Leila Satarian Ph.D.

Department of Brain and Cognitive sciences

Assistant professor

Email: leilasatarian@royaninstitute.org

Phone: +98-21-22362513



Dr. Leila Satarian got her PhD in medical physiology from Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran. In her PhD and postdoc in Royan Institute, under the supervision of Prof. Baharvand and prof. Javan she worked on developing novel strategy for optic nerve regeneration by using of neural progenitor cells and also differentiating the human pluripotent stem cells-derived retinal pigmented epithelium cells. She was leader of Royan eye group since 2010 and be a member of stem cell faculty of Royan Institute at 2014. Now Leila Satarian as an assistant professor work on both basic (particularly optic nerve regeneration) and clinical (especially RPE replacement) aspects of retinal regeneration. She is currently the editorial manager member of two international journals (Cell Journal and Metabolic brain disease) and member of Royan International Research Award (RIRA) Scientific Board.

Research interests

Injuries to optic nerve, Age-related macular degeneration (AMD), Stargardt’s macular dystrophy, Retinoblastoma and so on can lead to a total loss of vision with socio-economic problems, which are almost incurable. Fortunately, over the past decade, Human pluripotent stem cells and its derivations have exhibited a number of clinically attractive features along with the potential to differentiate into retinal cells such as retinal pigment epithelium (RPE).  Our group at Royan Institute for Brain and Cognitive Sciences mission is to prevent blindness by retinal regeneration with a special emphasis on “RPE cells”.  Our research will pursue some major goals:

  • Generating human pluripotent stem cells- derived RPE cells in sufficient quality and quantities for use in animal and clinical trials
  • Understanding the basic principles of RPE cell differentiation particularly pathways and gene networks via developmental biology
  • Designing smart carriers for delivering drug to the posterior segment of the eye
  • Targeted gene editing with precise technology; CRISPR/ Cas9 in non-dividing retinal cells
  • Regenerating optic nerve with regarding to stem cells and its derivations such as extracellular vesicles
  • Assessing retinal Cistausis in optic nerve injuries and Providing a framework for clinical application
  • Dry and wet AMD in vitro modeling and treatment assessment
  • 3D printing of blood retinal barrier with engineering approach
  • Designing smart carriers with using Herbal medicine for treating retinoblastoma in vitro and in animal model

A Bioinformatics Approach to Identify Mesenchymal Stem Cells Soluble Factors Regulating Retinal Pigmented Epithelium Cells Development

MSC students:

FatemehSadat Hosseini Mazinani

Hamzeh GhaemPanah

Sara Poosti

Ahmad Breimipour

Fatemeh Arefeh Nami

PhD student

PhD students:

Padideh Karimi

Selected publications:

  1. Mokhtarzadeh Khanghahi A, Satarian L, Deng W, Baharvand H, Javan M, In vivo conversion of astrocytes into oligodendrocyte lineage cells with transcription factor Sox10; Promise for myelin repair in multiple sclerosis,PLoS One. 2018 Sep 13;13(9):e0203785. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0203785. eCollection 2018.
  2. Karamali F, Esfahani MN, Hajian M, Ejeian F, Satarian L, Baharvand H, Hepatocyte growth factor promotes the proliferation of human embryonic stem cell derived retinal pigment epithelial cells,J Cell Physiol. 2019 Apr;234(4):4256-4266. doi: 10.1002/jcp.27194. Epub 2018 Sep 7.
  3. Behroozi F, Abdkhodaie MJ, Abandansari HS, Satarian L, Molazem M, Al-Jamal KT, Baharvand H, Engineering folate-targeting diselenide-containing triblock copolymer as a redox-responsive shell-sheddable micelle for antitumor therapy in vivo, Acta Biomater. 2018 Aug;76:239-256. doi: 10.1016/j.actbio.2018.05.031. Epub 2018 Jun 19.
  4. Behroozi F, Abdkhodaie MJ, Abandansari HS, Satarian L, Ashtiani MK, Jaafari MR, Baharvand H, Smart liposomal drug delivery for treatment of oxidative stress model in human embryonic stem cell-derived retinal pigment epithelial cells,Int J Pharm. 2018 Sep 5;548(1):62-72. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpharm.2018.05.056. Epub 2018 May 23.
  5. Nami FatemehArefeh, Basiri Mohsen, Satarian Leila, Curtiss C, Baharvand Hossein, Verfaillie Cathrine, Strategies for In Vivo Genome Editing in Nondividing Cells, Trends Biotechnol, 2018. 03.
  6. Fereshteh Karamali, Mohammad-Hossein Nasr Esfahani, Sara Taleahmad, Leila Satarian, Hossein Baharvand , Stem Cells from Apical Papilla Promote Differentiation of Human Pluripotent Stem Cells towards Retinal Cells, Differentiation, 2017.07.
  7. Leila Satarian, Ramin Nourinia, Sare Safi, Mozhgan Rezaei Kanavi, Neda Jarughi, Narsis Daftarian, Leila Arab, Nasser Aghdami, Hamid Ahmadieh, Hossein Baharvand, Intravitreal injection of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells in patients with advanced retinitis pigmentosa; a safety study, Journal of ophthalmic & vision research, 2017, 12, 58.
  8. Leila Taghiyar, Mahdi Hesaraki, Forough Azam Sayahpour, Leila Satarian, Samaneh Hosseini, Nasser Aghdami, Mohamadreza Baghaban Eslaminejad, Msh homeobox 1 (Msx1)− and Msx2− overexpressing bone marrow− derived mesenchymal stem cells resemble blastema cells and enhance regeneration in mice, Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2017, jbc. M116. 774265.
  9. Ebrahim Shahbazi, Sharif Moradi, Shiva Nemati, Leila Satarian, Mohsen Basiri, Hamid Gourabi, Narges Zare Mehrjardi, Patrick Günther, Angelika Lampert, Kristian Händler, Fulya Hatay, Diana Schmidt, Marek Molcanyi, Jürgen Hescheler, Joachim L. Schultze4, Tomo Šarić, Hossein Baharvand Conversion of Human Fibroblasts to Stably Self-Renewing Neural Stem Cells with a Single Zinc-Finger Transcription Factor, Stem cell reports, 2016, 6 (4), 539-55.
  10. Leila Satarian, Maryam Parvini, Kazem Parivar, Mohammad Javan, Mahdi Tondar, Sajjad Ahmad, Hossein Baharvand, Human Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Retinal Pigmented Epithelium in Retinal Treatment: From Bench to Bedside, Molecular Neurobiology, 2014, 50(2):597-612.
  11. Pazhoohan S, Satarian L, Asghari AA, Salimi M, Kiani S, Mani AR, Javan M, Valproic Acid attenuates disease symptoms and increases endogenous myelin repair by recruiting neural stem cells and oligodendrocyte progenitors in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, Neurodegener Dis. 2014;13(1):45-52.
  12. Leila Satarian, Mohammad Javan, Sahar Kiani, Maryam Hajikarm, Javad Mirnajafi-Zadeh, Hossein Baharvand, Engrafted human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived anterior specified neural progenitors protect the rat crushed optic nerve, PLoS One, 2013; 8(8):e71855.
  13. Alireza Pouya, Leila Satarian, Sahar Kiani, Mohammad Javan, Hossein Baharvand, Efficient Differentiation of Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells into Oligodendrocyte Progenitors and Transplantation in a Rat Model of Optic Chiasma Demyelination, PloS One, 2011, 6(11), e27925.
  14. Zarebkohan A, Javan M, Satarian L, Ahmadiani A, Effect of chronic administration of morphine on the gene expression level of sodium-dependent vitamin C transporters in rat hippocampus and lumbar spinal cord, J Mol Neurosci, 2009 Jul;38 (3):236-42.
  15. Satarian L, Javan M, Fathollahi Y, Epinephrine inhibits analgesic tolerance to intrathecal administrated morphine and increases the expression of calcium-calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II alpha, Neurosci Lett., 2008 Jan 17;430 (3):213-7.


  1.  Larry benowitz, Harvard university, medical school.
  2. Thomas Braun, Max-Plank Institute.
  3. Catherine Verfaillie, The Stem Cell Institute Leuven, Belgium.
  4. Marius Ader, Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden, Germany.
  5. Ophthalmologic professors, Shahid Beheshti university (Labbafinejad hospital).
  6. Ophthalmologic professors, Tehran university (Farabi hospital)
  7. Dr Javad Mowla, Tarbiat Modares university.
  8. Physiology group professors, Tarbiat Modares university.

Open position

Currently we do not have open positions for graduate students.

PhD students are welcome to join our group.