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Mohammad Rashidian, Ph.D.


Available: 01/10/22, Expires: 03/01/24

Immunotherapy has revolutionized cancer treatment, however, a significant fraction of patients fail to respond to therapy and may suffer serious side effects. Our lab studies cancer immunology using expertise in chemical biology, molecular biology, and immunology. We are focused on understanding the underlying mechanisms of how the tumor microenvironment is shaped and continuously changed in response to cancer immunotherapies. We aim to develop new and improved diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic tools to detect, diagnose, characterize, treat, and prevent cancer. Our research aims are: (1) to develop methods for non-invasive monitoring of immune responses; (2) to investigate changes in the tumor microenvironment (TME) in response to treatment; (3) to explore how to reshape the TME to a more pronounced anti-tumor status and develop tools to realize this possibility; and (4) to develop precision therapeutics for cancer. In the long term, our goals are to help better understand the dynamics of immune responses, and to investigate what is behind the heterogeneous response to cancer immunotherapy. These are essential for developing more effective therapies, more effective methods for early detection of cancer, and new prognostic modalities. Skills required: Students with basic biology lab skillsets are encouraged to apply, however, no prior research experience is required. Students will have the opportunity to work with senior scientists in the lab to be trained for lab techniques. Learning outcomes: Research skills such as study design, data analysis methods, presentations, and scientific writing, as well as lab skillsets such as cell culture, protein engineering, protein expression and purification, ELISA analysis, running SDS-PAGE, mass-spec, and western blot analyses, protein labeling, and working with instruments such as FPLC, LC-MS, microscopy, and flow cytometry.

Available: 11/01/22, Expires: 10/31/24

Immunotherapy has revolutionized cancer treatment, however, a significant fraction of patients fail to respond to therapy and may suffer serious side effects. Our lab studies cancer immunology using chemical biology, molecular biology, and immunology expertise. We are focused on understanding the underlying mechanisms of how the tumor microenvironment is shaped and continuously changed in response to cancer immunotherapies. We aim to develop next-generation immunotherapeutics for cancer and autoimmune diseases. In the long term, our goals are to help better understand the dynamics of immune responses, to investigate what is behind the heterogeneous response to cancer immunotherapy, and to help understand what causes an immunosuppressive or an anti-tumor immune microenvironment. These are essential for developing more effective therapies, methods for early cancer detection, and new prognostic modalities.

The research activities and funding listed below are automatically derived from NIH ExPORTER and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing items. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.
  1. K22CA226040 (RASHIDIAN, MOHAMMAD) Jun 1, 2019 - May 31, 2022
    Noninvasive monitoring and evaluation of anti-tumor responses as a predictive tool
    Role: Principal Investigator

Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.
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PMC Citations indicate the number of times the publication was cited by articles in PubMed Central, and the Altmetric score represents citations in news articles and social media. (Note that publications are often cited in additional ways that are not shown here.) Fields are based on how the National Library of Medicine (NLM) classifies the publication's journal and might not represent the specific topic of the publication. Translation tags are based on the publication type and the MeSH terms NLM assigns to the publication. Some publications (especially newer ones and publications not in PubMed) might not yet be assigned Field or Translation tags.) Click a Field or Translation tag to filter the publications.
  1. Panikkanvalappil SR, Bhagavatula SK, Deans K, Jonas O, Rashidian M, Mishra S. Enhanced Tumor Accumulation of Multimodal Magneto-Plasmonic Nanoparticles via an Implanted Micromagnet-Assisted Delivery Strategy. Adv Healthc Mater. 2023 Jan; 12(2):e2201585. PMID: 36213946; PMCID: PMC9840675.
    Citations:    Fields:    
  2. Zhang Y, Wang Y, Uslu S, Venkatachalapathy S, Rashidian M, Schaefer JV, Plückthun A, Distefano MD. Enzymatic Construction of DARPin-Based Targeted Delivery Systems Using Protein Farnesyltransferase and a Capture and Release Strategy. Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Sep 29; 23(19). PMID: 36232839; PMCID: PMC9569580.
    Citations:    Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
  3. Ng TSC, Allen HH, Rashidian M, Miller MA. Probing immune infiltration dynamics in cancer by in vivo imaging. Curr Opin Chem Biol. 2022 04; 67:102117. PMID: 35219177; PMCID: PMC9118268.
    Citations: 1     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
  4. Rakhshandehroo T, Smith BR, Glockner HJ, Rashidian M, Pandit-Taskar N. Molecular Immune Targeted Imaging of Tumor Microenvironment. Nanotheranostics. 2022; 6(3):286-305. PMID: 35223381; PMCID: PMC8864253.
    Citations: 1     Fields:    Translation:Animals
  5. Andreiuk B, Nicolson F, Clark LM, Panikkanvalappil SR, Rashidian M, Harmsen S, Kircher MF. Design and synthesis of gold nanostars-based SERS nanotags for bioimaging applications. Nanotheranostics. 2022; 6(1):10-30. PMID: 34976578; PMCID: PMC8671966.
    Citations: 2     Fields:    
  6. Cong M, Tavakolpour S, Berland L, Glöckner H, Andreiuk B, Rakhshandehroo T, Uslu S, Mishra S, Clark L, Rashidian M. Direct N- or C-Terminal Protein Labeling Via a Sortase-Mediated Swapping Approach. Bioconjug Chem. 2021 11 17; 32(11):2397-2406. PMID: 34748323; PMCID: PMC9595177.
    Citations: 1     Fields:    
  7. Islam A, Pishesha N, Harmand TJ, Heston H, Woodham AW, Cheloha RW, Bousbaine D, Rashidian M, Ploegh HL. Converting an Anti-Mouse CD4 Monoclonal Antibody into an scFv Positron Emission Tomography Imaging Agent for Longitudinal Monitoring of CD4+ T Cells. J Immunol. 2021 09 01; 207(5):1468-1477. PMID: 34408009; PMCID: PMC8387391.
    Citations: 2     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
  8. Daneshpazhooh M, Tavakolpour S, Salehi Farid A, Ebadi M, Nili A, Rashidian M, Mahmoudi H. Pustular eruption after biosimilar rituximab infusion: report of acute generalized exanthematous pustulosis in two patients with pemphigus. Int J Dermatol. 2022 Jan; 61(1):e14-e17. PMID: 34156705.
    Citations: 1     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  9. Berland L, Kim L, Abousaway O, Mines A, Mishra S, Clark L, Hofman P, Rashidian M. Nanobodies for Medical Imaging: About Ready for Prime Time? Biomolecules. 2021 04 26; 11(5). PMID: 33925941; PMCID: PMC8146371.
    Citations: 4     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  10. Teunissen AJP, Abousaway OB, Munitz J, van Leent MMT, Toner YC, Priem B, Senders ML, Pérez-Medina C, Mulder WJM, Rashidian M. Employing nanobodies for immune landscape profiling by PET imaging in mice. STAR Protoc. 2021 06 18; 2(2):100434. PMID: 33899016; PMCID: PMC8056265.
    Citations:    Fields:    Translation:Animals
  11. Clayton KL, Mylvaganam G, Villasmil-Ocando A, Stuart H, Maus MV, Rashidian M, Ploegh HL, Walker BD. HIV-infected macrophages resist efficient NK cell-mediated killing while preserving inflammatory cytokine responses. Cell Host Microbe. 2021 03 10; 29(3):435-447.e9. PMID: 33571449; PMCID: PMC8486985.
    Citations: 8     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
  12. Abousaway O, Rakhshandehroo T, Van den Abbeele AD, Kircher MF, Rashidian M. Noninvasive Imaging of Cancer Immunotherapy. Nanotheranostics. 2021; 5(1):90-112. PMID: 33391977.
    Citations: 9     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  13. Dongre A, Rashidian M, Eaton EN, Reinhardt F, Thiru P, Zagorulya M, Nepal S, Banaz T, Martner A, Spranger S, Weinberg RA. Direct and Indirect Regulators of Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition-Mediated Immunosuppression in Breast Carcinomas. Cancer Discov. 2021 05; 11(5):1286-1305. PMID: 33328216; PMCID: PMC8432413.
    Citations: 19     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
  14. Priem B, van Leent MMT, Teunissen AJP, Sofias AM, Mourits VP, Willemsen L, Klein ED, Oosterwijk RS, Meerwaldt AE, Munitz J, Prévot G, Vera Verschuur A, Nauta SA, van Leeuwen EM, Fisher EL, de Jong KAM, Zhao Y, Toner YC, Soultanidis G, Calcagno C, Bomans PHH, Friedrich H, Sommerdijk N, Reiner T, Duivenvoorden R, Zupancic E, Di Martino JS, Kluza E, Rashidian M, Ploegh HL, Dijkhuizen RM, Hak S, Pérez-Medina C, Bravo-Cordero JJ, de Winther MPJ, Joosten LAB, van Elsas A, Fayad ZA, Rialdi A, Torre D, Guccione E, Ochando J, Netea MG, Griffioen AW, Mulder WJM. Trained Immunity-Promoting Nanobiologic Therapy Suppresses Tumor Growth and Potentiates Checkpoint Inhibition. Cell. 2020 10 29; 183(3):786-801.e19. PMID: 33125893.
    Citations: 21     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
  15. Woodham AW, Zeigler SH, Zeyang EL, Kolifrath SC, Cheloha RW, Rashidian M, Chaparro RJ, Seidel RD, Garforth SJ, Dearling JL, Mesyngier M, Duddempudi PK, Packard AB, Almo SC, Ploegh HL. In vivo detection of antigen-specific CD8+ T cells by immuno-positron emission tomography. Nat Methods. 2020 10; 17(10):1025-1032. PMID: 32929269.
    Citations: 13     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
  16. Mahmoudi H, Tavakolpour S, Nili A, Salehi Farid A, Daneshpazhooh M, Rashidian M. Treatment of pemphigus patients in the COVID-19 era: A specific focus on rituximab. Dermatol Ther. 2020 11; 33(6):e14188. PMID: 32794333; PMCID: PMC7435548.
    Citations: 2     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
  17. Rashidian M, Ploegh H. Nanobodies as non-invasive imaging tools. Immunooncol Technol. 2020 Sep; 7:2-14. PMID: 35754459; PMCID: PMC9216400.
  18. Tavakolpour S, Rakhshandehroo T, Wei EX, Rashidian M. Lymphopenia during the COVID-19 infection: What it shows and what can be learned. Immunol Lett. 2020 09; 225:31-32. PMID: 32569607.
    Citations: 92     Fields:    Translation:HumansCellsPHPublic Health
  19. Rashidian M, LaFleur MW, Verschoor VL, Dongre A, Zhang Y, Nguyen TH, Kolifrath S, Aref AR, Lau CJ, Paweletz CP, Bu X, Freeman GJ, Barrasa MI, Weinberg RA, Sharpe AH, Ploegh HL. Immuno-PET identifies the myeloid compartment as a key contributor to the outcome of the antitumor response under PD-1 blockade. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2019 08 20; 116(34):16971-16980. PMID: 31375632; PMCID: PMC6708368.
    Citations: 49     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
  20. Jailkhani N, Ingram JR, Rashidian M, Rickelt S, Tian C, Mak H, Jiang Z, Ploegh HL, Hynes RO. Noninvasive imaging of tumor progression, metastasis, and fibrosis using a nanobody targeting the extracellular matrix. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2019 07 09; 116(28):14181-14190. PMID: 31068469; PMCID: PMC6628802.
    Citations: 53     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
  21. Woodham AW, Cheloha RW, Ling J, Rashidian M, Kolifrath SC, Mesyngier M, Duarte JN, Bader JM, Skeate JG, Da Silva DM, Kast WM, Ploegh HL. Nanobody-Antigen Conjugates Elicit HPV-Specific Antitumor Immune Responses. Cancer Immunol Res. 2018 07; 6(7):870-880. PMID: 29792298.
    Citations: 11     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCellsPHPublic Health
  22. Ingram JR, Blomberg OS, Rashidian M, Ali L, Garforth S, Fedorov E, Fedorov AA, Bonanno JB, Le Gall C, Crowley S, Espinosa C, Biary T, Keliher EJ, Weissleder R, Almo SC, Dougan SK, Ploegh HL, Dougan M. Anti-CTLA-4 therapy requires an Fc domain for efficacy. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018 04 10; 115(15):3912-3917. PMID: 29581255; PMCID: PMC5899492.
    Citations: 62     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
  23. Dougan M, Ingram JR, Jeong HJ, Mosaheb MM, Bruck PT, Ali L, Pishesha N, Blomberg O, Tyler PM, Servos MM, Rashidian M, Nguyen QD, von Andrian UH, Ploegh HL, Dougan SK. Targeting Cytokine Therapy to the Pancreatic Tumor Microenvironment Using PD-L1-Specific VHHs. Cancer Immunol Res. 2018 04; 6(4):389-401. PMID: 29459478.
    Citations: 28     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
  24. Ingram JR, Dougan M, Rashidian M, Knoll M, Keliher EJ, Garrett S, Garforth S, Blomberg OS, Espinosa C, Bhan A, Almo SC, Weissleder R, Lodish H, Dougan SK, Ploegh HL. PD-L1 is an activation-independent marker of brown adipocytes. Nat Commun. 2017 09 21; 8(1):647. PMID: 28935898; PMCID: PMC5608754.
    Citations: 46     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
  25. Rashidian M, Ingram JR, Dougan M, Dongre A, Whang KA, LeGall C, Cragnolini JJ, Bierie B, Gostissa M, Gorman J, Grotenbreg GM, Bhan A, Weinberg RA, Ploegh HL. Predicting the response to CTLA-4 blockade by longitudinal noninvasive monitoring of CD8 T cells. J Exp Med. 2017 Aug 07; 214(8):2243-2255. PMID: 28666979; PMCID: PMC5551571.
    Citations: 95     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
  26. Dongre A, Rashidian M, Reinhardt F, Bagnato A, Keckesova Z, Ploegh HL, Weinberg RA. Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition Contributes to Immunosuppression in Breast Carcinomas. Cancer Res. 2017 08 01; 77(15):3982-3989. PMID: 28428275; PMCID: PMC5541771.
    Citations: 142     Fields:    Translation:Animals
  27. Van Elssen CHMJ, Rashidian M, Vrbanac V, Wucherpfennig KW, Habre ZE, Sticht J, Freund C, Jacobsen JT, Cragnolini J, Ingram J, Plaisier L, Spierings E, Tager AM, Ploegh HL. Noninvasive Imaging of Human Immune Responses in a Human Xenograft Model of Graft-Versus-Host Disease. J Nucl Med. 2017 06; 58(6):1003-1008. PMID: 28209904; PMCID: PMC5450362.
    Citations: 26     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
  28. Zhang Y, Blanden MJ, Sudheer Ch, Gangopadhyay SA, Rashidian M, Hougland JL, Distefano MD. Simultaneous Site-Specific Dual Protein Labeling Using Protein Prenyltransferases. Bioconjug Chem. 2015 Dec 16; 26(12):2542-53. PMID: 26561785; PMCID: PMC4769283.
    Citations: 9     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
  29. Rashidian M, Wang L, Edens JG, Jacobsen JT, Hossain I, Wang Q, Victora GD, Vasdev N, Ploegh H, Liang SH. Enzyme-Mediated Modification of Single-Domain Antibodies for Imaging Modalities with Different Characteristics. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2016 Jan 11; 55(2):528-533. PMID: 26630549; PMCID: PMC4718774.
    Citations: 29     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
  30. Rashidian M, Keliher E, Dougan M, Juras PK, Cavallari M, Wojtkiewicz GR, Jacobsen J, Edens JG, Tas JM, Victora G, Weissleder R, Ploegh H. The use of 18F-2-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) to label antibody fragments for immuno-PET of pancreatic cancer. ACS Cent Sci. 2015 Jun 24; 1(3):142-147. PMID: 26955657; PMCID: PMC4778250.
    Citations: 45     
  31. Rashidian M, Keliher EJ, Bilate AM, Duarte JN, Wojtkiewicz GR, Jacobsen JT, Cragnolini J, Swee LK, Victora GD, Weissleder R, Ploegh HL. Noninvasive imaging of immune responses. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015 May 12; 112(19):6146-51. PMID: 25902531; PMCID: PMC4434737.
    Citations: 101     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
  32. Mahmoodi MM, Rashidian M, Zhang Y, Distefano MD. Application of meta- and para-Phenylenediamine as Enhanced Oxime Ligation Catalysts for Protein Labeling, PEGylation, Immobilization, and Release. Curr Protoc Protein Sci. 2015 Feb 02; 79:15.4.1-15.4.28. PMID: 25640893; PMCID: PMC4357315.
    Citations: 3     Fields:    Translation:Cells
  33. Rashidian M, Kumarapperuma SC, Gabrielse K, Fegan A, Wagner CR, Distefano MD. Simultaneous dual protein labeling using a triorthogonal reagent. J Am Chem Soc. 2013 Nov 06; 135(44):16388-96. PMID: 24134212.
    Citations: 19     Fields:    Translation:Cells
  34. Rashidian M, Dozier JK, Distefano MD. Enzymatic labeling of proteins: techniques and approaches. Bioconjug Chem. 2013 Aug 21; 24(8):1277-94. PMID: 23837885.
    Citations: 66     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
  35. Rashidian M, Mahmoodi MM, Shah R, Dozier JK, Wagner CR, Distefano MD. A highly efficient catalyst for oxime ligation and hydrazone-oxime exchange suitable for bioconjugation. Bioconjug Chem. 2013 Mar 20; 24(3):333-42. PMID: 23425124.
    Citations: 30     Fields:    Translation:Cells
  36. Mahmoodi MM, Rashidian M, Dozier JK, Distefano MD. Chemoenzymatic site-specific reversible immobilization and labeling of proteins from crude cellular extract without prior purification using oxime and hydrazine ligation. Curr Protoc Chem Biol. 2013; 5(2):89-109. PMID: 23839992.
    Citations: 5     Fields:    Translation:Cells
  37. Rashidian M, Song JM, Pricer RE, Distefano MD. Chemoenzymatic reversible immobilization and labeling of proteins without prior purification. J Am Chem Soc. 2012 May 23; 134(20):8455-67. PMID: 22435540.
    Citations: 29     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
  38. Rashidian M, Dozier JK, Lenevich S, Distefano MD. Selective labeling of polypeptides using protein farnesyltransferase via rapid oxime ligation. Chem Commun (Camb). 2010 Dec 21; 46(47):8998-9000. PMID: 20967387.
    Citations: 15     Fields:    Translation:Cells
  39. DeGraw AJ, Palsuledesai C, Ochocki JD, Dozier JK, Lenevich S, Rashidian M, Distefano MD. Evaluation of alkyne-modified isoprenoids as chemical reporters of protein prenylation. Chem Biol Drug Des. 2010 Dec; 76(6):460-71. PMID: 21040496.
    Citations: 43     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
  40. Rashidian M, Fattahi A. Comparison of thermochemistry of aspartame (artificial sweetener) and glucose. Carbohydr Res. 2009 Jan 05; 344(1):127-33. PMID: 18992876.
    Citations: 1     Fields:    
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Funded by the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences through its Clinical and Translational Science Awards Program, grant number UL1TR002541.