Seyyedeh Nafiseh Hassani Ph.D.

Department of Stem Cells and Developmental Biology

Assistant professor

Seyedeh Nafiseh Hassani received her B.Sc. in Cell and Molecular Biology from Tehran University in 2002. She continued her education as a Master student in the same field at Khatam University in Tehran. She worked on her M.Sc. thesis under supervision of Dr. Rafati at Pasteur Institute and graduated in 2005. In 2008 she became a PhD candidate in developmental biology in a joint program between Royan institute and the university of Science and Culture. She worked on her PhD thesis under supervision of Dr. Hossein Baharvand and graduated in 2013. As of now, Dr. Hassani is the head of Pluripotent Stem Cell research team. She and her colleagues seek to elucidate the molecular properties of pluripotent stem cells in order to optimize the current methods for obtaining, maintaining and utilizing them.

The first priority of this group is derivation and maintenance of embryonic stem cells from different species, such as human, rodent, and chicken. Since 2002, the group had derived 60 human embryonic stem cell (hESC) lines and more than 300 mouse embryonic stem cell (mESC) lines.

Apart from line derivation, the following rows indicate the other important programs of the group in recent years:
• Identification of signaling pathways and mechanism of pluripotency in mouse and human pluripotent stem cells.
• Scale up culture of chick pluripotent stem cells
• Improvement of culture medium and extracellular matrix for derivation and maintenance of pluripotent stem cells
• Scale-up culture of human pluripotent stem cells (hESCs and hiPSCs), Human Mesenchymal Stromal Cells (MSC), Human Dermal Fibroblasts (HDFs), and human immune cells in bioreactors
• Establishment of Royan Cell Bank and developing the standard international tests for determining purity and stability of derived-cell line.

Another major scope of this research group is the study of cellular and molecular mechanisms of regeneration in planarian and zebrafish animal models. For this, from 2012, Royan Regenerative Biology Laboratory was established. Furthermore, various transgenic zebrafish, were established as the appropriate models for human disease and drug screening.

PhD Student :

Mahnaz BabaAhmadi (PhD Student)

Mojgan Barati (PhD Student)

Azimeh Akhlaghpour (PhD Student)

Masoumeh Zare (PhD Student)

Research assistants :

Saeed Abasalizadeh (MSc)

Selected Publications:

  1. Effects of Various Culture Conditions on Pluripotent Stem Cell Derivation from Chick Embryos. Farzaneh M, Zare M, Hassani SN, Baharvand H. J Cell Biochem. 2018 Feb 2. doi: 10.1002/jcb.26761.
  2. In vitro improvement of quail primordial germ cell expansion through activation of TGF-beta signaling pathway. Yakhkeshi S, Rahimi S, Sharafi M, Hassani SN, Taleahmad S, Shahverdi A, Baharvand H. J Cell Biochem. 2017 Dec 15. doi: 10.1002/jcb.26618.
  3. Blockage of the Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition Is Required for Embryonic Stem Cell Derivation. Totonchi M, Hassani SN, Sharifi-Zarchi A, Tapia N, Adachi K, Arand J, Greber B, Sabour D, Araúzo-Bravo MJ, Walter J, Pakzad M, Gourabi H, Schöler HR, Baharvand H. Stem Cell Reports. 2017 Oct 10;9(4):1275-1290. doi: 10.1016/j.stemcr.2017.08.006. Epub 2017 Sep 14. PMID:28919260
  4. Allogeneic cell therapy manufacturing: process development technologies and facility design options. Abbasalizadeh S, Pakzad M, Cabral JMS, Baharvand H.Expert Opin Biol Ther. 2017 Oct;17(10):1201-1219. doi: 10.1080/14712598.2017.1354982. Epub 2017 Jul 20. PMID: 28699788
  5. Low Focal Adhesion Signaling Promotes Ground State Pluripotency of Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells. Taleahmad S, Mirzaei M, Samadian A, Hassani SN, Haynes PA, Salekdeh GH, Baharvand H. J Proteome Res. 2017 Oct 6;16(10):3585-3595. doi: 10.1021/acs.jproteome.7b00322. Epub 2017 Sep 13. PMID: 28850235
  6. Avian embryos and related cell lines: A convenient platform for recombinant proteins and vaccine production. Farzaneh M, Hassani SN, Mozdziak P, Baharvand H. Biotechnol J. 2017 May;12(5). doi: 10.1002/biot.201600598. Epub 2017 Mar 29. Review. PMID: 28371379
  7. Proteome Analysis of Ground State Pluripotency. Taleahmad S, Mirzaei M, Parker LM, Hassani SN, Mollamohammadi S, Sharifi-Zarchi A, Haynes PA, Baharvand H, Salekdeh GH. Sci Rep. 2015 Dec 16;5:17985. doi: 10.1038/srep17985. PMID: 26671762
  8. Suppression of transforming growth factor β signaling promotes ground state pluripotency from single blastomeres. Hassani SN, Pakzad M, Asgari B, Taei A, Baharvand H. Hum Reprod. 2014 Aug;29(8):1739-48. doi: 10.1093/humrep/deu134. Epub 2014 Jun 24. PMID: 24963166
  9. Signaling roadmap modulating naive and primed pluripotency. Hassani SN, Totonchi M, Gourabi H, Schöler HR, Baharvand H. Stem Cells Dev. 2014 Feb 1;23(3):193-208. doi: 10.1089/scd.2013.0368. Epub 2013 Nov 27. Review. PMID: 24147644
  10. Inhibition of TGFβ signaling promotes ground state pluripotency. Hassani SN, Totonchi M, Sharifi-Zarchi A, Mollamohammadi S, Pakzad M, Moradi S, Samadian A, Masoudi N, Mirshahvaladi S, Farrokhi A, Greber B, Araúzo-Bravo MJ, Sabour D, Sadeghi M, Salekdeh GH, Gourabi H, Schöler HR, Baharvand H. Stem Cell Rev. 2014 Feb;10(1):16-30. doi: 10.1007/s12015-013-9473-0. PMID: 24036899
  11. Enhanced generation of human embryonic stem cells from single blastomeres of fair and poor-quality cleavage embryos via inhibition of glycogen synthase kinase β and Rho-associated kinase signaling. Taei A, Hassani SN, Eftekhari-Yazdi P, Rezazadeh Valojerdi M, Nokhbatolfoghahai M, Masoudi NS, Pakzad M, Gourabi H, Baharvand H. Hum Reprod. 2013 Oct;28(10):2661-71. doi: 10.1093/humrep/det309. Epub 2013 Aug 6. PMID: 23925393
  12. Technological progress and challenges towards cGMP manufacturing of human pluripotent stem cells based therapeutic products for allogeneic and autologous cell therapies. Abbasalizadeh S, Baharvand H. Biotechnol Adv. 2013 Dec;31(8):1600-23. doi: 10.1016/j.biotechadv.2013.08.009. Epub 2013 Aug 17. Review. PMID: 23962714
  13. A new chemical approach to the efficient generation of mouse embryonic stem cells. Baharvand H, Hassani SN. Methods Mol Biol. 2013;997:13-22. doi: 10.1007/978-1-62703-348-0_2. PMID: 23546744
  14. Simultaneous suppression of TGF-β and ERK signaling contributes to the highly efficient and reproducible generation of mouse embryonic stem cells from previously considered refractory and non-permissive strains. Hassani SN, Totonchi M, Farrokhi A, Taei A, Larijani MR, Gourabi H, Baharvand H. Stem Cell Rev. 2012 Jun;8(2):472-81. doi: 10.1007/s12015-011-9306-y. PMID:21814763
  15. Long-term maintenance of undifferentiated human embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells in suspension. Larijani MR, Seifinejad A, Pournasr B, Hajihoseini V, Hassani SN, Totonchi M, Yousefi M, Shamsi F, Salekdeh GH, Baharvand H. Stem Cells Dev. 2011 Nov;20(11):1911-23. doi: 10.1089/scd.2010.0517. Epub 2011 Feb 24. PMID: 21198400
  16. Presence of a ROCK inhibitor in extracellular matrix supports more undifferentiated growth of feeder-free human embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells upon passaging. Pakzad M, Totonchi M, Taei A, Seifinejad A, Hassani SN, Baharvand H. Stem Cell Rev. 2010 Mar;6(1):96-107. doi: 10.1007/s12015-009-9103-z. PMID: 20012714
  17. An efficient and easy-to-use cryopreservation protocol for human ES and iPS cells. Baharvand H, Salekdeh GH, Taei A, Mollamohammadi S. Nat Protoc. 2010 Mar;5(3):588-94. doi: 10.1038/nprot.2009.247. Epub 2010 Mar 4. PMID: 20203673