Leila Satarian Ph.D.

Department of Brain and Cognitive sciences

Assistant professor

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.

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”.

Generally, our research will pursue some major goals:

  • Generating human pluripotent stem cells- derived RPE cells in sufficient quality and quantities for use in pre-clinical trials
  • Understanding the basic principles of RPE cell differentiation particularly pathways and gene networks via developmental biology
  • A Bioinformatics Approach to Identify Mesenchymal Stem Cells Soluble Factors Regulating Retinal Pigmented Epithelium Cells Development
  • 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
  • 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

Maria Abedin Zadeh

Lab visitor

Nastaran Moradi

Lab visitor

Elahe Sadat Mirsane

MSc Student

Rezvane Saeedi Fard

MSc Student

Ahmad Bereimipour

MSc Student

Hamzeh Ghaem Panah

Alumni MSc

Seyedeh Zahra Seyedrazi Zadeh

Alumni MSc

Fatemeh Sadat Hosseini Mazinani

Research assistant

Sara Poosty

Research assistant

Selected Publications:


  1. MicroRNA profiling reveals important functions of miR-125b and let-7a during human retinal pigment epithelial cell differentiation. Shahriari F, Satarian L. et al, Exp Eye Res. 2020


  1. Crocetin Prevents RPE Cells from Oxidative Stress through Protection of Cellular Metabolic Function and Activation of ERK1/2. Karimi P, Gheisari A, Gasparini SJ, Baharvand H, Shekari F, Satarian L, Ader M. Int J Mol Sci. 2020.


  1. Extracellular vesicles derived from human ES-MSCs protect retinal ganglion cells and preserve retinal function in a rodent model of optic nerve injury. Seyedrazizadeh SZ, Poosti S, Nazari A, Alikhani M, Shekari F, Pakdel F, Shahpasand K, Satarian L, Baharvand H. Stem Cell Res Ther. 2020.


  1. Hepatocyte growth factor promotes the proliferation of human embryonic stem cell derived retinal pigment epithelial cells. Karamali F, Esfahani MN, Hajian M, Ejeian F, Satarian L, Baharvand H.  J Cell Physiol. 2019.


  1. Smart liposomal drug delivery for treatment of oxidative stress model in human embryonic stem cell-derived retinal pigment epithelial cells, Behroozi F, Abdkhodaie MJ, Abandansari HS, Satarian L. et al. Int J Pharm. 2018.
  2. Strategies for In Vivo Genome Editing in Nondividing Cells,Nami FA, Basiri M, Satarian L. et al. Trends Biotechnol, 2018.


  1. Stem Cells from Apical Papilla Promote Differentiation of Human Pluripotent Stem Cells towards Retinal Cells, Karamali F, Nasr Esfahani MH, Taleahmad S, Satarian L. et al., Differentiation, 2017.


  1. Intravitreal injection of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells in patients with advanced retinitis pigmentosa; a safety study, Satarian L. et al., Journal of ophthalmic & vision research, 2017.


  1. Human Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Retinal Pigmented Epithelium in Retinal Treatment: From Bench to Bedside, Satarian L, et al., Molecular Neurobiology, 2014.


  1. Engrafted human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived anterior specified neural progenitors protect the rat crushed optic nerve, Satarian L, et al., PLoS One, 2013.


  1. Efficient Differentiation of Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells into Oligodendrocyte Progenitors and Transplantation in a Rat Model of Optic Chiasma Demyelination, Pouya A, Satarian L, et al., PloS One, 2011

Dr. Satarian’s lab is focused on the retinal regeneration via cell therapy, drug delivery and also Retinoblastoma treatment, therefore MSc and PhD students interested in these interesting areas are welcome to join our group.

Interested and talented students are invited to send their requests along with their CV to L.satarian@Royan-rc.ac.ir.

Currently we do not have open positions for graduate students.