The Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine for the Prevention of Human Diseases

 Mikhail Kolonin, Ph.D.

Mikhail Kolonin, Ph.D.

Mikhail Kolonin, PhD, Associate Professor
Director, Center for Metabolic and Degenerative Diseases
Harry E. Bovay, Jr. Distinguished University Chair in Metabolic Disease Research


Dr. Mikhail Kolonin received his Ph.D. from Wayne State University where he has pioneered the concept of expressing small peptides designed to disrupt specific protein interactions in live animals. As a post-doctoral fellow at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, he has optimized in vivo phage display technology to isolate differentially expressed vascular cell surface molecules by integrating molecular biology of angiogenesis with bioinformatics. This work, first initiated in the mouse model and then translated to screens in cancer patients, has led to several tissue-specific cell surface protein interactions that are now pursued as therapy targets. A drug prototype based on a peptide targeting interleukin-11 receptor is being tested clinically. Based on peptide-directed drug delivery, Dr. Kolonin also co-invented an approach to obesity reversal through directed ablation of white fat vasculature. A compound targeting prohibitin protein on the surface of adipose endothelium (Adipotide) has proven effective as an experimental obesity drug in rodent and non-human primate models. Current research in the Kolonin Laboratory converges on stem cells, obesity, and cancer. His studies, based on the analysis of clinical specimens and mouse models, focus is on the role of fat tissue cells in pathology. Dr. Kolonin and colleagues have discovered the phenomenon of adipose cell mobilization and trafficking to tumors and the stimulatory effect of adipose stromal cells on cancer progression. These findings have provided new insights on the association between obesity and cancer. The group recently reported an agent designed to target white adipocyte progenitor cells, which has been licensed to Astrotide, Inc., a company that Dr. Kolonin had co-founded. This agent is being pre-clinically tested for obesity and cancer therapy.





  • Alexis Daquinag: Senior Research Scientist

  • Chieh Tseng: Graduate Student

  • Tao Zhang: Postdoctoral Fellow

  • Ali Dadbin: Senior Research Assistant

  • Zhanguo Gao: Research Scientist