Harvard Catalyst Profiles

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Mo Motamedi, Ph.D.


Available: 10/01/18, Expires: 10/30/21

Cancer recurrence and resistance to radiation and chemotherapy are major clinical problems resulting in a large number of deaths every year. A contributing factor is a subpopulation of tumor cells which exists in a special cellular state called quiescence (or G0). G0 cells have a distinct transcriptional program through which they acquire new properties compared to their proliferative selves, including long life, thrifty metabolism and resistance to stress. Moreover, they retain their ability to reenter the cell cycle after long periods of dormancy, which in cancers leads to recurrence and metastasis. None of the current cancer therapies specifically target G0 tumor cells, because for years G0 was viewed as an ‘uneventful’ cell state with little cancer relevance. Thus the mechanisms by which cells establish G0 remain largely unexplored. To address this knowledge gap, the Motamedi lab used the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe as a G0 model to probe molecular pathways essential for G0 survival. They discovered a critical regulatory node whose activity establishes the transcriptional program of G0 cells. They have recently discovered that this pathway plays a conserved role in several human cancers (e.g. breast, kidney) contributing to resistance and cancer dormancy. Importantly, they have identified a compound which shows great promise in targeting this pathway in several cancers.

This is a cross-disciplinary, collaborative project involving molecular, cellular and biochemical approaches to decipher the molecular mechanism by which cancer cells establish resistance. The scholars will use a range of molecular techniques during their tenure and contribute to the experimental development of this project.

Interested students please contact Dr. Motamedi directly at mmotamedi@hms.harvard.edu by sending him a letter of intent, a copy of their CV and the name and contact information of at least three references.

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. Buker SM, Motamedi MR. Purification of native Argonaute complexes from the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe. Methods Mol Biol. 2011; 725:1-13. PMID: 21528443.
    Citations:    Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
  2. Li H, Motamedi MR, Yip CK, Wang Z, Walz T, Patel DJ, Moazed D. An alpha motif at Tas3 C terminus mediates RITS cis spreading and promotes heterochromatic gene silencing. Mol Cell. 2009 Apr 24; 34(2):155-67. PMID: 19394293.
    Citations: 20     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
  3. Motamedi MR, Hong EJ, Li X, Gerber S, Denison C, Gygi S, Moazed D. HP1 proteins form distinct complexes and mediate heterochromatic gene silencing by nonoverlapping mechanisms. Mol Cell. 2008 Dec 26; 32(6):778-90. PMID: 19111658.
    Citations: 102     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
  4. Moazed D, Bühler M, Buker SM, Colmenares SU, Gerace EL, Gerber SA, Hong EJ, Motamedi MR, Verdel A, Villén J, Gygi SP. Studies on the mechanism of RNAi-dependent heterochromatin assembly. Cold Spring Harb Symp Quant Biol. 2006; 71:461-71. PMID: 17381328.
    Citations: 19     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
  5. Motamedi MR, Verdel A, Colmenares SU, Gerber SA, Gygi SP, Moazed D. Two RNAi complexes, RITS and RDRC, physically interact and localize to noncoding centromeric RNAs. Cell. 2004 Dec 17; 119(6):789-802. PMID: 15607976.
    Citations: 221     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
  6. Shankaranarayana GD, Motamedi MR, Moazed D, Grewal SI. Sir2 regulates histone H3 lysine 9 methylation and heterochromatin assembly in fission yeast. Curr Biol. 2003 Jul 15; 13(14):1240-6. PMID: 12867036.
    Citations: 83     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
  7. Hosseini K, Jongsma FH, Hendrikse F, Motamedi M. Non-invasive monitoring of commonly used intraocular drugs against endophthalmitis by Raman spectroscopy. Lasers Surg Med. 2003; 32(4):265-70. PMID: 12696093.
    Citations: 1     Fields:    Translation:Animals
  8. Spörri S, Bell B, Yandell R, Motamedi M. Diode laser assisted transcervical tubal sterilization: an in vivo study in rabbits. Lasers Surg Med. 2001; 29(4):379-85. PMID: 11746117.
    Citations:    Fields:    Translation:Animals
  9. Vaidyanathan VV, Rastegar S, Fossum TW, Flores P, van Der Breggen EW, Egger NG, Jacques SL, Motamedi M. A study of aminolevulinic acid-induced protoporphyrin IX fluorescence kinetics in the canine oral cavity. Lasers Surg Med. 2000; 26(4):405-14. PMID: 10805946.
    Citations: 1     Fields:    Translation:Animals
  10. Neal DE, Orihuela E, Crotty K, LaHaye M, Davidson S, Motamedi M. Laser ablation of urethral hair. Lasers Surg Med. 1999; 24(4):261-3. PMID: 10327043.
    Citations:    Fields:    Translation:Humans
  11. Chan EK, Lu Q, Bell B, Motamedi M, Frederickson C, Brown DT, Kovach IS, Welch AJ. Laser assisted soldering: microdroplet accumulation with a microjet device. Lasers Surg Med. 1998; 23(4):213-20. PMID: 9829432.
    Citations:    Fields:    Translation:Animals
  12. Lin WC, Motamedi M, Welch AJ. Dynamics of tissue optics during laser heating of turbid media. Appl Opt. 1996 Jul 01; 35(19):3413-20. PMID: 21102729.
    Citations: 3     Fields:    
  13. Pow-Sang M, Orihuela E, Motamedi M, Torres J, Adesokan A, Cowan D, Warren MM. Healing response of the canine prostate to Nd:YAG laser radiation. Prostate. 1996 May; 28(5):287-94. PMID: 8610054.
    Citations: 1     Fields:    Translation:Animals
  14. Jansen ED, Asshauer T, Frenz M, Motamedi M, Delacrétaz G, Welch AJ. Effect of pulse duration on bubble formation and laser-induced pressure waves during holmium laser ablation. Lasers Surg Med. 1996; 18(3):278-93. PMID: 8778524.
    Citations: 15     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  15. Lin WC, Motamedi M, Welch AJ. Nonlinear optical behavior of ocular tissue during laser irradiation. Appl Opt. 1995 Dec 01; 34(34):7979-85. PMID: 21068895.
    Citations:    Fields:    
  16. Motamedi M, Torres JH, Orihuela E, Pow-Sang M, Cowan DF, Warren MM. Laser photocoagulation of prostate: influence of dosimetry. Lasers Surg Med. 1995; 17(1):49-58. PMID: 7564856.
    Citations: 1     Fields:    Translation:Animals
  17. Orihuela E, Motamedi M, Cammack T, Torres JH, Pow-Sang M, Lahaye M, Cowan DF, Warren MM. Comparison of thermocoagulation effects of low power, slow heating versus high power, rapid heating Nd: YAG laser regimens in a canine prostate model. J Urol. 1995 Jan; 153(1):196-200. PMID: 7966772.
    Citations: 1     Fields:    Translation:Animals
  18. Agah R, Pearce JA, Welch AJ, Motamedi M. Rate process model for arterial tissue thermal damage: implications on vessel photocoagulation. Lasers Surg Med. 1994; 15(2):176-84. PMID: 7799743.
    Citations: 10     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
  19. Anvari B, Motamedi M, Torres JH, Rastegar S, Orihuela E. Effects of surface irrigation on the thermal response of tissue during laser irradiation. Lasers Surg Med. 1994; 14(4):386-95. PMID: 8078388.
    Citations: 2     Fields:    Translation:Animals
  20. Torres JH, Welch AJ, Cilesiz I, Motamedi M. Tissue optical property measurements: overestimation of absorption coefficient with spectrophotometric techniques. Lasers Surg Med. 1994; 14(3):249-57. PMID: 8208051.
    Citations: 1     Fields:    Translation:Cells
  21. Jansen ED, van Leeuwen TG, Motamedi M, Borst C, Welch AJ. Temperature dependence of the absorption coefficient of water for midinfrared laser radiation. Lasers Surg Med. 1994; 14(3):258-68. PMID: 8208052.
    Citations: 21     Fields:    Translation:Cells
  22. LeCarpentier GL, Motamedi M, McMath LP, Rastegar S, Welch AJ. Continuous wave laser ablation of tissue: analysis of thermal and mechanical events. IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 1993 Feb; 40(2):188-200. PMID: 8319970.
    Citations: 8     Fields:    Translation:Animals
  23. Torres JH, Motamedi M, Welch AJ. Disparate absorption of argon laser radiation by fibrous versus fatty plaque: implications for laser angioplasty. Lasers Surg Med. 1990; 10(2):149-57. PMID: 2139711.
    Citations:    Fields:    Translation:Humans
  24. Spears JR, James LM, Leonard BM, Sinclair IN, Jenkins RD, Motamedi M, Sinofsky EL. Plaque-media rewelding with reversible tissue optical property changes during receptive cw Nd:YAG laser exposure. Lasers Surg Med. 1988; 8(5):477-85. PMID: 2976446.
    Citations: 2     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  25. Welch AJ, Bradley AB, Torres JH, Motamedi M, Ghidoni JJ, Pearce JA, Hussein H, O'Rourke RA. Laser probe ablation of normal and atherosclerotic human aorta in vitro: a first thermographic and histologic analysis. Circulation. 1987 Dec; 76(6):1353-63. PMID: 3677358.
    Citations: 1     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  26. Welch AJ, Valvano JW, Pearce JA, Hayes LJ, Motamedi M. Effect of laser radiation on tissue during laser angioplasty. Lasers Surg Med. 1985; 5(3):251-64. PMID: 4010436.
    Citations: 2     Fields:    Translation:Humans
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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.