Daniel L. Kiss, Ph.D. (Principal Investigator)
ORCID iD – LinkedIN – @Kiss_RNA_Lab
Daniel L. Kiss, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Cardiovascular Sciences and a member of the Cardiovascular Regeneration and RNA Therapeutics Programs at the Houston Methodist Research Institute (HMRI) in Houston, Texas. Dr. Kiss is also an Associate Research Member of the Houston Methodist Cancer Center and holds an appointment as an Assistant Professor of Molecular Biology in Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College.
Dr. Kiss grew up in a West-side suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. As the son of two immigrants from Hungary, he’s both a #FirstGen American and college graduate. He earned both his B.S. and M.S. in Biology from Cleveland State University in Cleveland, Ohio. He was first introduced to RNA biology when he completed his master’s thesis studying transcriptional regulation in Dr. Tomasz Kordula’s (currently at Virginia Commonwealth University) laboratory. He then completed his doctoral and postdoctoral training at institutions with large and vibrant RNA biology research communities.
He earned his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology and Microbiology from Case Western Reserve University in 2010, where he was part of the Center for RNA Molecular Biology (now The Center for RNA Science and Therapeutics). His doctoral work in the lab of Dr. Erik Andrulis focused on how the RNA exosome, the predominant RNA degradation machine for mammalian cells, was regulated and functioned in RNA processing and turnover.
He then moved to The Ohio State University for his postdoctoral research where he was part of The Center for RNA Biology. Under the supervision of Dr. Daniel Schoenberg, he earned a Pelotonia postdoctoral fellowship to begin his cytoplasmic capping research. He then secured a second postdoctoral fellowship as Oncology Training Grant (T32) fellow to continue his cytoplasmic capping research. He also collaborated with other groups at Ohio State, where he was the lead author on three published paper that examine the mechanism by which the FHIT tumor suppressor controls the translation of certain cancer-linked mRNAs. He continues his focus on cytoplasmic capping of RNAs and FHIT-mediated translational regulation at the HMRI.
As an independent principal investigator, Dr. Kiss contributes to the broader scientific community. He’s served as a peer reviewer for many journals, served on Study Sections for the National Institutes of Health and the American Heart Association and reviewed grants for the Medical Research Council (MRC) in the United Kingdom. He is an active member of multiple scientific societies related to his research, including the RNA Society where he serves on the membership committee and helps edit the RNA Spotlight features. He is committed to outreach efforts to raise awareness, interest, and diversity in biomedical research. His perspective as both a #firstgen American and first generation academic scientist strongly inform his approaches to mentoring, fostering opportunities, and community service.
Outside of the lab, Dan enjoys cycling, traveling, watching sports (baseball, soccer, and college football) and above all, spending time with his wife and his daughter.