Research Summary

Cancer, fundamentally, is a disease of disordered gene expression. Cancer cells rely on deregulated expression of oncogenic and tumor suppressive pathways to initiate and maintain the transformation process. Thus, delineating how cancer cells achieve such pathologic gene expression states is a crucial step towards understanding and ultimately treating cancer as a disease. Towards achieving this goal, my laboratory employs a systems biological and multidisciplinary approach that integrates computational and experimental strategies to identify and characterize key regulatory programs that underlie cancer progression. The systems-level frameworks implemented in our lab ensure a truly unbiased and systematic approach to studying this key biological challenge. Such bottom-up and agnostic approaches are crucial for discovering pathways that fall outside of our prior knowledge of regulatory interactions and would otherwise remain hidden in a top-down reductionist framework.

Lab website:

Research Funding

  • July 1, 2019 - June 30, 2024 - An antisense RNA-mediated regulatory program that drives cancer metastasis, Principal Investigator. Sponsor: NIH/NCI, Sponsor Award ID: R01CA240984
  • September 1, 2017 - August 31, 2022 - Targeted regulation of transcript stability through RNA methylation and intron retention, Principal Investigator. Sponsor: NIH/NIGMS, Sponsor Award ID: R01GM123977
  • May 1, 2016 - April 30, 2019 - Systematic dissection of an aberrant splicing program driving cancer metastasis, Principal Investigator. Sponsor: NIH/NCI, Sponsor Award ID: R00CA194077
  • July 21, 2015 - June 30, 2017 - Structural RNA elements and their roles in post-transcriptional regulation, Principal Investigator. Sponsor: NIH/NCI, Sponsor Award ID: K99CA194077


University of Tehran, B.S., 2006, Biotechnology
Princeton University, Ph.D., 2010, Molecular Biology
Princeton University, Postdoctoral Associate, 2012, Systems Biology
Rockefeller University, Postdoctoral Fellow, 2016, Cancer Systems Biology

Honors & Awards

  • 2017
    2017 AAAS Martin and Rose Wachtel Cancer Research Award
  • 2015
    Blavatnik Regional Awards for Young Scientists
  • 2015
    NIH K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award
  • 2015
    Tri-Institutional Breakout Prize for Junior Investigators
  • 2014
    Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (T32CA009673)
  • 2014
    RUCCTS/CDDS/SCBN Pilot Project Award
  • 2012
    Anderson Cancer Center Postdoctoral Fellowship at Rockefeller University
  • 2006
    William G. Bowen Merit Fellowship
  • 2005
    Top undergraduate student in the Department of Biotechnology (University of Tehran)
  • 2002
    University of Tehran fellowship for IBO medalists
  • 2002
    Silver medal in the 13th International Biology Olympiad in Riga, Latvia
  • 2001
    Gold medal in the 4th National Biology Olympiad in Tehran, Iran
  • 2001
    Member, Young Scholar’s Club (Tehran, Iran)

Selected Publications

  1. Chen WC, To MD, Westcott PMK, Delrosario R, Kim IJ, Philips M, Tran Q, Bollam SR, Goodarzi H, Bayani N, Mirzoeva O, Balmain A. Targeting KRAS4A splicing through the RBM39/DCAF15 pathway inhibits cancer stem cells. Nat Commun. 2021 07 13; 12(1):4288.  View on PubMed
  2. Kuzuoglu-Ozturk D, Hu Z, Rama M, Devericks E, Weiss J, Chiang GG, Worland ST, Brenner SE, Goodarzi H, Gilbert LA, Ruggero D. Revealing molecular pathways for cancer cell fitness through a genetic screen of the cancer translatome. Cell Rep. 2021 Jun 29; 35(13):109321.  View on PubMed
  3. Albertas Navickas, Hani Goodarzi. A Wnt twist in FTO’s role in cancer progression. Nature Cancer. 2021 Jun 23; 2(6):579-580.  View on PubMed
  4. Christin Schmidt, Albertas Navickas, Frederique Zindy, Dana Farmer, Davide Ruggero, Hani Goodarzi, Martine F Roussel, Bjoern Schwer, William Weiss. OMIC-03. TRANSLATIONAL CONTROL IN MYC AND MYCN MEDULLOBLASTOMA. Neuro-Oncology. 2021 Jun 1; 23(Suppl 1):i37-i37.  View on PubMed
  5. Fish L, Khoroshkin M, Navickas A, Garcia K, Culbertson B, Hänisch B, Zhang S, Nguyen HCB, Soto LM, Dermit M, Mardakheh FK, Molina H, Alarcón C, Najafabadi HS, Goodarzi H. A prometastatic splicing program regulated by SNRPA1 interactions with structured RNA elements. Science. 2021 05 14; 372(6543).  View on PubMed
  6. Jennifer Blaze, Hannah Phillips, Soeren Heissel, Albertas Navickas, Amara Plaza-Jennings, Marcus Foo, Christopher Katanski, Christopher Watkins, Zachary Pennington, Behnam Javidfar, Sergio Espeso-Gil, Henrik Molina, Denise Cai, Tao Pan, Wei-Dong Yao, Hani Goodarzi, Fatemeh Haghighi, Schahram Akbarian. Neuronal Nsun2 Deficiency is Associated With Codon-Specific Epitranscriptomic Dysregulation of Gly-Trnas and Corresponding Proteomic Shift Impacting Synaptic Signaling and Behavior. Biological Psychiatry. 2021 May 1; 89(9):s207-s208.  View on PubMed
  7. Huh D, Passarelli MC, Gao J, Dusmatova SN, Goin C, Fish L, Pinzaru AM, Molina H, Ren Z, McMillan EA, Asgharian H, Goodarzi H, Tavazoie SF. A stress-induced tyrosine-tRNA depletion response mediates codon-based translational repression and growth suppression. EMBO J. 2021 01 15; 40(2):e106696.  View on PubMed
  8. Abdulhay NJ, McNally CP, Hsieh LJ, Kasinathan S, Keith A, Estes LS, Karimzadeh M, Underwood JG, Goodarzi H, Narlikar GJ, Ramani V. Massively multiplex single-molecule oligonucleosome footprinting. Elife. 2020 12 02; 9.  View on PubMed
  9. Samuel RM, Majd H, Richter MN, Ghazizadeh Z, Zekavat SM, Navickas A, Ramirez JT, Asgharian H, Simoneau CR, Bonser LR, Koh KD, Garcia-Knight M, Tassetto M, Sunshine S, Farahvashi S, Kalantari A, Liu W, Andino R, Zhao H, Natarajan P, Erle DJ, Ott M, Goodarzi H, Fattahi F. Androgen Signaling Regulates SARS-CoV-2 Receptor Levels and Is Associated with Severe COVID-19 Symptoms in Men. Cell Stem Cell. 2020 12 03; 27(6):876-889.e12.  View on PubMed
  10. Zhu XG, Chudnovskiy A, Baudrier L, Prizer B, Liu Y, Ostendorf BN, Yamaguchi N, Arab A, Tavora B, Timson R, Heissel S, de Stanchina E, Molina H, Victora GD, Goodarzi H, Birsoy K. Functional Genomics In Vivo Reveal Metabolic Dependencies of Pancreatic Cancer Cells. Cell Metab. 2021 01 05; 33(1):211-221.e6.  View on PubMed
  11. Tavora B, Mederer T, Wessel KJ, Ruffing S, Sadjadi M, Missmahl M, Ostendorf BN, Liu X, Kim JY, Olsen O, Welm AL, Goodarzi H, Tavazoie SF. Tumoural activation of TLR3-SLIT2 axis in endothelium drives metastasis. Nature. 2020 10; 586(7828):299-304.  View on PubMed
  12. Keshavarzi Arshadi A, Webb J, Salem M, Cruz E, Calad-Thomson S, Ghadirian N, Collins J, Diez-Cecilia E, Kelly B, Goodarzi H, Yuan JS. Artificial Intelligence for COVID-19 Drug Discovery and Vaccine Development. Front Artif Intell. 2020; 3:65.  View on PubMed
  13. Zhao SG, Chen WS, Li H, Foye A, Zhang M, Sjöström M, Aggarwal R, Playdle D, Liao A, Alumkal JJ, Das R, Chou J, Hua JT, Barnard TJ, Bailey AM, Chow ED, Perry MD, Dang HX, Yang R, Moussavi-Baygi R, Zhang L, Alshalalfa M, Laura Chang S, Houlahan KE, Shiah YJ, Beer TM, Thomas G, Chi KN, Gleave M, Zoubeidi A, Reiter RE, Rettig MB, Witte O, Yvonne Kim M, Fong L, Spratt DE, Morgan TM, Bose R, Huang FW, Li H, Chesner L, Shenoy T, Goodarzi H, Asangani IA, Sandhu S, Lang JM, Mahajan NP, Lara PN, Evans CP, Febbo P, Batzoglou S, Knudsen KE, He HH, Huang J, Zwart W, Costello JF, Luo J, Tomlins SA, Wyatt AW, Dehm SM, Ashworth A, Gilbert LA, Boutros PC, Farh K, Chinnaiyan AM, Maher CA, Small EJ, Quigley DA, Feng FY. The DNA methylation landscape of advanced prostate cancer. Nat Genet. 2020 08; 52(8):778-789.  View on PubMed
  14. Yu J, Navickas A, Asgharian H, Culbertson B, Fish L, Garcia K, Olegario JP, Dermit M, Dodel M, Hänisch B, Luo Y, Weinberg EM, Dienstmann R, Warren RS, Mardakheh FK, Goodarzi H. RBMS1 Suppresses Colon Cancer Metastasis through Targeted Stabilization of Its mRNA Regulon. Cancer Discov. 2020 09; 10(9):1410-1423.  View on PubMed
  15. Ghazizadeh Z, Majd H, Richter M, Samuel R, Zekavat SM, Asgharian H, Farahvashi S, Kalantari A, Ramirez J, Zhao H, Natarajan P, Goodarzi H, Fattahi F. Androgen Regulates SARS-CoV-2 Receptor Levels and Is Associated with Severe COVID-19 Symptoms in Men. bioRxiv. 2020 May 15.  View on PubMed
  16. Leidal AM, Huang HH, Marsh T, Solvik T, Zhang D, Ye J, Kai F, Goldsmith J, Liu JY, Huang YH, Monkkonen T, Vlahakis A, Huang EJ, Goodarzi H, Yu L, Wiita AP, Debnath J. The LC3-conjugation machinery specifies the loading of RNA-binding proteins into extracellular vesicles. Nat Cell Biol. 2020 02; 22(2):187-199.  View on PubMed
  17. Yamaguchi N, Weinberg EM, Nguyen A, Liberti MV, Goodarzi H, Janjigian YY, Paty PB, Saltz LB, Kingham TP, Loo JM, de Stanchina E, Tavazoie SF. PCK1 and DHODH drive colorectal cancer liver metastatic colonization and hypoxic growth by promoting nucleotide synthesis. Elife. 2019 12 16; 8.  View on PubMed
  18. Fish L, Navickas A, Culbertson B, Xu Y, Nguyen HCB, Zhang S, Hochman M, Okimoto R, Dill BD, Molina H, Najafabadi HS, Alarcón C, Ruggero D, Goodarzi H. Nuclear TARBP2 Drives Oncogenic Dysregulation of RNA Splicing and Decay. Mol Cell. 2019 09 05; 75(5):967-981.e9.  View on PubMed
  19. Litterman AJ, Kageyama R, Le Tonqueze O, Zhao W, Gagnon JD, Goodarzi H, Erle DJ, Ansel KM. A massively parallel 3' UTR reporter assay reveals relationships between nucleotide content, sequence conservation, and mRNA destabilization. Genome Res. 2019 06; 29(6):896-906.  View on PubMed
  20. Hani Goodarzi, Robert S. Warren, Johnny Yu, Lisa Fish. A regulatory program that promotes metastasis in colorectal cancer (CRC) through modulation of mRNA stability. Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2019 May 20; 37(15_suppl):3523-3523.  View on PubMed

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