Dwi Utami Kemaladewi, PhD

  • Assistant Professor of Pediatrics

Dwi Kemaladewi has a long-standing interest in the development of therapeutic genetics for rare neuromuscular and neurological disorders. She was born in Indonesia and received her B.Sc. in Life Sciences from Hogeschool van Arnhem en Nijmegen, the Netherlands in 2007. She earned her Ph.D. in Human Genetics from Leiden University Medical Center, the Netherlands in 2012 on the use of antisense oligonucleotides to blunt detrimental pro-fibrotic signaling mechanism in Duchenne muscular dystrophy, under mentorship from Dr. Peter 't Hoen and the late Dr. Gert-Jan van Ommen. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship at SickKids Hospital, Toronto, Canada with Dr. Ronald Cohn, in which she exploited the CRISPR/Cas9 technology to develop creative therapeutic approaches for LAMA2-deficient congenital muscular dystrophy.

Kemaladewi joined the Department of Pediatrics, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in 2019 as a tenure-track Assistant Professor and Mellon Scholar. Her research theme is "Interventional Genomics in Rare Diseases", in which she aspires to streamline the translation of cutting-edge genetic technology and knowledge among rare diseases with unmet therapeutic needs. She leads an active, collaborative and multicultural research group, embedded within the Division of Genetic and Genomic Medicine at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. As an early-career investigator, she has received a prestigious NIH Director's New Innovator Award, part of the High-Risk, High-Reward Research Program, for her outside-the-box thinking and trailblazing idea in translational genetics.

Professional and Scientific Society Memberships

  • World Muscle Society, 2012-Present  
  • American Society of Human Genetics, 2015-Present

Education & Training

  • BSc, Life Sciences, Hogeschool van Arnhem en Nijmegen, Netherlands, 2007
  • PhD, Human Genetics, Leiden University Medical Center, Netherlands, 2012
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 2012-2019

Selected Publications

Kemaladewi, DU*, Bassi, PS.*, Erwood, S., Al-Basha, D., Gawlik, KI., Lindsay, K., Hyatt, E., Kember, R., Place, KM., Marks, RM., Durbeej-Hjalt, M., Prescott, S., Ivakine, EA., Cohn, RD. A mutation-independent approach for muscular dystrophy via upregulation of a modifier gene. Nature. 2019. PMID: 31341277.  *Both authors contribute equally

Kemaladewi, DU, Cohn, RD. Development of therapeutic genome engineering in Laminin-α2-deficient congenital muscular dystrophy. Emerging Topics in Life Sciences. 2019. PMID: 33523194.

Kemaladewi DU, Benjamin JS, Hyatt E, Ivakine EA, Cohn RD. Increased polyamines as protective disease modifiers in congenital muscular dystrophy. Hum Mol Genet. 2018. PMID: 29566247.

Kemaladewi DU, Maino E, Hyatt E, Hou H, Ding M, Place KM, Zhu X, Bassi P, Baghestani Z, Deshwar AG, Merico D, Xiong HY, Frey BJ, Wilson MD, Ivakine EA, Cohn RD. Correction of a splicing defect in a mouse model of congenital muscular dystrophy type 1A using a homology-directed-repair-independent mechanism. Nature Medicine. 2017. PMID: 28714989.

Wojtal D*, Kemaladewi DU*, Malam Z, Abdullah S, Wong TW, Hyatt E, Baghestani Z, Pereira S, Stavropoulos J, Mouly V, Mamchaoui K, Muntoni F, Voit T, Gonorazky HD, Dowling JJ, Wilson MD, Mendoza-Londono R, Ivakine EA, Cohn RD. Spell Checking Nature: Versatility of CRISPR/Cas9 for Developing Treatments for Inherited Disorders. Am J Hum Genet. 2016. PMID: 26686765. * Both authors contribute equally

Kemaladewi DU, Cohn RD. Exon Snipping in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Trends Mol Med. 2016. PMID: 26856237.

Kemaladewi DU, Pasteuning S, van der Meulen JW, van Heiningen SH, van Ommen GJ, Ten Dijke P, Aartsma-Rus A, 't Hoen PA, Hoogaars WM. Targeting TGF-β Signaling by Antisense Oligonucleotide-mediated Knockdown of TGF-β Type I Receptor. Mol Ther Nucleic Acids. 2014. PMID: 24691207.

Kemaladewi DU, de Gorter DJ, Aartsma-Rus A, van Ommen GJ, ten Dijke P, 't Hoen PA, Hoogaars WM. Cell-type specific regulation of myostatin signaling. FASEB J. 2012. PMID: 22202673.

View MyNCBI Bibliography » 

Academic and Research Interests

  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Rare diseases
  • Gene therapy
  • Neuromuscular disorders

Research Grants

NIH Director's New Innovator Award (DP2), Implications of genetic diversity in muscular dystrophy, 2021-2026.

French Muscular Dystrophy Association (AFM-Telethon), Therapeutic genetics and disease modeling in LAMA2-CMD, 2020-2022.

Cure CMD, Therapeutic genetics and disease modeling in LAMA2-CMD, 2020-2022.

Duchenne Parent Project Netherlands, Teaching an old dog new tricks: Upregulation of compensatory disease-modifying genes in Duchenne muscular dystrophy, 2020-2021.

Children's Trust Young Investigator Award, Interrogation of genome editing approach in muscular dystrophy, 2019-2020.

Muscular Dystrophy Association Development Grant. Interrogation of CRISPR/Cas9-mediated exon inclusion in MDC1A, 2018-2021.