Molecular Biology

Moscow State University (MSU), Moscow, Russia; Dep. of Biology, Div. of Virology.
PI: Professor Vadim I. Agol
Moscow State University (MSU), Moscow, Russia; A.N. Belozersky Institute of Physico- Chemical Biology; Division of Chemistry and Biochemistry of Nucleo-proteins (Head: Prof. Alex A. Bogdanov)
PI: Prof. Ivan N. Shatsky.









2012- 2014



Junior Staff Scientist, A.N. Belozersky Institute of Physico-Chemical Biology, MSU.
The Royal Society Research Fellow, St. George’s Hospital Medical School University of London, London, UK; Div. of Biomedical Sciences, Chair/PI: Prof. Michael Clemens, PI: Dr. Ulrich A. Bommer.
Postdoctoral Research Associate in Biology, Division of Biology and Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology Cell Biology and Biochemistry (MCB) Brown University, Providence, RI, USA. PI: Prof. Susan A. Gerbi (MCB Chair).
Assistant Professor (Research), Department of MCB, Brown University, Providence, RI, USA.
Scientist II, VectorLogics Inc., Birmingham AL
NIH Trainee (T32 NIH training program in gene therapy), University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), Division of Human Gene Therapy, UAB Gene Therapy Center, Birmingham AL
Instructor, Institute of Oral Health Research (IOHR), Department of Periodontics, UAB School of Dentistry (SOD), Birmingham AL
Associate Scientist (secondary appointment) UAB Gene Therapy Center, Birmingham AL
Associate Scientist, Global Center for Craniofacial, Oral and Dental Disorders, SOD, UAB
Research Associate, University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), Department of Pathology UAB.
Researcher V and Manager, Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME), UAB


  • Basic mechanisms of eukaryotic translation and ribosome function. Molecular mechanism of internal initiation of eukaryotic translation; the role of picornaviral IRES elements (Encephalomyocarditis virus RNA model) in internal ribosome binding; the role of cellular factors in the mechanism.
  • Translational control of eukaryotic gene expression. 
  • Structure of small nuclear (sn) and small nucleolar (sno) RNAs and their role in ribosomal RNA biogenesis in higher eukaryotes (Xenopus model).    
  • Biology of human adenovirus. Replication-competent and non-replicative adenoviral vector construction. Oncolytic adenoviral vectors for virotherapy applications. Construction of adenoviral vectors “armed” with therapeutic genes for cancer therapy applications. Construction of capsid-labeled (mRFP, mCherry, Neptune D, iRFP etc) adenoviruses for in vivo imaging applications.
  • Adenovirus-based delivery and therapeutic application of anti-cancer therapeutics: MMP14 shRNA, MDA7, PNP and tumor suppressor KISS1 for treatment of brain metastases. The biology of KISS1 and its role in metastatic tumor progression.
  • Regulatory role of calreticulin (CRT) in the mechanism of extracellular matrix (ECM) induction during endo-plasmic reticulum (ER) stress and in fibrotic disease.
  • Stem cells in cardiovascular research and cardiovascular tissue engineering. CRISPR/Cas9 based gene targeting technology in cardiovascular tissue engineering. Development, generation and characterization of large cardiac tissue patches from human iPSC-differentiated cardiac tissues for myocardial infarction therapy applications.


Anton V. Borovjagin is a senior staff Researcher (V) in the laboratory of Dr, Jianyi (Jay) Zhang at the UAB Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME) since November 2015, whose major job focus in the past few years has been associated with management duties in the laboratory as well as in the department. Anton’s role is to technically and logistically organize and maintain uninterrupted and smooth research process flow and carry out everyday problem solving mission in the laboratory. He also oversees the laboratory and the department safety and IACUC compliance, takes care of annual OH&S/IACUC certifications as well as coordinates and controls control substance (CS) ordering and use in small animal experiments. Other important roles Dr. Borovjagin plays in the laboratory is controlling and maintaining research integrity and quality by validating to-be-published research data against the saved raw data and assisting in revising/editing research manuscripts released by the lab. Dr. Borovjagin has many years of hands-on research experience and a broad expertise in a number of research fields, including molecular biology of RNA, virology, adenovirus vector design and engineering/ construction, vectorology, cancer gene therapy, viral vector live imaging, cancer biology as well as in tissue culture and cardiovascular tissue engineering methods he added to his “collection” most recently. The ample past experience of running his own research laboratory at UAB allows Dr. Borovjagin to deeply understand not only the essence and scientific details of the conducted research, but virtually all “nuts and bolts” of research logistics, laboratory management, administration and scientific communication between lab members and laboratories within the department/UAB. Besides, Anton takes initiative and actively organizes regular social events in the lab and in the department, such as retreats, holiday parties, potluck events etc, thereby creating and supporting the development of the laboratory’s and the department’s social cultures.


  • 1989-1991  Teaching Assistant in Molecular Biology and Virology,  Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia
  • 2005-2007  Group Leader/Mentor, UAB Gene Therapy Center.
  • 2009-2014  Facilitator in Case-Based Education (CBE) 1 and 2 courses for dental students, UAB School of Dentistry.
  • 2009-2011 Ad Hoc Graduate Faculty (Molecular and Cellular Pathology Graduate Program), UAB.
  • 2011-2014 Graduate Faculty (full time), UAB.
  • 1989-2013, mentored and co-mentored total of 12 undergraduate, graduate and medical students and post-doctoral fellows.


(Total – 61; first author- 15; senior author- 5; US Patent-1;  h-index- 30,  Citations- 2,503)

  1. Borovjagin AV, M. V. Ezrokhi, Y. M. Rostapshev, T.Yu. Ugarova, T.F. Bystrova, I. N. Shatsky (1991).  RNA-protein  interactions  within  the internal  translation initiation  region  of  encephalomyocarditis  virus  RNA. Nucl. Acids Res., 119(18): 4999-5005. PMID: 1656384. PMCID: 328802.
  2. T.S. Lange, A. Borovjagin, E.S. Maxwell, S.A. Gerbi (1998). Conserved boxes C and D are essential nucleolar localization elements of U14 and U8 snoRNAs. EMBO J. 17(11): 3176-87. PMID: 9606199. PMCID: PMID: 9606199.
  3. A.V. Borovjagin and S.A. Gerbi (2000). The spacing between functional cis-elements of U3 snoRNA is critical for rRNA processing. J. Mol. Biol. 300 (1): 57-74. PMID: 10864498.
  4. A.V. Borovjagin and S.A. Gerbi (2001). GAC-box A’ and box A sequence elements in Xenopus U3 small Nucleolar RNA have distinct functional roles in rRNA processing. Mol. Cell Biol., 21(18): 6210-21). PMID: 11509664. PMCID: 87338.
  5. S.A. Gerbi, A.V. Borovjagin, M. V. Ezrokhi, and T.S. Lange (2001). Ribosome biogenesis: role of small nucleolar RNAs in maturation of eukaryotic rRNA. Cold Spring Harbor Symposia on Quantitative Biology, LXVI, pp575-590. PMID: 12762059.
  6. U.-A. Bommer, A.V. Borovjagin, M.A. Greagg, I.W. Jeffrey, P. Russell, M. Lee, and M.J. Clemens (2002).  The mRNA of the translationally controlled tumor protein TCTP/P23 is a highly structured RNA, which binds to and activates the dsRNA-dependent protein kinase PKR. RNA, 8: 478-496. PMID: 11991642. PMCID: 1370270.
  7. S.A. Gerbi, A.V. Borovjagin, F.E. Odreman, and T.S. Lange (2003). U4 snRNA nucleolar localization requires the 15.5-kD protein binding site but not Sm protein or U6 snRNA association. J.Cell Biol., 162 (5):821-32. PMID: 12939253. PMCID: 2172826
  8. S.A. Gerbi, A.V. Borovjagin, T.S. Lange (2003). The nucleolus: a site of ribonucleoprotein maturation. Curr. Opin. Cell Biol. 15(3):318-25. PMID: 12787774.
  9. A.V. Borovjagin and S.A. Gerbi (2004). Xenopus U3 snoRNA docks on pre-rRNA through a novel base-pairing interaction. RNA, 10(6):942-53. PMID: 15146078. PMCID: 1370586.
  10. A.V. Borovjagin, A. Krendelchtchikov, N. Ramesh, D.-C.Yu, J.T. Douglas and D.T. Curiel (2005).  Complex mosaicism is a novel approach to infectivity enhancement of adenovirus type 5-based vectors. Cancer Gene Therapy, 12(5):475-86.  PMID: 15706356.
  11. Kimball K.J., Rivera A.A., Zinn K.R., Icyuz M., Saini V., Zhu Z.B., Siegal G.P., Douglas J.T. Curiel D.T., Alvarez R.D., and Borovjagin A.V. (2009) A Novel Infectivity-Enhanced Oncolytic Adenovirus with a Capsid-Incorporated Dual Imaging Moiety for Monitoring Virotherapy in Ovarian Cancer. Mol. Imaging 8(5):264-77 PMID: 19796604.
  12. Borovjagin A.V., McNally L.R., Wang M., MacDougall M.J., Zinn K.R. (2010). Noninvasive Monitoring of mRFP1- and mCherry-Labeled Oncolytic Adenoviruses in Orthotopic Breast Cancer Model by Spectral Imaging. Mol Imaging 9(2):59-75.PMID: 20236604
  13. M. V. Lopez, Q.L. Matthews, K. R. Zinn, D. T. Curiel and A.V. Borovjagin (2010), Imaging of Gene Therapy (Chapter 42) in Molecular Imaging: Principles and Practice, R. Weissleder, S.S. Gambhir, B.D. Ross, A. Rehemtulla (Eds.) BC Decker Inc, Publisher
  14. Borovjagin AV, Dong J, Passineau MJ, Ren C, Lamani E, et al. (2011) Adenovirus Gene Transfer to Amelogenesis Imperfecta Ameloblast-Like Cells. PLoS ONE 6(10): e24281. PMID:22003382
  15. A.V. Borovjagin, J.G. Gomez-Gutierrez, H. Shirwan, Q.L. Matthews (2014). Adenovirus-based Vectors for the Development of Prophylactic and Therapeutic Vaccines (Chapter 9 ) in Lukashevich LS & Shirwan H (Eds.) Novel Technologies for Vaccine Development: Viral Vectors for Infectious Diseases Control and Therapeutic Cancer Treatment. Springer-Verlag GmbH, Wien, Austria
  16. Kaverina NBorovjagin AVKadagidze ZBaryshnikov ABaryshnikova MMalin DGhosh  DShah NWelch DRGabikian PKarseladze ACobbs CUlasov IV (2017) Astrocytes promote progression of breast cancer metastases to the brain via a KISS1-mediated autophagy. Autophagy. 13(11):1905-1923; PMID: 28981380
  17. Gentile CM, Borovjagin AV, Richter JR, Jani AH, Wu H, Zinn KR, Warram JM. (2019) Genetic strategy to decrease complement activation with adenoviral therapies. PLoS One. 14 (4): e0215226. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0215226. eCollection 2019.
  18. Zhu WZhang EZhao MChong ZFan CTang YHunter JDBorovjagin AVWalcott GPChen JYQin GZhang J. (2018) Regenerative Potential of Neonatal Porcine Hearts. Circulation. doi: 10.1161/ CIRCULATIONAHA.118.034886
  19. Lu A, Pallero MA, Owusu BY, Borovjagin AV, Lei W, Sanders PW, Murphy-Ullrich JE (2020),  Calreticulin is important for the development of renal fibrosis and dysfunction in diabetic nephropathy. Matrix Biol Plus 8:100034. doi: 10.1016/j.mbplus.2020.100034. eCollection 2020 Nov. PMID: 33543033, PMCID: PMC7852315
  20. Zhao M, Nakada Y, Wei Y, Bian W, Chu Y, Borovjagin AV, Xie M, Zhu W, Nguyen T, Zhou Y, Serpooshan V, Walcott GP, Zhang J. (2021) Cyclin D2 Overexpression Enhances the Efficacy of Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Cardiomyocytes for Myocardial Repair in a Swine Model of Myocardial Infarction. Circulation, 144(3):210-228 doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.120.049497.  PMID: 33951921

Full CV can be found here