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Dr. Patricia Lynn Opresko, PhD

Associate Professor, Environmental and Occupational Health


Hillman Cancer Center, 5117 Centre Avenue, Suite 2.6a, Pittsburgh, PA 15213
R-znvy: cyb9@cvgg.rqh
Primary Phone: 967-178-2219
Fax: 967-178-2352
Web site:

Lynette Clark, yipynex@cvgg.rqh, 967-179-4255

Personal Statement

My lab studies DNA damage and repair at telomeres.  Telomeres are the caps at
chromosome ends that are essential for preserving the genome.  When chromosomes lose their telomere caps the cells age and this contributes to the onset of degenerative diseases with
aging.  If chromosomes lose their telomere caps in pre-cancerous cells then this causes genetic alterations that hasten the progression to cancer.  Understanding how telomere damage and repair happens should lead to new intervention strategies aimed at preserving these regions of the genome that are so critical for protecting our chromosomes and maintaining youthful cells.   


1994 | DeSales University, Center Valley, PA | Bachelors of Science in Chemistry and Biology
2000 | Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Hershey, PA | PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology


I co-direct the following courses:
EOH 2310 Molecular Fundamentals will be taught again in Fall of 2015
EOH 3305 DNA Repair - from Biochemistry to human disease will be taught again in Spring of 2016
I also lecture in EPIDEM 2980 Biology and Physiology of Aging, EOH 2175 General Toxicology, EOH 3210 Pathophysiology and Environmental Disease, and HUGEN 2031 Introduction to Human Genetics

Selected Publications

1. Lin, J., Countryman, P., Chen, H., Pan, H., Fan, Y., Jiang, Y., Kaur, P., Wang, M., Gurgel, G., You, C., Piehler, J., Kad, N., Riehn, R., Opresko, P., Smith, S., Tao, Y., and Wang, H. Functional interplay between SA1 and TRF1 in telomeric DNA binding and DNA-DNA pairing. Nucleic Acids Research, in press.

2. Lee, S., Opresko, P., Pappo, A., Kirkwood, J.M., and Bahrami, A. Association of TERT promoter mutations with telomerase expression in melanoma. Pigment Cell Melanoma Research, 2016. 29: 391-3. PMID: 26928778.

3. Kaur, K., Wu, D., Lin, J., Countryman, P., Bradford, K.C., Erie, D.A., Riehn, R., Opresko, P.L., and Wang, H. Enhanced electrostatic force microscopy reveals higher-order DNA looping mediated by the telomeric protein TRF2. Scientific Reports, 2016. 6:20513. PMID: 26856421; PMCID: PMC4746636.

4. Parikh, D., Fouquerel, E., Murphy, C.T., Wang, H., and Opresko, P.L. Telomeres are partly shielded from ultraviolet-induced damage and proficient for nucleotide excision repair of photoproduct. Nature Communications, 2015. 6:8214. PMID:26351258; PMCID:PMC4566151.

5. Pope-Varsalona, H., Liu, F.-J., Guzik, L., and Opresko, P.L. Polymerase ? suppresses telomere defects induced by DNA damaging agents. Nucleic Acids Research, 2014. 42: 13096-109. PMID:25355508; PMCID: PMC4245935.

Patricia Lynn Opresko
© 2018 by University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health

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