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Cancer and Hematopoietic Stem Cells

Group Leader
Marzieh Ebrahimi Ph.D  
Marzieh Ebrahimi received her B.Sc in Cell and Molecular Biology from the Department of Biology at Tehran University in 1996. To pursue the underlying sciences in more depth, she obtained a Master’s degree and Ph.D in Immunology from the Medical Faculty at Tarbiat Modarres University in 2000 and 2007, with a focus on tumor therapy by chemical component and activation of DCs. Since July 2009- July 2010, she worked in the Oncology Surgery, ZLF, Unihospitale of Basel, Switzerland as a postdoctoral fellow. In Jun 2009, she received an award from the Iranian Presidential Office, Center for Women and Family Affairs as a Woman Elite.
Dr. Ebrahimi began research in field of stem cells in the Department of Stem Cells at Royan Institute in 2003 as a researcher and in 2007 she got an assistant professor. Currently, she is the leader of the Hematopoietic and Cancer Stem Cells Group, the Royan Public Cord Blood Bank programs, and Head of the Cytometry Laboratory.

Research Scientist
Saeed Abroun (Ph.D)

Research Assistants
Amir Hossein Baghsheikhi (B.Sc)
Javad Firouzi (B.Sc)
Maryam Momeni, (M.Sc)

Motahareh Rajabi (M.Sc)
Fatameh Shokraee (M.Sc)

Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are responsible for the constant renewal of blood and immune cells. Since more than 50 years ago, these cells have been developed to treat many diseases. Research in this area is an integrated research discipline that seeks to understand how different cells emerge from a stem cell source, which developmental pathway promotes HSCs differentiation, how the micro environment affects efficiency of cell function and other questions in the field of basic research. Also, many questions must be addressed in patients who receive HSCs for treatment in different disease areas. With this intent, the Hematopoietic Stem Cells Group began its activity in 2005. The main goal in this group is the high throughput expansion of HSCs using bioreactors, evaluation of cord blood mesenchymal cells (UC-M.SCs) effects on HSCs expansion efficacy, differentiation of HSCs into insulin secreting cells and the production of functional blood cells from different sources of stem cells, such as embryonic stem cells.
In 2009, research on cancer stem cells was added to the previous activities of our group, therefore our group name changed to the Hematopoietic and Cancer Stem Cells Group. The main focus of cancer stem cell research is on isolation and characterization of cancer stem cells from different types of solid cancers including, prostate, gastric, breast and melanoma cancers from patient tissue or cell lines. In addition, we are attempting to find and target the pathways activated in metastatic cells by using micro-RNAs and regulation of methylation or acetylation of epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT) regulators.

•    Potential role of heat shock proteins in neural differentiation of murine embryonal carcinoma stem cells (P19). Afzal E, Ebrahimi M, Arab Najafi SM, Daryadel A, Baharvand H. Cell Biol Int. 2011 Jul 1;35(7):713-20.
•    Comparative analysis of chemokine receptor’s expression in mesenchymal stem cells derived from human bone marrow and adipose tissue. Ahmadian Kia N, Bahrami AR, Ebrahimi M, Matin MM, Neshati Z, Almohaddesin MR, Aghdami N, Bidkhori HR. J Mol Neurosci. 2011 Jul;44(3):178-85.
•    Assessment of heat shock protein (HSP60, HSP72, HSP90, and HSC70) expression in cultured limbal stem cells following air lifting. Ebrahimi M, Mohammadi P, Daryadel A, Baharvand H. Mol Vis. 2010 Aug 18;16:1680-8.
•    Enhanced functions of human embryonic stem cell-derived hepatocyte-like cells on three-dimensional nanofibrillar surfaces. Farzaneh Z, Pournasr B, Ebrahimi M, Aghdami N, Baharvand H. Stem Cell Rev. 2010 Dec;6(4):601-10.
•    Midterm outcomes of autologous cultivated limbal stem cell transplantation with or without penetrating keratoplasty. Baradaran-Rafii A, Ebrahimi M, Kanavi MR, Taghi-Abadi E, Aghdami N, Eslani M, Bakhtiari P, Einollahi B, Baharvand H, Javadi MA. Cornea. 2010 May;29(5):502-9.
•    The applications of bone marrow-derived stem cells to induce tolerance and chimerism in organ transplantation. Ebrahimi M, Aghdami N. Int J Org Transplant Med. 2010; Vol. 1 (4) 157-169.
•    Contemporary immunotherapy of solid tumors: From tumor-associated antigens to combination treatments. Spagnoli GC, Ebrahimi M, Iezzi G, Mengus C, Zajac P. Curr Opin Drug Discov Devel. 2010 Mar; 13(2):184-92.

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