Altaf Dar, Ph.D., Associate Scientist

California Pacific CURRENTS: The online journal of CPMC Research Institute

Developing new approaches for the diagnosis and treatment of cutaneous malignancies

Research Overview

  • Dr. Altaf Dar uses genome-wide approaches to identify cancer progression genes. Ongoing work is aimed at investigating and validating the role of several of these genes (including microRNAs) as molecular markers underlying the development and progression of cancer, using melanoma as a model.
  • Through his research and collaboration with Dr. Mohammed Kashani-Sabet, the lab has uncovered novel biomarkers associated with distinct stages of melanoma progression.
  • Dr. Dar studies the signaling pathways in which these markers promote cancer progression, and investigates the molecular subtypes of various cancers where they are prevalent. He is defining the role of these genes as targets for treating solid tumors (including melanoma, breast cancer, glioblastoma, urological and gastro-esophageal cancers), either alone or in combination with targeted agents.
  • Dr. Dar’s research in collaboration with the Kashani lab helps support CPMC’s Cancer Center and its Center for Melanoma Research and Treatment—one of the largest melanoma programs in the U.S.—whose research and patient care initiatives are helping make important strides in the diagnosis and treatment of melanoma.
  • He leads basic science on pancreatic cancer, liver cancer and biliary (cholangiocarcinoma) for CPMCRI's Cancer Avatar Project.


Dr. Dar received a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Friedrich Schiller University in Jena, Germany. He completed post-doctoral fellowships at Vanderbilt University, the University of California at San Francisco, and California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute (under the mentorship of Dr. Kashani-Sabet).

Publication Search


de Semir D, Bezrookove V, Nosrati M, Dar AA, Wu C, Shen J, Rieken C, Venkatasubramanian M, Miller JR 3rd, Desprez PY, McAllister S, Soroceanu L, Debs RJ, Salomonis N, Schadendorf D, Cleaver JE, Kashani-Sabet M, PHIP as a therapeutic target for driver-negative subtypes of melanoma, breast, and lung cancer. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A

Bezrookove V, Nosrati M, Miller JR 3rd, De Semir D, Dar AA, Vosoughi E, Vaquero E, Sucker A, Lazar AJ, Gershenwald JE, Davies MA, Schadendorf D, Kashani-Sabet M, Role of Elevated PHIP Copy Number as a Prognostic and Progression Marker for Cutaneous Melanoma. Clin Cancer Res

Bhat NS, Colden M, Dar AA, Saini S, Arora P, Shahryari V, Yamamura S, Tanaka Y, Kato T, Majid S, Dahiya R, MicroRNA-720 Regulates E-cadherin-αE-catenin Complex and Promotes Renal Cell Carcinoma. Mol Cancer Ther

Colden M, Dar AA, Saini S, Dahiya PV, Shahryari V, Yamamura S, Tanaka Y, Stein G, Dahiya R, Majid S, MicroRNA-466 inhibits tumor growth and bone metastasis in prostate cancer by direct regulation of osteogenic transcription factor RUNX2. Cell Death Dis

Shahryari V, Nip H, Saini S, Dar AA, Yamamura S, Mitsui Y, Colden M, Bucay N, Tabatabai LZ, Greene K, Deng G, Tanaka Y, Dahiya R, Majid S, Pre-clinical Orthotopic Murine Model of Human Prostate Cancer. J Vis Exp

Nip H, Dar AA, Saini S, Colden M, Varahram S, Chowdhary H, Yamamura S, Mitsui Y, Tanaka Y, Kato T, Hashimoto Y, Shiina M, Kulkarni P, Dasgupta P, Imai-Sumida M, Tabatabai ZL, Greene K, Deng G, Dahiya R, Majid S, Oncogenic microRNA-4534 regulates PTEN pathway in prostate cancer. Oncotarget

Altaf Dar, Ph.D., Associate Scientist
Primary Research Interests
  • Development and validation of molecular prognostic and predictive factors for melanoma and other cancers
  • Identification of miRNA markers for solid tumors and understanding their molecular mechanisms of action
  • miRNA mediated regulation of signaling pathways
  • Identification of functional mediators of tumor progression and metastasis
  • Identification of markers and mediators of resistance to targeted therapy

Lab Members

Vladimir Bezrookove, Ph.D.
Post-doctoral researcher
Altaf Dar, Ph.D.
Associate Scientist
Sebastien De Feraudy, M.D., Ph.D.
Post-doctoral researcher
David de Semir, Ph.D.
Associate Scientist
Reza Keikhaee, Ph.D.
Visiting Scholar
Jee Min Lee, B.S.
Research Technician
Mehdi Nosrati
Lab Manager
Program Manager of the Cancer Avatar Project

Lab Volunteers

Madeleine Bauer, B.S. (Austria)
Caroline Garger, B.S. (Austria)
Lauren McConnell, B.S. (Ireland)
Binh Phan, B.S.
Sara Ursu, B.S..
Elham Vosoughi, M.D.