Afshin Raouf, PhD

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Afshin Raouf, PhD

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Research Discipline(s): Discovery Research

Primary Title: Senior Scientist, CCMR

Additional Titles & Affiliations: Associate professor, Dept. of Immunology, RFHS


Prognostication and New Treatments for Metastatic Breast Cancers

Realizing that solid tumors are a community of cells is the first step in understanding tumor recurrence

Research Summary

We have developed a breast cancer patient-specific disease model to reconstruct the tumor microenvironment in a petri dish and use this model to ask questions about how therapy resistance develops in each tumor. The metastatic breast cancer tumors are of particular focus due to their poor prognosis.


The overarching goal of the research is to devise new personalized therapy approaches that are based on patient-specific breast tumor microenvironment and tumor immune microenvironment.

Research Biography

Dr. Raouf obtained his Ph.D. degree from University of Toronto in 2002 and obtained further specialization in the areas of normal and breast cancer stem cell biology at the B.C. Cancer Agency in Vancouver as a postdoctoral fellow.

He joined CancerCare Manitoba Research Institute in 2010 where he is a Senior Investigator. He is also an Associate Professor in the Department of Immunology, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, at the University of Manitoba.

He is currently the co-chair of the TFRI-Prairie Cancer Research Consortium and the Marathon of Hope Cancer Centres. He holds the Chair for the Manitoba Firefighter’s Burn Fund in chronic wound healing and stem cell therapy.


  • TFRI-PCRC Breast Cancer Research Group Co-Chair, 2020-2022
  • MFBF Chair in Chronic Wound Healing & Stem Cell Therapy, 2020 - present
  • Member of CIHR College of Reviewers, 2017 - present
  • Member of University of Manitoba Senate, 2019 - 2022
  • Keynote presenter for fundraising campaign, Canadian Cancer Society Funded Research, 2020
  • Manitoba Breast Cancer Research Group, 2015-2019
  • Graduate Student Excellence in Teaching Award, 2017
  • Cafe Scientifique - Chair, Breast Cancer Advances in the last 50 years, 2017
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    Featured Publications

    • Bhat V, Allan AL, Raouf A. Role of the Microenvironment in Regulating Normal and Cancer Stem Cell Activity: Implications for Breast Cancer Progression and Therapy Response. Cancers (Basel). 2019 Aug 24;11(9). doi: 10.3390/cancers11091240. Review. PubMed PMID: 31450577; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6770706
    • Chatterjee S, Bhat V, Berdnikov A, Liu J, Zhang G, Buchel E, Safneck J, Marshall AJ, Murphy LC, Postovit LM, Raouf A. Paracrine Crosstalk between Fibroblasts and ER+ Breast Cancer Cells Creates an IL1β-Enriched Niche that Promotes Tumor Growth. iScience. 2019 Sep 27;19:388-401. doi: 10.1016/j.isci.2019.07.034. Epub 2019 Jul 24. PubMed PMID: 31419632; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6706609
    • Bhat V, Lee-Wing V, Hu P, Raouf A. Isolation and characterization of a new basal-like luminal progenitor in human breast tissue. Stem Cell Res Ther. 2019 Aug 23;10(1):269. doi: 10.1186/s13287-019-1361-3. PubMed PMID: 31443683; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6708178
    • Basak P, Chatterjee S, Bhat V, Su A, Jin H, Lee-Wing V, Liu Q, Hu P, Murphy LC, Raouf A. Long Non-Coding RNA H19 Acts as an Estrogen Receptor Modulator that is Required for Endocrine Therapy Resistance in ER+ Breast Cancer Cells. Cell Physiol Biochem. 2018;51(4):1518-1532. doi: 10.1159/000495643. Epub 2018 Nov 29. PubMed PMID: 30497079
    • Chatterjee S, Basak P, Buchel E, Safneck J, Murphy LC, Mowat M, Kung SK, Eirew P, Eaves CJ, Raouf A. Breast Cancers Activate Stromal Fibroblast-Induced Suppression of Progenitors in Adjacent Normal Tissue. Stem Cell Reports. 2018 Jan 9;10(1):196-211. doi: 10.1016/j.stemcr.2017.11.002. Epub 2017 Dec 7. PubMed PMID: 29233553; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5768884.

    Publications List

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