Seyyedeh Nafiseh Hassani Ph.D.

Department of Stem Cells and Developmental Biology

Assistant professor

Seyedeh Nafiseh Hassani is a faculty member of Department of Stem Cells and Developmental Biology at Royan Institute. In 2002, she received her undergraduate degree from Tehran University and in 2006 she received her master’s degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology from Khatam University. She worked on her M.Sc. thesis under supervision of Prof. Rafati at Pasteur Institute and graduated in 2005. She joined the Royan Institute in 2008 and completed her PhD in Developmental Biology under supervision of Prof. Baharvand in 2013. She is now in charge of the Biology of Pluripotent Stem Cells Research Group as well as the Production Manager for Royan Advanced Therapy Medicinal Product-Technology Development Center (ATMP-TDC). Her research areas include embryonic development, the isolation of pluripotent stem cells and the identification of their signaling pathways, the differentiation of the stem cells to the hematopoietic stem cells, as well as the creation of a cell bank under GMP standard condition. Her research has been published in more than 25 articles in international journals. In 2010, she became the leading researcher at the Royan Institute, due to innovation in the production of 150 mouse embryonic stem cells. In 2014, she won the Fifteenth Royan International Research Award, with the idea of “The Augmented BMP Pluripotency Pathway via TGF-β Suppression Maintains the Ground State of Embryonic Stem Cells self-renewal”. In 2015, her article was chosen as one of the top articles in the Second National Festival of Council for Stem Cell Science and Technologies. She has lectured at numerous international conferences and also teaches various courses, including cellular transduction, cell biology, stem cells, and developmental biology to undergraduates and Ph.D. students at the Royan Institute and University of Science and Culture.

The first priority of this group is the derivation of embryonic stem cells (ESC) and the identification of pluripotency mechanisms in different species, such as human, rodent, and chicken. Since 2002, the group had derived more than 60 human ESC and 300 rodent ESC lines. The following rows indicate the important programs of the group in this area:

  • Identification of signaling pathways and mechanism of naïve and primed pluripotency in mouse and human ESC;
  • Derivation and long-term maintenance of chicken pluripotent cells;
  • Scale-up culture of human pluripotent stem cells (ESC and iPSC), Human Mesenchymal Stromal Cells (MSC) and Human Dermal and Foreskin Fibroblasts (HDF and HFF, respectively) in bioreactors;
  • Establishment of Royan Stem Cell Bank and developing the standard quality controls for determining the quality, safety, and efficacy of derived-cell lines.

Another major scope of this research group is the study of efficient differentiation of pluripotent human stem cells toward hematopoietic stem cells for the following lineage differentiation from them.

Further, snice 2016, this group have tried to develop different cell lines, including ESC, clonal MSC, HFF, and keratinocyte from human, based on the Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) standards. The compliance of these different cell lines with GMP standards will facilitate the application of the valuable cells for regenerative medicine goals.

PhD Student :

Mahnaz BabaAhmadi (PhD Student)

Mojgan Barati (PhD Student)

Azimeh Akhlaghpour (PhD Student)

Masoumeh Zare (PhD Student)

Research assistants :

Selected Publications:

  1. Transition of inner cell mass to embryonic stem cells: mechanisms, facts, and hypotheses. Hassani SN, Moradi S, Taleahmad S, Braun T, Baharvand H.Cell Mol Life Sci. 2018 Nov 12. doi: 10.1007/s00018-018-2965-y. [Epub ahead of print] Review.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. 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