Donald Primerano, Ph.D.

Donald Primerano, Ph.D.Professor, Division Head for Microbiology, and Director of the Genomics Core Facility
Department: Biochemistry and Microbiology
Research Clusters: Cardiovascular Disease, Obesity, and Diabetes; Infectious and Immunological Diseases
Office: BBSC 336F | Laboratories: BBSC 317, 318 and 326
Phone: (304) 696-7338 | Fax: (304) 696-7207

Research Interests

My principal research interests are in the genetic susceptibility to complex diseases and in developing assays to measure DNA damage. I serve as the director of the Appalachian Cardiovascular Research Network (ACoRN).  Cardiovascular disease (CAD) and one of its contributing causes, obesity, are significant health problems in West Virginia (WV). WV also has the highest rate of obesity.  ACoRN is designed to explore the genetic and environmental causes of cardiovascular disease as well as the mechanism(s) of action of therapeutic agents.  The ACoRN team is composed of biomedical investigators at Marshall University, West Virginia University, the University of Kentucky, West Liberty University and Charleston Area Medical Center.  ACoRN projects include investigations on the genetic basis of Familial Combined Hyperlipidemia, epicardial fat biomarkers in CAD patients in Appalachia, use of gene expression post-stroke to predict stroke outcome, mechanisms of statin mode of action, and the regulation of brain endothelial phenotype and function by diabetic plasma.

I also serve as the director of the MU Genomics Core Facility ( The Genomics Core Facility provides the following services to researchers at Marshall and other universities: (1) Next Generation DNA Sequencing (2) microarray-based gene expression profiling and pathway analysis, (2) automated DNA sequencing and genotyping, (3) access to real-time thermal cyclers for quantitative PCR and Luminex 100 for multiplex protein detection.

Selected Publications

Stephanie L. Rellick, Heather O’Leary, Debbie Piktel, Cheryl Walton, James E. Fortney, Stephen M. Akers, Karen H. Martin,  James Denvir, Goran Boskovic, Donald A. Primerano,  Jeffrey Vos, Nathanael Bailey,Marieta Gencheva, and Laura F. Gibson. Bone Marrow Osteoblast Damage by Chemotherapeutic Agents. PLoS One. 7:e30758 (2012) PMCID: PMC3281873.

The Appalachian Cardiovascular Research Network (Yulia Dementieva*, J. Denvir, L. Wei, D. A. Primerano, T. L. Green, P. Wehner, M. R. Flood, D. Calica, B. Freeman, M. Huff, S. Dodson, C. Hill, A. Francis, K. McIntyre, R. Kreisberg, S. Warren, H. Blackwood, M. Davis, H-M Lee.) Identification of genes contributing to cardiovascular disease in overweight and obese individuals from West Virginia.  WV Medical Journal 108: 23-31 (2012)

S. E. Kelly, A. Di Benedetto, A. Greco, C. M. Howard, V. E. Sollars, DA Primerano, J.V. Valluri, P. P. Claudio. Rapid Selection and Proliferation of CD133(+) Cells from Cancer Cell Lines: Chemotherapeutic Implications.  PLoS One 5: e10035 (2010).

S. T. Dorsam, E. Vomhof-Dekrey, R. Hermann, J. Haring, E. Wilkerson, G.Boskovic, J. Denvir, Y. Dementieva, D. Primerano and G. P. Dorsam. Identification of the Early VIP-Regulated Transcriptome and its Associated Interactome in Resting and Activated Murine CD4 T Cells.  Mol Immunol. 47:1181-94. Epub 2010 Feb 1. (2010). PMID: 20117839

LA Dvoracek, JI  Kreisberg, J McKinney, G Schmid, AD Francis, KL Kacmarik HM Lee, MS Detrick, DA Primerano, N Santanam and R Kreisberg. Lovastatin inhibits Oxidized-L-A-phosphatidylcholine B-arachidonoyl-gamma-palmitoyl (ox-PAPC)-Stimulated Interleukin-8 mRNA and Protein Synthesis in Human Aortic Endothelial Cells by Depleting Stores of Geranylgeranyl Pyrophosphate Atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis 208:50–55(2010). PMID: 19595352

Y. Huang, Kan Huang, G. Boskovic, Y. Dementieva, J. Denvir, DA Primerano, G.-Z. Zhu. Proteomic and genomic analysis of PITX2 interacting and regulating networks. FEBS Letters 583:638-642 (2008)

Estler, M, Boskovic G, Denvir J, Miles S, Primerano DA, and Niles RM.  Global Analysis of Gene Expression Changes During Retinoic Acid-Induced Growth Arrest and Differentiation of Melanoma: Comparison to Differentially Expressed Genes in Melanocytes vs. Melanoma.  2008. BMC Genomics 9:478-490.

Lab Personnel

Jun Fan, Ph.D.
Manager of DNA Bank and DNA Sequencing Facility

Jennifer Yu, B.S.
Research Aide in Genomics Core Facility