Garrett A. Soukup, PhD
Garrett A. Soukup, PhD

Garrett A. Soukup, PhD

School of Medicine, Omaha Campus

Academic Appointments


  • Biomedical Sciences


  • Professor

Teaching Activity

  • Enzymes, nucleic acid biochemistry and molecular biology.
  • RNA structure, function, molecular recognition, and catalysis.
  • RNA-mediated gene regulation in biology and biotechnology.


Garrett Soukup is a biochemist and molecular biologist with a longstanding interest in RNA structure, function, and regulation of gene expression. He received a B.S. in Biology in 1991 from Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, Missouri. He earned a Ph.D. in 1997 from the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Nebraska, working with Dr. L. James Maher III there and at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. He completed postdoctoral training in 2000 at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, working with Dr. Ronald R. Breaker. He joined the faculty at Creighton University School of Medicine in 2000, where he has served various roles in graduate and medical student education and research training. 


Publications and Presentations


  • Banks SA, Pierce ML, Soukup GA. Sensational microRNAs: Neurosensory roles of the microRNA-183 family., Molecular Neurobiology, 57, 358-371, 2020
  • Weston MD, Tarang S, Pierce ML, Pyakurel U, Rocha-Sanchez SM, McGee J, Walsh EJ, Soukup GA. A mouse model of miR-96, miR-182 and miR-183 misexpression implicates miRNAs in cochlear cell fate and homeostasis., Scientific Reports, 8, 3569, 2018
  • Ebeid M, Sripal P, Pecka J, Beisel KW, Kwan K, Soukup GA. Transcriptome-wide comparison of the impact of Atoh1 and miR-183 family on pluripotent stem cells and multipotent otic progenitor cells., PLoS One, 12, e0180855, 2017
  • Kim J, Jeong S, Kertsburg A, Soukup GA, Lee SW. Conditional and target-specific transgene induction through RNA replacement using an allosteric trans-splicing ribozyme., ACS Chem Biol, 9, 2491-2495, 2014
  • Zhang Q, Liu H, Soukup GA, He DZZ. Identifying microRNAs involved in aging of the lateral wall of the cochlear duct., PLoS One, 9, e112857, 2014
  • Liu H, Pecka JL, Zhang Q, Soukup GA, Beisel KW, He DZZ. Characterization of transcriptomes of cochlear inner and outer hair cells., Journal of Neuroscience, 34, 11085-11095, 2014
  • Zhang Q, Liu H, McGee J, Walsh EJ, Soukup GA, He DZZ. Identifying microRNAs involved in degeneration of the organ of Corti during age-related hearing loss., PLoS One, 8, e62786, 2013
  • Barritt LC, Miller JM, Scheetz LR, Gardner K, Pierce ML, Soukup GA, Rocha-Sanchez SM. Conditional deletion of the human ortholog gene Dicer1 in Pax2-Cre expression domain impairs orofacial development., Indian Journal of Human Genetics, 18, 310-319, 2012
  • Kersigo J, D'Angelo A, Gray B, Soukup GA, Fritzsch B. The role of sensory organs and the forebrain for the development of the craniofacial shape as revealed by Foxg1-cre mediated microRNA loss., Genesis, 49, 326-341, 2011
  • Weston MD, Pierce ML, Jensen-Smith HC, Fritzsch B, Rocha-Sanchez S, Beisel KW, Soukup GA. MicroRNA-183 family expression in hair cell development and requirement of microRNAs for hair cell maintenance and survival., Developmental Dynamics, 240, 808-819, 2011
  • Gong AY, Hu G, Zhou R, Liu J, Feng Y, Soukup GA, Chen XM. MicroRNA-221 controls expression of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 in epithelial cells in response to Cryptosporidium parvum infection., Int J Parasitol, 41, 397-403, 2011
  • Klawuhn K, Jansen JA, Souchek J, Soukup GA, Soukup JK. Analysis of metal ion dependence in glmS ribozyme self-cleavage and coenzyme binding., Chembiochem, 11, 2567-1271, 2010
  • Soukup GA. Little but loud: small RNAs have a resounding affect on ear development., Brain Res, 1277, 104-114, 2009
  • Weston MD, Soukup GA. MicroRNAs sound off., Genome Medicine, 1, 59, 2009
  • Soukup GA, Fritzsch B, Pierce ML, Weston MD, Jahan I, McManus MT, Harfe BD. Residual microRNA expression dictates the extent of inner ear development in conditional Dicer knockout mice., Developmental Biology, 328, 328-341, 2009
  • Gong AY, Zhou R, Hu G, Li X, Splinter PL, O'Hara SP, LaRusso NF, Soukup GA, Dong H, Chen XM. MicroRNA-513 regulates B7-H1 translation and is involved in IFN-gamma-induced B7-H1 expression in cholangiocytes., Journal of Immunology, 182, 1325-1333, 2009
  • Soukup JK, Soukup GA. Identification of metabolite-riboswitch interactions using nucleotide analog interference mapping and suppression. In Methods in Molecular Biology: Riboswitches Methods and Protocols. Serganov A, Ed., Methods in Molecular Biology, 540, 193-206, 2009
  • Soukup JK, Soukup GA. Structure and mechanism of the glmS ribozyme. In Springer Series in Biophysics 13: Non-protein coding RNAs. Walters NG, Woodson SA, Batey RT, Eds., Springer Publishing, 129-143, 2009
  • Beisel K, Hansen L, Soukup G, Fritzsch B. Regenerating cochlear hair cells: quo vadis stem cell., Cell and Tissue Research, 333, 373-379, 2008
  • Pauley S, Kopecky B, Beisel K, Soukup G, Fritzsch B. Stem cells and molecular strategies to restore hearing., Panminerva Med, 50, 41-53, 2008
  • Pierce ML, Weston MD, Fritzsch B, Gabel HW, Ruvkun G, Soukup GA. MicroRNA-183 family conservation and expression in ciliated neurosensory organs., Evolution & Development, 10, 106-113, 2008
  • Fritzsch B, Beisel KW, Pauley S, Soukup G. Molecular evolution of the vertebrate mechanosensory cell and ear., International Journal of Developmental Biology, 51, 663-678, 2007
  • Weston MD, Pierce ML, Rocha-Sanchez S, Beisel KW, Soukup GA. MicroRNA gene expression in the mouse inner ear., Brain Res, 1111, 95-104, 2006
  • Jansen JA, McCarthy TJ, Soukup GA, Soukup JK. Backbone and nucleobase contacts to glucosamine-6-phosphate in the glmS ribozyme., Nature Structural & Molecular Biology, 13, 517-523, 2006
  • Soukup GA. Allosteric ribozymes as molecular sensors and genetic regulatory switches. In Nucleic Acid Switches and Sensors. Silverman SK, Ed., Landes Bioscience, 3-24, 2006
  • Soukup GA. Core requirements for glmS ribozyme self-cleavage reveal a putative pseudoknot structure., Nucleic Acids Research, 34, 968-975, 2006
  • McCarthy TJ, Plog MA, Floy SA, Jansen JA, Soukup JK, Soukup GA. Ligand requirements for glmS ribozyme self-cleavage., Chemistry & Biology, 12, 1221-1226, 2005
  • Soukup GA. Aptamers meet allostery., Chemistry & Biology, 11, 1031-1032, 2004
  • Soukup JK, Soukup GA. Riboswitches exert genetic control through metabolite-induced conformational change., Current Opinion in Structural Biology, 14, 344-349, 2004
  • Steele D, Kertsburg A, Soukup GA. Engineered catalytic RNA and DNA: New biochemical tools for drug discovery and design., Am. J. Pharmacogenomics, 3, 131-144, 2003
  • Kertsburg A, Soukup GA. A versatile communication module for controlling RNA folding and catalysis., Nucleic Acids Research, 30, 4599-4606, 2002
  • Soukup GA. Nucleic acids: general properties. In Encyclopedia of Life Sciences., Macmillian Reference USA,, 2001
  • Soukup GA, DeRose EC, Koizumi M, Breaker RR. Generating new ligand-binding RNAs by disintegration and affinity maturation of allosteric ribozymes., RNA, 7, 524-536, 2001
  • Jose AM, Soukup GA, Breaker RR. Cooperative binding of effectors by an allosteric ribozyme., Nucleic Acids Research, 29, 1631-1637, 2001
  • Soukup GA, Breaker RR. Allosteric Ribozymes. In Ribozme Biochemistry and Biotechnology., Eaton Publishing, 149-170, 2000

Editing and Reviews

  • Catalytic RNA. In Progress in Molecular Biology and Translational Science. Soukup GA, Ed., Academic Press, 120, 2013

Research and Scholarship

Research and Scholarship Interests

  • Garrett Soukup's research interests over his career have included RNA-ligand interactions, mechanisms of RNA catalysis, biological roles of functional RNAs including ribozymes and riboswitches, and regulatory roles of microRNAs in the development and maintenance of mechanosensory cells and sensory neurons important for hearing.

Current Research Projects

  • Garrett Soukup’s primary research focus is the function of neurosensory microRNA-183 family members in development and maintenance of mechanosensory hair cells and sensory neurons in the cochlea of the inner ear. MicroRNA-183 family members (miR-183, miR-96, and miR-182) are evolutionarily conserved amongst a wide range of organisms and are specifically expressed in sensory epithelial cells and sensory neurons. The microRNAs affect a wide range of functions and processes that include hearing and balance, vision, taste, olfaction, circadian rhythm, pain, and long-term memory. MicroRNA knockout mice provide a resource for investigating effects on the inner ear and hearing, and on other sensory organs and processes.

    A secondary research focus is the function of metabolite-binding RNAs or riboswitches in regulation of gene expression, including the bacterial glucosamine-6-phosphate-dependent ribozyme/riboswitch and a probable mammalian spermine-dependent riboswitch.