Dr. Vahid Afshar-Kharghan
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Department of Benign Hematology
I am a physician scientist in the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, and the focus of the research in my laboratory is to use basic sciences to study questions with clinical relevance. I have studied the overlap between cancer biology, hemostatic factors, and the complement system. Currently, the research projects in my laboratory include studying 1) the role of platelets in cancer growth and chemoresistance, 2) the role of the complement system in tumor growth, 3) the role of complement in the alloimmune responses, including complications after bone marrow transplantation, and 4) the interactions between complement proteins and hemostatic factors in the pathogenesis of thrombotic disorders. By participating in the research projects in my laboratory, students will be exposed to the theoretical and practical aspects of research in platelet and complement biology. We will use several biochemical assays (protein-, DNA-, RNA-, and micro RNA-based assays) on in vitro (cell cultures) and in vivo models (murine models of cancer in genetically modified mice) to study the role of platelets and complement proteins in tumor progression. The goal of my research is to study novel and unexplored aspects in cancer biology that can provide the opportunity for testing new hypotheses. I will encourage new ideas from the members of my lab, and support sound experimental designs to test those ideas.