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, 2021 - June 30, 2026 - The RNA structural code underlying pathological regulation of RNA splicing in metastasis , Principal Investigator . Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: R01CA244634
  • July 1, 2019 - June 30, 2024 - An antisense RNA-mediated regulatory program that drives cancer metastasis , Principal Investigator . Sponsor: NIH, 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, Sponsor Award ID: R01GM123977
  • May 1, 2016 - April 30, 2020 - Systematic dissection of an aberrant splicing program driving cancer metastasis , Principal Investigator . Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: R00CA194077


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

  • 2022
    CZ Biohub Investigator
  • 2022
    Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Biomedical Sciences
  • 2021
    Mark Foundation ASPIRE Award
  • 2020 
    AACR-MPM Oncology Foundation Transformative Cancer Research
  • 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. Abdulhay NJ, Hsieh LJ, McNally CP, Ostrowski MS, Moore CM, Ketavarapu M, Kasinathan S, Nanda AS, Wu K, Chio US, Zhou Z, Goodarzi H, Narlikar GJ, Ramani V. Nucleosome density shapes kilobase-scale regulation by a mammalian chromatin remodeler. Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2023 Sep 11.  View on PubMed
  2. Connell W, Garcia K, Goodarzi H, Keiser MJ. Learning chemical sensitivity reveals mechanisms of cellular response. bioRxiv. 2023 Aug 28.  View on PubMed
  3. Yu K, Basu A, Yau C, Wolf DM, Goodarzi H, Bandyopadhyay S, Korkola JE, Hirst GL, Asare S, DeMichele A, Hylton N, Yee D, Esserman L, van 't Veer L, Sirota M. Computational drug repositioning for the identification of new agents to sensitize drug-resistant breast tumors across treatments and receptor subtypes. Front Oncol. 2023; 13:1192208.  View on PubMed
  4. Wang S, Böhnert V, Joseph AJ, Sudaryo V, Swinderman J, B Yu F, Lyu X, Skariah G, Subramanyam V, Gilbert LA, Goodarzi H, Li L. ENPP1 is an innate immune checkpoint of the anticancer cGAMP-STING pathway. bioRxiv. 2023 Jun 05.  View on PubMed
  5. Woo BJ, Moussavi-Baygi R, Karner H, Karimzadeh M, Garcia K, Joshi T, Yin K, Navickas A, Gilbert LA, Wang B, Asgharian H, Feng FY, Goodarzi H. Integrative identification of non-coding regulatory regions driving metastatic prostate cancer. bioRxiv. 2023 Jun 02.  View on PubMed
  6. Meng D, Zhao X, Yang YC, Navickas A, Helland C, Goodarzi H, Singh M, Bandyopadhyay S. A bi-steric mTORC1-selective inhibitor overcomes drug resistance in breast cancer. Oncogene. 2023 Jul; 42(28):2207-2217.  View on PubMed
  7. Jeffrey Wang, Mehran Karimzadeh, Taylor B. Cavazos, Afsaneh Barzi, Kathleen Wang, Rose Hanna, Patrick Arensdorf, Kimberly H. Chau, Helen Li, Hani Goodarzi, Lisa Fish, Fereydoun Hormozdiari, Babak Alipanahi. Consensus molecular subtypes and orphan non-coding RNAs in colorectal cancer. Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2023 Jun 1; 41(16_suppl):e15651-e15651.  View on PubMed
  8. Mehran Karimzadeh, Jeffrey Wang, Taylor B. Cavazos, Lee S. Schwartzberg, Michael Multhaup, Jeremy Ku, Xuan Zhao, Jieyang Wang, Kathleen Wang, Rose Hanna, Patrick Arensdorf, Kimberly H Chau, Helen Li, Hani Goodarzi, Lisa Fish, Fereydoun Hormozdiari, Babak Alipanahi. Detection of early-stage cancers using circulating orphan non-coding RNAs in blood. Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2023 Jun 1; 41(16_suppl):3051-3051.  View on PubMed
  9. Culbertson B, Garcia K, Markett D, Asgharian H, Chen L, Fish L, Navickas A, Yu J, Woo B, Nanda AS, Choi B, Zhou S, Rabinowitz J, Goodarzi H. A sense-antisense RNA interaction promotes breast cancer metastasis via regulation of NQO1 expression. Nat Cancer. 2023 05; 4(5):682-698.  View on PubMed
  10. Perez-Pepe M, Desotell AW, Li H, Li W, Han B, Lin Q, Klein DE, Liu Y, Goodarzi H, Alarcón CR. 7SK methylation by METTL3 promotes transcriptional activity. Sci Adv. 2023 05 10; 9(19):eade7500.  View on PubMed
  11. Taylor MA, Kandyba E, Halliwill K, Delrosario R, Koroshkin M, Goodarzi H, Quigley D, Li YR, Wu D, Bollam S, Mirzoeva O, Akhurst RJ, Balmain A. Gene networks reveal stem-cell state convergence during preneoplasia and progression to malignancy in multistage skin carcinogenesis. bioRxiv. 2023 May 10.  View on PubMed
  12. Navickas A, Asgharian H, Winkler J, Fish L, Garcia K, Markett D, Dodel M, Culbertson B, Miglani S, Joshi T, Yin K, Nguyen P, Zhang S, Stevers N, Hwang HW, Mardakheh F, Goga A, Goodarzi H. An mRNA processing pathway suppresses metastasis by governing translational control from the nucleus. Nat Cell Biol. 2023 06; 25(6):892-903.  View on PubMed
  13. Majd H, Amin S, Ghazizadeh Z, Cesiulis A, Arroyo E, Lankford K, Majd A, Farahvashi S, Chemel AK, Okoye M, Scantlen MD, Tchieu J, Calder EL, Le Rouzic V, Shibata B, Arab A, Goodarzi H, Pasternak G, Kocsis JD, Chen S, Studer L, Fattahi F. Deriving Schwann cells from hPSCs enables disease modeling and drug discovery for diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Cell Stem Cell. 2023 05 04; 30(5):632-647.e10.  View on PubMed
  14. Mark J. Magbanua, Laura Huppert, Janifer Cruz, Jackson Goudreau, Shaopu Zhou, Keyi Yin, Pavel Stejskal, Ryan Carelli, Julie Kim, Linda Hsie, Maggie Wang, Zhouyang Lian, Michael Phelan, Manisha Ray, Chassidy Johnson, Amy L. Delson, Ron Balassanian, Jennifer Rosenbluth, Laura van't Veer, Michelle Melisko, Hope S. Rugo, Mahyar Salek, Maddison Masaeli, Hani Goodarzi. Abstract LB170: Artificial intelligence-assisted morphology-based detection and enrichment of malignant effusion tumor cells as a method for molecular profiling. Cancer Research. 2023 Apr 14; 83(8_Supplement):lb170-lb170.  View on PubMed
  15. Mehran Karimzadeh, Jeffrey Wang, Aiden Sababi, Oluwadamilare I. Afolabi, Dung Ngoc Lam, Alice Huang, Diana R. Corti, Kristle C. Garcia, Seda Kilinc, Xuan Zhao, Jieyang Wang, Taylor B. Cavazos, Patrick Arensdorf, Kimberly H. Chau, Helen Li, Hani Goodarzi, Lisa Fish, Fereydoun Hormozdiari, Babak Alipanahi. Abstract 5711: Blood-based early detection of non-small cell lung cancer using orphan noncoding RNAs. Cancer Research. 2023 Apr 4; 83(7_Supplement):5711-5711.  View on PubMed
  16. Xiao J, Sharma U, Arab A, Miglani S, Bhalla S, Suguru S, Suter R, Mukherji R, Lippman ME, Pohlmann PR, Zeck JC, Marshall JL, Weinberg BA, He AR, Noel MS, Schlegel R, Goodarzi H, Agarwal S. Propagated Circulating Tumor Cells Uncover the Potential Role of NFκB, EMT, and TGFβ Signaling Pathways and COP1 in Metastasis. Cancers (Basel). 2023 Mar 17; 15(6).  View on PubMed
  17. Raths F, Karimzadeh M, Ing N, Martinez A, Yang Y, Qu Y, Lee TY, Mulligan B, Devkota S, Tilley WT, Hickey TE, Wang B, Giuliano AE, Bose S, Goodarzi H, Ray EC, Cui X, Knott SRV. The molecular consequences of androgen activity in the human breast. Cell Genom. 2023 Mar 08; 3(3):100272.  View on PubMed
  18. Samuel RM, Navickas A, Maynard A, Gaylord EA, Garcia K, Bhat S, Majd H, Richter MN, Elder N, Le D, Nguyen P, Shibata B, Llabata ML, Selleri L, Laird DJ, Darmanis S, Goodarzi H, Fattahi F. Generation of Schwann cell derived melanocytes from hPSCs identifies pro-metastatic factors in melanoma. bioRxiv. 2023 Mar 07.  View on PubMed
  19. Taylor B. Cavazos, Jeffrey Wang, Oluwadamilare I. Afolabi, Alice Huang, Dung Ngoc Lam, Seda Kilinc, Jieyang Wang, Lisa Fish, Xuan Zhao, Andy Pohl, Helen Li, Kimberly H. Chau, Patrick A. Arensdorf, Fereydoun Hormozdiari, Hani Goodarzi, Babak Alipanahi. Abstract P1-05-18: Orphan non-coding RNAs for early detection of breast cancer with liquid biopsy. Cancer Research. 2023 Mar 1; 83(5_Supplement):p1-05-18-p1-05-18.  View on PubMed
  20. Linares GR, Li Y, Chang WH, Rubin-Sigler J, Mendonca S, Hong S, Eoh Y, Guo W, Huang YH, Chang J, Tu S, Dorjsuren N, Santana M, Hung ST, Yu J, Perez J, Chickering M, Cheng TY, Huang CC, Lee SJ, Deng HJ, Bach KT, Gray K, Subramanyam V, Rosenfeld J, Alworth SV, Goodarzi H, Ichida JK. SYF2 suppression mitigates neurodegeneration in models of diverse forms of ALS. Cell Stem Cell. 2023 02 02; 30(2):171-187.e14.  View on PubMed

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