Robert A. Casero Jr., Ph.D.

Headshot of Robert A. Casero Jr.
  • Associate Director for Shared Resources
  • Professor of Oncology

Research Interests

Targeting spermine oxidase and polyamine catabolism as a strategy for chemoprevention of infection/inflammation associated carcinogenesis; Targeting chromatin remodeling proteins, particularly lysine-specific demethylase 1 (LSD1) as an antineoplastic strategy. more


Dr. Robert Casero is professor of oncology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and associate director for shared resources at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center.

Dr. Casero is a molecular pharmacologist and his research focuses on developing drugs that target critical pathways for chemotherapy and chemoprevention, including amine metabolism, epigenetic regulation and inflammation.

His team cloned and characterized the major enzymes in polyamine catabolism and developed agents to target these enzymes. In addition, his team helped discover and clone the first histone demethylase, lysine-specific methylase 1 (LSD1) and was the first to demonstrate the successful targeting of LSD1 with the purpose of reactivating aberrantly silenced, tumor suppressor genes.

Dr. Robert Casero and Dr. Tracy Murray Stewart, along with their team at Johns Hopkins University, were recognized by Snyder Robinson Foundation as the 2020 Outstanding Researchers. They have performed key research that has resulted in a better understanding of polyamine ratios in SRS patient cells. Importantly, they have demonstrated the ability to rebalance spermidine/spermine ratios through use of an existing FDA approved drug alone or in combination with a spermine mimetic. The approved pharmaceutical has been used successfully to treat children for another indication. This work is ongoing and holds promise of treating SRS and related symptoms.

Dr. Casero received his Ph.D. from the State University of New York and was a postdoctoral fellow in oncology at Johns Hopkins. more


  • Associate Director for Shared Resources
  • Professor of Oncology

Departments / Divisions

  • Oncology - Cancer Genetics and Epigenetics

Centers & Institutes


Additional Training

  • Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Department of Oncology, Baltimore, MD, 1986, Polyamine metabolism

Research & Publications

Selected Publications

View all on PubMed

1) Shi, Y., Lan, F., Matson, C., Mulligan, P., Whetstine, J.R., Cole, P.A., Casero, R.A., and Shi, Y.  Histone Demethylation Mediated by the Nuclear Amine Oxidase Homolog LSD1. Cell  119:941-953, 2004.

2) Huang, Y., Greene, E., Stewart, T.M., Goodwin, A.C., Baylin, S.B., Woster, P.M., and Casero, R.A., Jr.  Inhibition of the Lysine Specific Demethylase, LSD1, by Novel Polyamine Analogues Results in Re-Expression of Aberrantly Silenced Genes. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 104:8023-8028, 2007.

3) Wang, Y., Devereux, W., Woster, P.M., Murray Stewart, T., Hacker, A., and Casero, R.A., Jr.  Cloning and Characterization of the Human Polyamine Oxidase that is Inducible by Polyamine Analogue Exposure.  Cancer Res. 61:5370-5373, 2001.

4)  Goodwin, A.C., Wu, S., Huso, D.L., Wu, X., Destefano Shields, C.E., Hacker-Prietz, A., Rabizadeh, S., Sears, C.L., and Casero, R.A. Polyamine catabolism contributes to enterotoxigenic Bacteroides fragilis-induced colon tumorigenesis. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci USA, 108(37):15354-9. 2011. PMCID: PMC3174648.

5) Murray-Stewart, T., Sierra, J.C., Piazuelo, M.B., Mera, R.M., Chaturvedi, R., Bravo, L.E., Correa, P., Schneider, B.G., Wilson, K.T., and Casero, R.A. miR-124 methylation contributes to Helicobacter pylori-induced gastric carcinogenesis by preventing spermine oxidase regulation. Oncogene. In press, DOI: 10.1038/onc.2016.91, 2016. NIHMS# 749206

Academic Affiliations & Courses

Graduate Program Affiliation

Cellular and Molecular Medicine Graduate Training Program, SOM

Division of Molecular and Translational Toxicology, EHS, JHSPH

Patient Ratings & Comments

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