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Tami J. Kingsbury, PhD

Academic Title:

Assistant Professor

Primary Appointment:




Phone (Primary):

(410) 706-1202


(410) 706-5847

Education and Training

B.S.: Biochemistry and Biology, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA

Ph.D: Biology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 

Postdoctoral Training: Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD

BIRCWH Scholar: University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD


Dr. Kingsbury has broad expertise in cellular and moleular biology. Initially trained in yeast molecular biology and genetics, Dr. Kingsbury discovered a novel family of proteins conserved from yeast to humans, that regulates the calcium-stimulated protein phosphatase calcineurin. The Regulator of Calcineurin  (RCAN) family has been implicated in a wide range of conditions and diseases. One of the human homologs, Down Sydrome Critical Region 1 (DSCR1), is located on human Chromosome 21, which is triplicated in Down Syndrome patients. Calcineurin is a key factor by which cells orchestrate their response to diverse calcium signals generated by developmental and environmental cues. Calcineurin is also the key target of immunosuppressants utilized in the clinic for transplant patients. As a postdoctoral fellow and junior faculty member, Dr. Kingsbury moved to mammalian systems, utilizing molecular, cellular, biochemical and genetic approaches to intrerrogate the role of novel sigaling factors, (RNA and proteins), in cell survival, proliferation and differentiation. Taking advantage of the well-defined hematopoietic system, the paradigm for stem cell biology, Dr. Kingsbury is now focused on identifying novel molecules that regulate stem cell biology to understand the molecular mechanisms that normally regulate stem-progenitor cell function but can be co-opted to drive cancer development and progression. 

Highlighted Publications

S. Connolly and T.J. Kingsbury. (2012) Regulatory subunit myristoylation antagonizes calcineurin phosphatase activation in yeastJ Biol Chem 287: 39361-39368. PMID: 23027860. PMCID: PMC3501033

W.C. Cheng, T.J. Kingsbury, S.J. Wheelan, C.I. Civin. (2013) A simple high-throughput technology enables gain-of-function screening of human microRNAsBioTechniques 54:77-86. PMCID: PMC3671589

Tan, Y.S., Kim, M., Kingsbury, T.J., Civin, C.I., Cheng, W.C. (2014) Regulation of RAB5C is important for the growth inhibitory effects of MiR-509 in human precursor-B acute lymphoblastic leukemia. PLoS ONE  9(11): e111777.  PMCID: PMC4219775.

Kim, M., Tan, Y.S., Cheng, W.C., Kingsbury, T.J., Heimfeld, S., Civin, C.I.  (2015) MIR144 and MIR451 regulate human erythropoiesis via RAB14. British Journal of Haematology 168(4): 583-97. PMCID: PMC4314389.

Kingsbury T.J.  (2015) Navigating toward an understanding of the role of Regulator of Calcineurin in Thermotaxis. J Mol Biol. 427(22):3453-6. PubMed PMID: 26388410.  

Connolly, S., Quasi-Woode, D., Waldron, L., Eberly, C., Waters, K., Muller, E. M., and Kingsbury, T.J. (2018)  Calcineurin regulatory subunit calcium-binding domains differentially contribute to calcineurin signaling in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Genetics. 2018 Jul 1;209(3):801-813.  PMCID: PMC6028253

Additional Publication Citations

T.J. Kingsbury and K.W. Cunningham. A conserved family of calcineurin regulatorsGenes and Development 14:1595-1604 (2000) 

J.J. Fuentes, L. Genesca, T.J. Kingsbury, K.W. Cunningham, M. Perez-Riba, X. Estivill and S. de la Luna. DSCR1, overexpressed in Down syndrome, is an inhibitor of calcineurin-mediated signaling pathwaysHuman Molecular Genetics 9: 1681-1690 (2000). 

T.J Kingsbury, P.D. Murray, L.L. Bambrick and B.K.Krueger. Ca(2+)-dependent regulation of TrkB expression in neurons .Journal of Biological Chemistry 278:40744-8 (2003) 

Z. Hilioti, D.A. Gallagher, S.T. Low-Nam, P. Ramaswamy, P. Gajer, T.J. Kingsbury, C.J. Birchwood, A. Levchenko and K.W. Cunningham. GSK-3 kinases enhance calcineurin signaling by phosphorylation of RCNs. Genes and Development 18:35-47 (2004).  PMCID: PMC314273

T.J. Kingsbury and B.K. Krueger. Ca2+, CREB and Kruppel: A novel KLF7-binding element conserved in mouse and human TRKB promoters re¬quired for CREB-dependent transcription. Molecular Cellular Neuroscience, Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience 35:447-455 (2007).  PMCID: PMC2042965

T.J. Kingsbury, L. Bambrick, C. Roby and B.K. Krueger. Calcineurin activity is required for depolarization-induced, CREB-dependent gene transcription in cortical neuronsJournal of Neurochemistry 103:761-770 (2007). 

P.D. Murray, T.J. Kingsbury and B.K. Krueger. Failure of Ca2+-activated, CREB-dependent gene transcription in astrocytes. 57:828-834 (2009). PMCID: PMC2669848

L.E.F. Almeida, P.D. Murray, H.R. Zielke, C.D. Roby, T.J. Kingsbury, B.K. Krueger. Autocrine activation of neuronal NMDA receptors by aspartate mediates dopamine- and cAMP-induced CREB-dependent gene transcriptionJournal of Neuroscience 29:12702-12710 (2009). PMC2804479

S. Connolly and T.J. Kingsbury. Caffeine modulates CREB-dependent gene expression in developing cortical neuronsBiochem Biophys Res Commun 397: 152-156 (2010). PMC2922856

S. Connolly and T.J. Kingsbury. Regulatory subunit myristoylation antagonizes calcineurin phosphatase activation in yeastJ Biol Chem 287: 39361-39368 (2012). PMCID: PMC3501033

Research Interests

Hematopoiesis, Leukemia, Cell signaling, Regulation of gene expression

Awards and Affiliations

UMB Affiliations

Member & Hematopoietic and Cancer Stem Cell Working Group Leader, Center for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine

Member & RNA Interest Group Leader, Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center


Professional Societies

American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

American Society of Hematology

Grants and Contracts

2018-Mark Foundation Momentum Award
Mark Foundation for Cancer Research $75,000
Molecular Interactions of PSEDN members in cancer

Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund/TEDCO $100,000
Eyes Absent-1 (EYA1) as a novel hematopoietic stem-progenitor cell regulator
The goal of this proposal is to test whether EYA1 can be manipulated to enhance HSPC expansion ex vivo.

2016-MSCRFI-2794 (Chiang) 6/30/16-5/29/18 3 Cal Months
Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund/TEDCO $200,000
TheraCord Cord Blood Collection Device
The goal of this proposal is to determine maternal cell contamination levels in HSPCs obtained by perfusion and optimize collection buffer for downstream HSPC function.

Lab Techniques and Equipment

Molecular and Cellular biology, gene editing and biochemistry

Laboratory Personnel

Christian Eberly

Kerri Waters

Michael Creed