Sanaz Memarzadeh

Professor, Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of California Los Angeles

Professor, Molecular and Medical Pharmacology, University of California Los Angeles

At the G.O. Discovery Lab directed by Sanaz Memarzadeh, we are on a mission to help patients with gynecologic cancers. Our research is focused on two understudied and aggressive epithelial gynecologic cancers that affect thousands of women each year: ovarian and endometrial carcinomas. Making discoveries that will improve treatment of these diseases and potentially save lives is the ultimate goal of our work. In the G.O. Discovery Laboratory, we are taking a multifaceted approach, collaborating with other leading scientists to solve complex challenges. See below how we are working to make discoveries that may improve the lives of patients diagnosed with gynecologic cancers. • Explore unique cell types in ovarian and endometrial cancers causing relapse of disease and chemo resistance. • High throughput drug screening and testing drug combinations using disease in a dish model to overcome ovarian cancer platinum resistance. • Targeting therapy resistant ovarian cancers with cell-based immunotherapies using novel off the shelf immune cells such as iNKT and super charge NK cells. • Development of physiologically relevant in vivo disease models with patient derived xenografts as a powerful platform for testing novel therapeutics. • Defining the cellular lineage and therapeutic targets in ovarian and uterine carcinosarcomas

Awards and Honors

  • Recognition for ovarian cancer research and awareness, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.
  • Los Angeles Top Doctors, 2022-2023.
  • Super Doctors of California, 2020-2023.
  • Distinguished Alumni, UCLA STAR Program, 2023.
  • Certificate of Recognition for outstanding service and accomplishments in ovarian cancer research, West Hollywood City Council.


  1. Kaur K, Sanghu J, Memarzadeh S, Jewett A. Exploring the Potential of Natural Killer Cell-Based Immunotherapy in Targeting High-Grade Serous Ovarian Carcinomas.. Vaccines, 2024.
  2. Varuzhanyan G, Chen CC, Freeland J, He T, Tran W, Song K, Wang L, Cheng D, Xu S, Dibernardo GA, Esedebe FN, Abt ER, Park JW, Memarzadeh S, Graeber T, Shirihai O, Witte O. PGC-1α drives small cell neuroendocrine cancer progression towards an ASCL1-expressing subtype with increased mitochondrial capacity.. bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology, 2024.
  3. Lai TS, Francoeur A, Manrriquez E, Venkat P, Chang A, Douek M, Bahrami S, Raman SS, Memarzadeh S. Percutaneous interstitial brachytherapy ablation for targeting oligometastatic gynecologic cancers.. Brachytherapy, 2024.
  4. Unterrainer LM, Memarzadeh S, Moatamed NA, Benz MR, Czernin J, Calais J. [68Ga]Ga-FAPI-46 PET in a Borderline Ovarian Tumor.. Journal of nuclear medicine : official publication, Society of Nuclear Medicine, 2024.
  5. Moatamed NA, Vahdatshariatpanahi S, Gjertson DW, Sachs CR, Kang Y, Ostrzega N, Huang J, Memarzadeh S. Androgen receptor and its correlation with estrogen and progesterone receptors, aimed for identification of cases for future anti-androgen therapy in endometrial cancers.. PloS one, 2023.
  6. Li YR, Ochoa CJ, Zhu Y, Kramer A, Wilson M, Fang Y, Chen Y, Singh T, Di Bernardo G, Zhu E, Lee D, Moatamed NA, Bando J, Zhou JJ, Memarzadeh S, Yang L. Profiling ovarian cancer tumor and microenvironment during disease progression for cell-based immunotherapy design.. iScience, 2023.
  7. Marsh LA, Kim TH, Zhang M, Kubalanza K, Treece CL, Chase D, Memarzadeh S, Salani R, Karlan B, Rao J, Konecny GE. Pathologic response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy in ovarian cancer and its association with outcome: A surrogate marker of survival.. Gynecologic oncology, 2023.
  8. Gilbert L, Oaknin A, Matulonis UA, Mantia-Smaldone GM, Lim PC, Castro CM, Provencher D, Memarzadeh S, Method M, Wang J, Moore KN, O'Malley DM. Safety and efficacy of mirvetuximab soravtansine, a folate receptor alpha (FRα)-targeting antibody-drug conjugate (ADC), in combination with bevacizumab in patients with platinum-resistant ovarian cancer.. Gynecologic oncology, 2023.
  9. Samiei A, Gjertson DW, Memarzadeh S, Konecny GE, Moatamed NA. Expression of immune checkpoint regulators, programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1/PD-1), cytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen 4 (CTLA-4), and indolaimine-2, 3-deoxygenase (IDO) in uterine mesenchymal tumors.. Diagnostic pathology, 2022.
  10. Chovatiya N, Kaur K, Huerta-Yepez S, Chen PC, Neal A, DiBernardo G, Gumrukcu S, Memarzadeh S, Jewett A. Inability of ovarian cancers to upregulate their MHC-class I surface expression marks their aggressiveness and increased susceptibility to NK cell-mediated cytotoxicity.. Cancer immunology, immunotherapy : CII, 2022.
  11. Li S, Zeng W, Ni X, Zhou Y, Stackpole ML, Noor ZS, Yuan Z, Neal A, Memarzadeh S, Garon EB, Dubinett SM, Li W, Zhou XJ. cfTrack: A Method of Exome-Wide Mutation Analysis of Cell-free DNA to Simultaneously Monitor the Full Spectrum of Cancer Treatment Outcomes Including MRD, Recurrence, and Evolution.. Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, 2022.
  12. Singh T, Neal A, Dibernardo G, Raheseparian N, Moatamed NA, Memarzadeh S. Efficacy of birinapant in combination with carboplatin in targeting platinum‑resistant epithelial ovarian cancers.. International journal of oncology, 2022.
  13. Neal A, Lai T, Singh T, Rahseparian N, Grogan T, Elashoff D, Scott P, Pellegrini M, Memarzadeh S. Combining ReACp53 with Carboplatin to Target High-Grade Serous Ovarian Cancers.. Cancers, 2021.
  14. Szlachta-McGinn A, Chmielowski B, Kang Y, Raman S, Memarzadeh S. Management of Clitoral Melanoma Presenting as an Exophytic Clitoral Mass: A Case Report and Review of the Literature.. Current oncology (Toronto, Ont.), 2021.
  15. Chow L, Tsui BQ, Bahrami S, Masamed R, Memarzadeh S, Raman SS, Patel MK. Gynecologic tumor board: a radiologist's guide to vulvar and vaginal malignancies.. Abdominal radiology (New York), 2021.
  16. Liou SS, Memarzadeh S, Dry SM, Graham RP, Moatamed NA. A rare case of vulvar extraskeletal myxoid chondrosarcoma: mimics and diagnostic clues.. Autopsy & case reports, 2021.
  17. Wang YC, Wang X, Yu J, Ma F, Li Z, Zhou Y, Zeng S, Ma X, Li YR, Neal A, Huang J, To A, Clarke N, Memarzadeh S, Pellegrini M, Yang L. Targeting monoamine oxidase A-regulated tumor-associated macrophage polarization for cancer immunotherapy.. Nature communications, 2021.
  18. Yuan F, Wei SH, Konecny GE, Memarzadeh S, Suh RD, Sayre J, Lu DS, Raman SS. Image-Guided Percutaneous Thermal Ablation of Oligometastatic Ovarian and Non-Ovarian Gynecologic Tumors.. Journal of vascular and interventional radiology : JVIR, 2021.
  19. Lai TS, Manrriquez E, Neal A, Memarzadeh S. Matched sequential tumor molecular profiling in solid malignancies may impact clinical practice.. Cancer genetics, 2020.
  20. Singh T, Neal AS, Moatamed NA, Memarzadeh S. Exploring the Potential of Drug Response Assays for Precision Medicine in Ovarian Cancer.. International journal of molecular sciences, 2020.
  21. Kang Y, Kim TH, Gjertson DW, Cohen JG, Memarzadeh S, Moatamed NA. The uterine pathological features associated with sentinel lymph node metastasis in endometrial carcinomas.. PloS one, 2020.
  22. Sonni I, Lee-Felker S, Memarzadeh S, Quinn MM, Mona CE, Lückerath K, Czernin J, Calais J. 68Ga-FAPi-46 diffuse bilateral breast uptake in a patient with cervical cancer after hormonal stimulation.. European journal of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging, 2020.
  23. Dilday EA, Lewis MS, Vahidi K, Memarzadeh S. An asymptomatic anterior vaginal wall endometrioma, a rare manifestation of endometriosis: A case report.. Case reports in women's health, 2020.
  24. Neal AS, Nunez M, Lai T, Tosevska A, Morselli M, Amneus M, Zakhour M, Moatamed NA, Pellegrini M, Memarzadeh S. Expression of Stromal Progesterone Receptor and Differential Methylation Patterns in the Endometrium May Correlate with Response to Progesterone Therapy in Endometrial Complex Atypical Hyperplasia.. Reproductive sciences (Thousand Oaks, Calif.), 2020.
  25. Phan N, Hong JJ, Tofig B, Mapua M, Elashoff D, Moatamed NA, Huang J, Memarzadeh S, Damoiseaux R, Soragni A. A simple high-throughput approach identifies actionable drug sensitivities in patient-derived tumor organoids.. Communications biology, 2019.
  26. Smith DJ, Lin LJ, Moon H, Pham AT, Wang X, Liu S, Ji S, Rezek V, Shimizu S, Ruiz M, Lam J, Janzen DM, Memarzadeh S, Kohn DB, Zack JA, Kitchen SG, An DS, Yang L. Propagating Humanized BLT Mice for the Study of Human Immunology and Immunotherapy.. Stem cells and development, 2016.
  27. Soragni A, Janzen DM, Johnson LM, Lindgren AG, Thai-Quynh Nguyen A, Tiourin E, Soriaga AB, Lu J, Jiang L, Faull KF, Pellegrini M, Memarzadeh S, Eisenberg DS. A Designed Inhibitor of p53 Aggregation Rescues p53 Tumor Suppression in Ovarian Carcinomas.. Cancer cell, 2015.
  28. Tiourin E, Velasco VS, Rosales MA, Sullivan PS, Janzen DM, Memarzadeh S. Tubal Ligation Induces Quiescence in the Epithelia of the Fallopian Tube Fimbria.. Reproductive sciences (Thousand Oaks, Calif.), 2015.
  29. Janzen DM, Paik DY, Rosales MA, Yep B, Cheng D, Witte ON, Kayadibi H, Ryan CM, Jung ME, Faull K, Memarzadeh S. Low levels of circulating estrogen sensitize PTEN-null endometrial tumors to PARP inhibition in vivo.. Molecular cancer therapeutics, 2013.
  30. Janzen DM, Rosales MA, Paik DY, Lee DS, Smith DA, Witte ON, Iruela-Arispe ML, Memarzadeh S. Progesterone receptor signaling in the microenvironment of endometrial cancer influences its response to hormonal therapy.. Cancer research, 2013.
  31. Janzen DM, Cheng D, Schafenacker AM, Paik DY, Goldstein AS, Witte ON, Jaroszewicz A, Pellegrini M, Memarzadeh S. Estrogen and progesterone together expand murine endometrial epithelial progenitor cells.. Stem cells (Dayton, Ohio), 2013.
  32. Paik DY, Janzen DM, Schafenacker AM, Velasco VS, Shung MS, Cheng D, Huang J, Witte ON, Memarzadeh S. Stem-like epithelial cells are concentrated in the distal end of the fallopian tube: a site for injury and serous cancer initiation.. Stem cells (Dayton, Ohio), 2012.
  33. Cai H, Memarzadeh S, Stoyanova T, Beharry Z, Kraft AS, Witte ON. Collaboration of Kras and androgen receptor signaling stimulates EZH2 expression and tumor-propagating cells in prostate cancer.. Cancer research, 2012.
  34. Memarzadeh S, Cai H, Janzen DM, Xin L, Lukacs R, Riedinger M, Zong Y, DeGendt K, Verhoeven G, Huang J, Witte ON. Role of autonomous androgen receptor signaling in prostate cancer initiation is dichotomous and depends on the oncogenic signal.. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2011.
  35. Cai H, Smith DA, Memarzadeh S, Lowell CA, Cooper JA, Witte ON. Differential transformation capacity of Src family kinases during the initiation of prostate cancer.. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2011.
  36. Lukacs RU, Memarzadeh S, Wu H, Witte ON. Bmi-1 is a crucial regulator of prostate stem cell self-renewal and malignant transformation.. Cell stem cell, 2010.
  37. Memarzadeh S, Zong Y, Janzen DM, Goldstein AS, Cheng D, Kurita T, Schafenacker AM, Huang J, Witte ON. Cell-autonomous activation of the PI3-kinase pathway initiates endometrial cancer from adult uterine epithelium.. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2010.
  38. Lawson DA, Zong Y, Memarzadeh S, Xin L, Huang J, Witte ON. Basal epithelial stem cells are efficient targets for prostate cancer initiation.. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2010.
  39. Nosov V, Park S, Rao J, Memarzadeh S. Non-Peutz-Jeghers syndrome associated ovarian sex cord tumor with annular tubules: a case report.. Fertility and sterility, 2009.
  40. Memarzadeh S, Xin L, Mulholland DJ, Mansukhani A, Wu H, Teitell MA, Witte ON. Enhanced paracrine FGF10 expression promotes formation of multifocal prostate adenocarcinoma and an increase in epithelial androgen receptor.. Cancer cell, 2007.
  41. Memarzadeh S, Natarajan S, Dandade DP, Ostrzega N, Saber PA, Busuttil A, Lentz SE, Berek JS. Lymphovascular and perineural invasion in the parametria: a prognostic factor for early-stage cervical cancer.. Obstetrics and gynecology, 2003.
  42. Ide H, Seligson DB, Memarzadeh S, Xin L, Horvath S, Dubey P, Flick MB, Kacinski BM, Palotie A, Witte ON. Expression of colony-stimulating factor 1 receptor during prostate development and prostate cancer progression.. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2002.
  43. Memarzadeh S, Kozak KR, Chang L, Natarajan S, Shintaku P, Reddy ST, Farias-Eisner R, Memarzedeh S. Urokinase plasminogen activator receptor: Prognostic biomarker for endometrial cancer.. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2002.