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. 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 Feb 02; 30(2):171-187.e14.  View on PubMed
  2. Stejskal P, Goodarzi H, Srovnal J, Hajd?ch M, van 't Veer LJ, Magbanua MJM. Circulating tumor nucleic acids: biology, release mechanisms, and clinical relevance. Mol Cancer. 2023 Jan 21; 22(1):15.  View on PubMed
  3. Arshadi AK, Salem M, Karner H, Garcia K, Arab A, Yuan JS, Goodarzi H. Functional microRNA-Targeting Drug Discovery by Graph-Based Deep Learning. bioRxiv. 2023 Jan 16.  View on PubMed
  4. Earnest-Noble LB, Hsu D, Chen S, Asgharian H, Nandan M, Passarelli MC, Goodarzi H, Tavazoie SF. Two isoleucyl tRNAs that decode synonymous codons divergently regulate breast cancer metastatic growth by controlling translation of proliferation-regulating genes. Nat Cancer. 2022 12; 3(12):1484-1497.  View on PubMed
  5. H. Goodarzi, J. Wang, O. Afolabi, L. Fish, H. Li, K. Chau, P. Arensdorf, F. Hormozdiari, B. Alipanahi. 95P Serum-based colorectal cancer detection using orphan noncoding RNAs. Annals of Oncology. 2022 Sep 1; 33:s582.  View on PubMed
  6. Furuya H, Sasaki Y, Chen R, Peres R, Hokutan K, Murakami K, Kim N, Chan OTM, Pagano I, Dyrskj?t L, Jensen JB, Malmstrom PU, Segersten U, Sun Y, Arab A, Goodarzi H, Goodison S, Rosser CJ. PAI-1 is a potential transcriptional silencer that supports bladder cancer cell activity. Sci Rep. 2022 07 16; 12(1):12186.  View on PubMed
  7. Argouarch AR, Schultz N, Yang AC, Jang Y, Garcia K, Cosme CG, Corrales CI, Nana AL, Karydas AM, Spina S, Grinberg LT, Miller B, Wyss-Coray T, Abyzov A, Goodarzi H, Seeley WW, Kao AW. Postmortem Human Dura Mater Cells Exhibit Phenotypic, Transcriptomic and Genetic Abnormalities that Impact their Use for Disease Modeling. Stem Cell Rev Rep. 2022 12; 18(8):3050-3065.  View on PubMed
  8. Jeffrey Wang, Helen Li, Lisa Fish, Kimberly H. Chau, Patrick Arensdorf, Hani Goodarzi, Babak Alipanahi. Abstract 3353: Discovery and validation of orphan noncoding RNA profiles across multiple cancers in TCGA and two independent cohorts. Cancer Research. 2022 Jun 15; 82(12_Supplement):3353-3353.  View on PubMed
  9. Xiao J, McGill JR, Nasir A, Lekan A, Johnson B, Wilkins DJ, Pearson GW, Tanner K, Goodarzi H, Glasgow E, Schlegel R, Agarwal S. Identifying drivers of breast cancer metastasis in progressively invasive subpopulations of zebrafish-xenografted MDA-MB-231. Mol Biomed. 2022 May 26; 3(1):16.  View on PubMed
  10. Passarelli MC, Pinzaru AM, Asgharian H, Liberti MV, Heissel S, Molina H, Goodarzi H, Tavazoie SF. Leucyl-tRNA synthetase is a tumour suppressor in breast cancer and regulates codon-dependent translation dynamics. Nat Cell Biol. 2022 03; 24(3):307-315.  View on PubMed
  11. Hani Goodarzi, Albertas Navickas, Jefferey Wang, Kristle Garcia, Mark J Magbanua, Lisa Fish, Lamorna Brown Swigart, Gillian Hirst, Denise Wolf, Christina Yau, Jo Chien, Carol Simmons, Amy Delson, Laura Esserman, Laura van 't Veer. Abstract PD9-04: Tumor-released circulating orphan non-coding RNAs reflect treatment response and survival in breast cancer. Cancer Research. 2022 Feb 15; 82(4_Supplement):pd9-04-pd9-04.  View on PubMed
  12. Liu XZ, Rulina A, Choi MH, Pedersen L, Lepland J, Takle ST, Madeleine N, Peters SD, Wogsland CE, Gr?ndal SM, Lorens JB, Goodarzi H, L?nning PE, Knappskog S, Molven A, Halberg N. C/EBPB-dependent adaptation to palmitic acid promotes tumor formation in hormone receptor negative breast cancer. Nat Commun. 2022 01 10; 13(1):69.  View on PubMed
  13. Yogodzinski C, Arab A, Pritchard JR, Goodarzi H, Gilbert LA. A global cancer data integrator reveals principles of synthetic lethality, sex disparity and immunotherapy. Genome Med. 2021 10 18; 13(1):167.  View on PubMed
  14. Xu Y, Huangyang P, Wang Y, Xue L, Devericks E, Nguyen HG, Yu X, Oses-Prieto JA, Burlingame AL, Miglani S, Goodarzi H, Ruggero D. ERa is an RNA-binding protein sustaining tumor cell survival and drug resistance. Cell. 2021 09 30; 184(20):5215-5229.e17.  View on PubMed
  15. 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
  16. 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 06 29; 35(13):109321.  View on PubMed
  17. Navickas A, Goodarzi H. A Wnt twist in FTO's role in cancer progression. Nat Cancer. 2021 06; 2(6):579-580.  View on PubMed
  18. 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
  19. Fish L, Khoroshkin M, Navickas A, Garcia K, Culbertson B, H?nisch B, Zhang S, Nguyen HCB, Soto LM, Dermit M, Mardakheh FK, Molina H, Alarc?n 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
  20. 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

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