Zakir Khan, PhD
Director of Research Laboratory
Dr. Khan is an immunologist with a strong background in cancer, cell, and molecular biology. He holds a Ph.D. in Cancer Biology; his innovative research has identified novel mechanisms responsible for cancer drug resistance and ways to overcome resistance in preclinical studies. He developed a gene therapy to control growth of squamous cell carcinoma. After completing his doctorate in 2009, Dr. Khan joined renowned research centers in France, including the Institute Pasteur and Institute Curie, where he was a postdoctoral fellow between 2009-2013. Here, he delved deeper into the molecular pathways regulating cell survival and inflammation. Dr. Khan has been honored with several notable awards, including the American Heart Association (AHA) Career Development Award (2018) and the Institute Curie Young Investigator Award (2013), recognizing his outstanding contributions to immunology and cancer research.
Dr. Khan joined Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Los Angeles in 2014, first as a project scientist and then promoted to Principal Investigator & Assistant Professor (2018-2023). His research focused on the discovery and characterization of novel mechanisms regulating white blood cell immunity and developing ways to enhance their immune responses. He discovered the novel role of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) in the development of immune responses in these cells. While at Cedars-Sinai, Dr. Khan was awarded multiple grants from the NIH and American Heart Association and established a new research laboratory where he supervised many students and PhDs. Additionally, he is also an active member of the American Society of Hematology and the AHA. Dr. Khan has published more than 55 peer-reviewed papers high impact journals including Blood, Science Translational Medicine, Cardiovascular Research, and BMC Medicine. In addition, he authored two books on cancer biology aimed at students and researchers. For his innovative work in finding small molecules to treat cancer and developing regenerative drugs, Dr. Khan holds two international patents.