Saeid Ghavami, BSc, MSc, PhD

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Saeid Ghavami, BSc, MSc, PhD

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Research Discipline(s): Basic, Cancer Biology

Primary Title: Associate Professor, Department of Human Anatomy and Cell Science, University of Manitoba

Additional Titles & Affiliations:

  1. Adjunct Scientist: Research Institute of Oncology and Hematology, Winnipeg, Canada
  2. Adjunct Scientist: Children's Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba
  3. Honorary Professor, Faculty of Medicine, Katowice School of Technology, Katowice, Poland


Lung Cancer, Glioblastoma, Rhabdomyosarcoma I

My team is dedicated to increase the survival rate and improve the quality of life of cancer patients via developing more effective therapeutic approaches for cancer treatment.

Research Summary

My research career focuses on the importance of cross talk of three key cellular responses to intra- and extracellular stress in regulation of cellular phenotype including apoptosis, autophagy and unfolded protein response (UPR).

We investigate how cellular phenotype is involved in lung cancer metastasis, and chemotherapy response in Glioblastoma and Rhabdomyosarcoma.

Our research identifies how autophagy/UPR/apoptosis determine metastatic phenotypes of lung cancer via Bcl2 family proteins.

In addition, we address the importance of these three pathways in regulation of chemo-sensitivity of glioblastoma and rhabdomyosarcoma cells to different chemotherapy agents.



  1. Understanding the impact of lipid metabolism in lung cancer metastasis via regulation of mitophagy and anoikis resistance.
  2. Determining the role of cholesterol metabolism in regulation of chemo-resistance in glioblastoma.
  3. Determine the impact of unfolded protein response in developing Rhabdomyosarcoma.

Research Biography

Dr. Ghavami got his BSc. in Chemistry in 1989 (Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran), MSc. and PhD (1995, 2004, TMU University, Tehran, Iran) in Clinical Biochemistry. His Postdoctoral training was focused on the application of apoptosis/autophagy/unfolded protein response (UPR) in regulation of cell fate. His research program is focused on regulation of cellular phenotype via targeting autophagy and UPR at the Department of Human Anatomy and Cell Science, University of Manitoba.

Dr. Ghavami is currently an “Associate Professor” at the Department of Human Anatomy and Cell Science, University of Manitoba, Canada, Adjunct scientist at RIOH and CHRIM, University of Manitoba, Honorary Professor and co-founder of Autophagy Research Centre at Shiraz University of Medical Science and Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Honorary Professor at Katowice School of Technology, Poland. He is Associate Editor of BBA-Mol Basis of Disease, Molecular Neurobiology, BB Reports, and IJMS.


  • “Top 0.1% Article in Neuroscience”: Ghavami et al. Prog. Neuro. Biol., 2014 (2022)
  • “Cover page of Journal”,: Esmaeili et al., J Control Rel., 2022 (2022)
  • “Cover page of Volume”,: Eshraghi et al., IJMS, 2021 (2022)
  • “Cover page of Volume”,: Aghaei et al et al., Life, 2020 (2022)
  • “Featured article of the Volume”,: Dastghaib et al., ATS Red J., 2020 (2022)
  • “Top 10% highly cited paper in PLOS ONE”: Ghavami et al., PLOS ONE, 2011 (2022)
  • “Highly cited paper in Autophagy”: Klionsky et al., Autophagy, 2022 (2022)
  • “Highly cited paper in Autophagy”: Klionsky et al., Autophagy, 2016 (2022)
  • “Highly cited paper in Autophagy”: Klionsky et al., Autophagy, 2012 (2022)
  • “Highly cited paper in Pharmacology & Therapeutics”: Hombach-Klonisch et al., Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 2018 (2022)
  • "“Highly cited paper in Journal of Medical Genetics”: Ghavami et al., Journal Medical Genetics, 2009 (2022)"
  • “Top 10% highly cited paper in PLOS ONE”: Ghavami et al., PLOS ONE, 2011 (2022)
  • “Life Achievement Award for Impact on Science” from Iranian Presidency Office (2018)
  • “CIHR/CCS/OICR” early career New Investigator Award (2017)
  • “Science and Innovation Center (SIC) Rising Star of Research” from American Thoracic Society RSF Assembly (2017)
  • “Canadian Thoracic Society McDonald Memorial Travel Award” ($500 CAN) (2013)
  • “Ranked as 5th Biomedical Researcher” in 18th International Razi Medical Award (2013)
  • “Parker B Francis Career Development Fellowship in Respiratory Disease”, “Role of S100A8/A9 in Airway Remodeling in Asthma” ($156,000 US), (Ranked top ten in North America) (2010-2013)
  • “American Thoracic Society (ATS) Meeting Travel Award” to attend RCMB, ($500 US) (2011)
  • “Keystone Symposia Travel Award”, ($1,200 US) (2011)
  • “Society of the Free Radical Biology and Medicine Travel Award”, ($1,000 US) (2009)
  • “Manitoba Research Day First Prize” in Post-Doctoral Category ($1,500 CAN) (2009)
  • “Manitoba Institute of Child Health Travel Award” to attend Third Cell Death Meeting and Training sessions (APOTRAIN), Ulm, Germany ($1,500 CAN) (2008)
  • “CIHR/CLA/GSK” Post-Doctoral Award in Respiratory Disease” ($90,000 CAN) (Ranked Number 1 in basic research in Canada) (2008-2010)
  • "“CIHR National Training Program in Allergy and Asthma Post-Doctoral Award” ($12,000 CAN) (2007-2009)"
  • “Manitoba Institute of Child Health Post-Doctoral Award” ($70,000 CAN) (2007-2009)
  • “Manitoba Health Research Council Post-Doctoral Award” ($38,750 CAN) (Ranked Number 1 in Manitoba) (2006-2007)
  • "“Manitoba Health Research Council Post-Doctoral Award” ($36,250 CAN, Declined) (Ranked Number 3 in Manitoba) (2007)"
  • “CIHR Post-Doctoral Award” ($30,000 CAN, Declined) (2006)
  • "“University of Manitoba-Health Science Center Post-Doctoral Award”, ($15,000 CAN, Declined) (2006)"
  • “CancerCare Manitoba Foundation Post-Doctoral Award” , ($30,000 CAN) (2005-2006)
  • “Iran Ministry of Health and Medical Education-Postgraduate Scholarship” (1993-1995)
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    Featured Publications

    • Aghaei M, Nasimian A, Rahmati M, Kawalec P, Machaj F, Rosik J, Bhushan B, Bathaie SZ, Azarpira N, Los MJ, Samali A, Perrin D, Gordon JW, Ghavami S. The Role of BiP and the IRE1α-XBP1 Axis in Rhabdomyosarcoma Pathology. 2021, Cancers, Sep 30;13(19):4927. doi: 10.3390/cancers13194927 (
    • Shojaei S, Koleini N, Samiei E, Aghaei M, Cole LK, Alizadeh J, Islam MI, Vosoughi AR, Albokashy M, Butterfield Y, Marzban H, Xu F, Thliveris J, Kardami E, Hatch GM, Eftekharpour E, Akbari M, Hombach-Klonisch S, Klonisch T, Ghavami S. Simvastatin Increases Temozolomide-Induced Cell Death by Targeting the Fusion of Autophagosomes and Lysosomes 2020, FEBS. J. (
    • Emami A, Shojaei S, da Silva Rosa SC, Aghaei M, Samiei E, Vosoughi AR, Kalantari F, Kawalec P, Thliveris J, Sharma P, Zeki AA, Akbari M, Gordon JW, Ghavami S. Mechanisms of Simvastatin Myotoxicity: The Role of Autophagy Flux Inhibition. 2019, Eur. J. Pharmacol., 862:172616. doi: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2019.172616 (
    • Alizadeh J, Glogowska A, Thliveris J, Kalantari F, Shojaei S, Hombach-Klonisch S, Klonisch T, Ghavami S. Autophagy Modulates Transforming Growth Factor beta 1 Induced Epithelial to Mesenchymal Transition in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Cells. 2018, Biochim Biophys Acta, Mol. Cell Res. 1865(5):749-768 (
    • Hombach-Klonisch S, Mehrpour M, Shojaei S, Harlos C, Pitz M, Hamaei A, Siemianowicz K, Likus W, Wiechec E, Toyota BD, Hoshyar R, Seyfoori A, Sepehri Z, Ande AR, Khadem F, Akbari M, Gorman A, Samali A, Klonisch T, Ghavami S. Glioblastoma and Chemoresistance to Alkylating Agents: Involvement of Apoptosis, Autophagy, and Unfolded Protein Response. 2018, Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 184:13-41 (
    • Alizadeh A, Zeki AA, Mirzaei N, Rezaei Moghadam A, Glogowska A, Pandian N, Eftekharpour E, Tewary S, Gordon J, Xu FY, Field JT, Weichec E, Yuneda KY, Keynon NJ, Hashemi M, Hatch G, Hombach Klonisch S, Klonisch T, Ghavami S. Mevalonate Cascade Inhibition with Simvastatin Induces the Intrinsic Apoptosis Pathway via Depletion of Isoprenoids in a Broad Range of Tumor Cells. 2017, Scientific Reports, 27;7:44841 (
    • Mousavi MA, Sharifi M, Moasses Ghafary S, Khataee A, Mohammadalipour M, Rahmati M, Hajjaran S, Los MJ, Klonisch T, Ghavami S. Photodynamic N-TiO2 Nanoparticle Treatment Induces ROS-mediated Autophagy and Terminal Differentiation of Leukemia Cells. 2016, Scientific Reports, 6:34413. (
    • Ghavami S, Cunnington RH, Gupta S, Yeganeh B, Filomeno KL, Freed DH, Chen S, Klonisch T, Halayko AJ, Singal R, Dixon IMC. Autophagy is a regulator of TGF-β1-induced pro-fibrotic effect in primary human atrial myofibroblasts. 2015, Cell Death & Disease, doi: 10.1038/cddis.2015.36 (

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