Conservation genomics and disease ecology of the Texas tortoise, Gopherus berlandieri” TEXAS PARKS AND WILDLIFE DEPARTMENT (1/1/22-12/31/24)

Courses

Summer 2021
Course Number Course Title
BDE 792 Research
Spring 2021
Course Number Course Title
BIO 493 Honors Thesis
BIO 495 Undergraduate Research
BIO 543 Molecular Genetics & Genomics
BDE 792 Research
BDE 799 Dissertation
Fall 2020
Course Number Course Title
LIA 194 Special Topics
BIO 492 Honors Directed Study
BIO 495 Undergraduate Research
Summer 2020
Course Number Course Title
BDE 792 Research
Spring 2020
Course Number Course Title
BIO 493 Honors Thesis
BIO 495 Undergraduate Research
BIO 543 Molecular Genetics & Genomics
BDE 792 Research
BDE 799 Dissertation
Fall 2019
Course Number Course Title
LIA 194 Special Topics
BIO 492 Honors Directed Study
Spring 2019
Course Number Course Title
BIO 493 Honors Thesis
BIO 495 Undergraduate Research
BDE 792 Research
BDE 799 Dissertation
Fall 2018
Course Number Course Title
LIA 194 Special Topics
BIO 495 Undergraduate Research
Spring 2018
Course Number Course Title
BIO 493 Honors Thesis
BIO 495 Undergraduate Research
BIO 543 Molecular Genetics & Genomics
Fall 2017
Course Number Course Title
LIA 194 Special Topics
BIO 493 Honors Thesis
BIO 495 Undergraduate Research
MCB 591 Seminar
Spring 2017
Course Number Course Title
BIO 493 Honors Thesis
BIO 495 Undergraduate Research
BIO 543 Molecular Genetics & Genomics
Fall 2016
Course Number Course Title
BIO 495 Undergraduate Research
NEU 591 Seminar
MCB 591 Seminar

Presentations

  • The evolution of regeneration in reptiles. 2017 Southwest Regional Meeting, Society for Developmental Biology, Houston, TX. October 5-7, 2017
  • Regeneration in reptiles. Scientific Meeting in Honor of Robb Krumlaufs Election to the National Academy of Sciences, Stowers Institute for Medical Research, Kansas City, MO. September 29-30, 2017.
  • Identifying the genetic toolkit for regeneration in vertebrates: Insights from comparative genomic analysis. Department of Biomedical Informatics Seminar, College of Health Solutions, Scottsdale, AZ. October 20, 2017.
  • Genomic Insights into the Evolution of the Threatened Gopherus Desert Tortoises and Anolis Lizard Adaptive Radiation. Australian Wildlife Conservation Group, University of Sydney, Australia, June 4, 2019.
  • From pudgy mice to spondylocostal dysostosis. Peter Turnpenny Retirement Symposium. Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, University of Exeter Peninsula Medical School, Exeter, UK, September 13, 2019.
  • Genomic Insights into the Evolution and Conservation of Threatened Gopherus Tortoises. Department of Ecology and Evolution Seminar, Florida State University (Video). September 10, 2021.
  • The Promise of Future Spinal Musculoskeletal, Central and Peripheral Nervous System Regenerative Therapies: Lessons from the Lizard. The International Consortium for Spinal Genetics, Development, and Disease Conference, Shenzhen and Guangzhou, China, April 6-8, 2018.
  • Identifying the genetic toolkit for regeneration in vertebrates: Insights from comparative genomic analysis. Department of Biology, University of S�o Paulo, Ribeir�o Preto, Brazil, August 8, 2018.

Service

  • Judge, Annual DNA Day Essay Contest, American Society for Human Genetics (2008-present)

  • Member of the Selection Committee, Out to Innovate Scholarships for LGBT STEM Students, Out to Innovate (formerly National Organization of Gay & Lesbian Scientists & Technical Professionals, NOGLSTP) (2014-present)

  • Founding Member, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Community (LGBTQ*) Faculty & Staff Association, Arizona State University (2016-present)

  • Mentor, HUES LGBT+ Mentoring Program, Graduate College, Arizona State University (2018-present)

  • Faculty Advisor, GRADient Out in Graduate School, Arizona State University (2018-present)

  • Allies Member, ADVANCE Institutional Transformation Award, Arizona State University (2018-present)