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Dr Mahvash Zakikhani

Dr Mahvash Zakikhani


  • Research Associate, Department of Oncology, Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research of the Jewish General Hospital and McGill University


Mahvash Zakikhani holds a Ph.D. in Parasitology from McGill University, Montreal, Canada. She is a Research Associate in Dr. Pollak's laboratory at the Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research.


She has been involved in several projects including co-targeting of insulin-like growth factor receptor I and other tyrosine kinase receptors in cancer treatment, the metabolism signaling pathway, as well as in vitro studies of different cancer cell line proliferation and/or growth inhibition after treatment with different drugs.


She is currently testing the inhibitory effect of an insulin sensitizer drug on different cancer cell lines, with special emphasis on breast and prostate cancer cells, to see if alterations in cellular energy metabolism are associated with the antiproliferative effects of metformin.

Best publications:

1. Zakikhani M, Dowling R, Fantus GI, Sonenberg N, Pollak M. Metformin is an AMP-kinase dependent growth inhibitor for breast cancer cells. Cancer Res 66: 10269-73, 2006.

2. Dowling RJ, Zakikhani M, Fantus IG, Pollak M, Sonenberg N. Metformin inhibits mammalian target of rapamycin-dependent translation initiation in breast cancer cells. Cancer Res 67: 10804-12, 2007.

3. Zakikhani M, Dowling RJO, Sonenberg N, Pollak MN. Effects of adiponectin and metformin on prostate and colon neoplasia involve activation of AMP-activated protein kinase. Cancer Prev Res 1: 369-75, 2008.

4. Cox ME, Gleave ME, Zakikhani M, Bell RH, Piura E, Vickers E, Cunningham M, Larsson O, Fazli L, Pollak M. Insulin receptor expression by human prostate cancers. The Prostate 69: 33-40, 2009.

5. Zakikhani M, Blouin MJ, Piura E, Pollak MN. Metformin and rapamycin have distinct effects on the AKT pathway and proliferation in breast cancer cells. Breast Cancer Res Treat 123: 271-9, 2010.

Work Focus:

  • Work Focus (Biomedical): Cell Biology

Metformin, AMPK, IGF-I, Rapamycin.

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