Dr. Mohammad Asim is a Molecular Biologist who studies Cancer in order to find novel and more effective treatments. he has over a decade of experience studying the molecular mechanisms that lead to prostate cancer progression and failure of current therapies. His research has focussed on understanding the role of the androgen receptor in prostate cancer and is potentially vital in finding novel treatments for aggressive disease. Mohammad graduated with a Ph.D. from the Justus Liebig University for his work uncovering the role of signal transduction pathways and transcriptional corepressors in the regulation of androgen receptor signalling in prostate cancer.
Following a postdoc in Cancer Biology at the University of Wisconsin, where he discovered novel anti-androgens, he took up a Senior Scientist position at the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute at the University of Cambridge. Here, Mohammad performed some ground-breaking work, identifying the first mammalian kinase that can act as a chaperone for the androgen receptor and is a drug target.
At Surrey, his work uncovered a novel synthetic lethal relationship between the androgen receptor and Poly (ADP-Ribose) Polymerase pathway which is being clinically exploited to treat castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). His lab identified PDZ binding Kinase as a mediator of androgen receptor function in CRPC thus revealing the molecular mechanism underlying the failure of hormone therapy for prostate cancer. This work contributed to understanding pathways that can cause the failure of hormone/radiation therapy and can thus be exploited in developing combination approaches for effective cancer treatment. For his discoveries on a novel dual activity anti-androgenic drug which is currently in development, Dr. Asim was awarded a Young Investigator Award from the Prostate Cancer Foundation. In addition to his role at Surrey, Dr. Asim concurrently holds visiting scientist posts at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge.
Areas of specialism
University roles and responsibilities
- Personal Tutor
- PTY Tutor
- MD/PhD examiner
- Module Organiser
- Research Supervisor
PhD thesis studying the role of signal transduction and transcriptional cofactors in the regulation of androgen receptor function in prostate cancer
Affiliations and memberships
2. American Association for Cancer Research
3. Higher Education Academy of the United Kingdom
4. The Royal Society of Biology of the United Kingdom
In the media
Dr. Mohammad Asim is a Cancer Biologist and a University Lecturer (Assistant Professor) who graduated with a first-class Bachelor's in Science, and Master in Science degree from Hamdard University, New Delhi, India. He was awarded a PhD degree by the Justus Liebig University in Germany for his work uncovering the role of signal transduction pathways and transcriptional corepressors in the regulation of Androgen Receptor (AR) signalling in prostate cancer (PCa). His PhD work identified LCoR as a novel transcriptional corepressor for the AR and uncovered its cross-talk with Src kinase pathway. During his postdoctoral training post in Cancer Cell Biology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA where he identified novel small molecules with the potential to inhibit AR signalling in PCa. Later he took up a senior scientist position at the CR UK institute of the University of Cambridge, UK. While at Cambridge he led the androgen signalling research theme of the Uro oncology lab and trained several scientists. After spending more than 6 years at Cambridge, he joined the University of Surrey in December 2016 as a faculty.
Mohammad has over a decade of experience researching the molecular mechanisms that lead to prostate cancer progression. His research has focussed on understanding the role of AR in PCa and has been proven vital in finding novel treatments for aggressive PCa.
Lethal prostate cancer: Understanding Molecular Mechanisms to identify effective treatments
Mohammad has a keen interest and research expertise in the area of Prostate cancer (PCa). PCa is a leading cause of cancer-related mortality in the United Kingdom with 11,000 deaths each year. Advanced PCa is often treated with hormone therapy and/or radiation. While a number of patients are treated and become disease-free, recurrent PCa is common and leads to the development of castration-resistant PCa (CRPC) which is metastatic. Mohammad's research focus is on why hormone/radiation therapy fails and how cancer becomes aggressive.
Dr. Asim's strongly believes that multi-dimension interdisciplinary research to attack PCa from different angles holds the key to the development of successful therapies with sustained clinical benefits. In terms of understanding the underlying biology behind the aggressive disease that allows the disease to progress and become aggressive is vital in identifying novel therapeutic targets and thus important in designing novel therapies to treat PCa. Mohammad's current research projects include:
1. Understanding the onset of aggressive PCa to develop precision diagnostic tools.
2. To understand the function of androgen receptor and associated pathways in CRPC.
3. Identification and validation of novel potential drug targets in PCa.
4. Designing novel therapeutic strategies to block PCa progression.
Dr Asim is pleased to consider applications from prospective doctoral students and self-funded postdocs.
1. Visiting Scientist, Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute, University of Cambridge, UK.
2. Visiting Scientist, Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences, University of Oxford, UK.
3. Member of the Surrey Cancer Research Institute, University of Surrey-Royal Surrey County Hospital, UK.
Patent & clinical trial
Lead contributor in the discovery for which, a United States patent (#US20100010078 A1) has been obtained “Method of treating androgen-dependent prostate cancer by administering an active pharmaceutical ingredient being Fisetin, 3,3',4',7- tertahydroxyflavone or a derivative thereof, in an oral, transdermal or topical dosage form.”
Member of the clinical trial management committee of the clinical trial entitled “A study into the pharmacodynamic biomarker effects of Olaparib (a PARP inhibitor) given prior to radical prostatectomy” protocol number CANCAP03, at the University of Cambridge Addenbrooke's hospital, Cambridge. The study funded by AZ.
Ad hoc reviewer invitations
Nature Genetics, Nature Communications, The Journal of Clinical Investigation, Cancer Research, Clinical Cancer Research, EMBO Molecular Medicine, Oncogene, OncoTargets and Therapy, Clinical and Translational Medicine, International Journal of Cancer, Future Oncology, Epigenomics, Helicobacter, Molecular Cancer Research, Frontiers in Oncology, Oncogenesis, Cancer Letters, Cell Death and Disease, Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, BMC Urology, The Journal of Biochemical and Molecular Toxicology, PLoS One, Hormones and Cancer, Endocrine-related Cancer, Pharmaceutical Biology, Diagnostic Pathology, Tumour Biology, Life Sciences, International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Journal of Proteome Research, Neuroscience, Drug Development Research, Environmental Science and Pollution Research, Toxicology Mechanisms and Methods, Open Biology, Journal of Clinical Medicine, Asian Journal of Andrology, Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Cellular Physiology and Biochemistry, European Journal of Pharmacology, Translational Oncology, Cells, Molecular Biology Reports, Scientific Reports, Cancer Biomarkers, Cells, Molecular Systems Biology, EMBO Reports.
Lecturer in the School of Biosciences and Medicine
BMS2036: Module lead BSc undergraduate module on Molecular Biology and Genetics: From genes to biological function.
BMS1047: Module tutor BSc undergraduate module on Molecular Biology and Genetics: From genes to biological function.
BMS3048: BSc in Biomedical Sciences dissertation supervisor.
Module Lead for the MSci Biomedical Science- Molecular and Systems Pathology Module.
Liu DS, Yang Q, Asim M, Krell J, Frampton AE (2022). The Clinical Significance of Transfer RNAs present in Extracellular Vesicles. Int J Mol Sci. 28;23:3692.
Miller KJ, Asim M* (2022). Unravelling the Role of Kinases that Underpin Androgen Signalling in Prostate Cancer. Cells 11:952.
Goel S, Bhatia V, Carskadon S, Gupta S, Asim M, Morrissey C, Palanisamy N, Ateeq B (2021). A transcriptional network involving ERG and AR orchestrates Distal-Less Homeobox 1 mediated prostate cancer progression Nature Communications. 12:5325.
Maylin Z, Nicolescu RCB, Pandha H, Asim M* (2021). Current and Emerging Small Molecules Targeting the Androgen Receptor Dependent Transcription in Prostate Cancer. Translational Oncology 14:101115.
Warren AY, Massie CE, Watt K, Luko K, Orafidiya F, Selth LA, Mohammed H, Chohan BS, Menon S, Baridi A, Zhao W, Escriu C, Pungsrinont T, D'Santos C, Yang X, Taylor C, Qureshi A, Zecchini VR, Shaw GL, Dehm SM, Mills IG, Carroll JS, Tilley WD, McEwan IJ, Baniahmad A, Neal DE, Asim M* (2019). A reciprocal feedback between the PDZ binding kinase and androgen receptor drives prostate cancer. Oncogene.38(7):1136-1150. PMID: 30237440.
Asim M*, Tarish F, Zecchini HI, Sanjiv K, Gelali E, Massie CE, Baridi A, Warren AY, Zhao W, Ogris C, McDuffus LA, Mascalchi P, Shaw G, Dev H, Wadhwa K, Wijnhoven P, Forment JV, Lyons SR, Lynch AG, O'Neill C, Zecchini VR, Rennie PS, Baniahmad A, Tavaré S, Mills IG, Galanty Y, Crosetto N, Schultz N, Neal D, Helleday T. (2017) Synthetic lethality between androgen receptor signalling and the PARP pathway in prostate cancer. Nature Communications. 29;8(1):374. PMID: 28851861.
Ross-Adams H, Ball S, Lawrenson K, Halim S, Russell R, Wells C, Strand SH, Ørntoft TF, Larson M, Armasu S, Massie CE, Asim M, Mortensen MM, Borre M, Woodfine K, Warren AY, Lamb AD, Kay J, Whitaker H, Ramos-Montoya A, Murrell A, Sørensen KD, Fridley BL, Goode EL, Gayther SA, Masters J, Neal DE, Mills IG. (2016) HNF1B variants associate with promoter methylation and regulate gene networks activated in prostate and ovarian cancer. Oncotarget. 15;7(46):74734-74746. PMID: 27732966.
Asim M*, Massie CE, Neal DE. (2016) Kinase joins the chaperone club: Androgen-regulated kinome reveals choline kinase alpha as a potential drug target in prostate cancer. Molecular & Cellular Oncology. 3(3):e1140262. PMID: 27314091.
Asim M*, Massie CE, Orafidiya F, Pértega-Gomes N, Warren AY, Selth LA, Zecchini HI, Qureshi A, Baridi A, Menon S, Madhu B, Escriu C, Lyons S, Zecchini V, Shaw G, Hessenkemper W, Russell R, Mohammed H, Stefanos N, Lynch AG, Grigorenko E, D'Santos C, Taylor C, Lamb A, Sriranjan R, Yang J, Stark R, Dehm SM, Rennie PS, Baniahmad A, Carroll JS, Griffiths JR, Tavaré S, McEwan IJ, Mills IG, Tilley WD, & Neal DE. (2016) Choline kinase alpha is an Androgen Receptor Chaperone and Prostate Cancer Therapeutic Target Journal of the National Cancer Institute. 11;108(5). PMID: 26657335.
Pertega-Gomes N, Felisbino S, Massie CE, Vizcaino JR, Coelho R, Sandi C, Sousa S, Jurmeister S, Ramos-Montoya A, Asim M, Tran M, Oliveira E, Lobo da Cunha A, Maximo V, Baltazar F, Neal DE, Fryer LG. (2015) A glycolytic phenotype is associated with prostate cancer progression and aggressiveness: A role for Monocarboxylate Transporters as metabolic targets for therapy. Journal of Pathology. 236(4):517-30. PMID: 25875424.
Mahmood I, Ahmad I, Asim M, Lopes TT, Costa L (2014) Silica-coated iron oxide nano-particles in vitro genotoxicity assessment and its interference with mercury co-exposure in European eel Anguilla anguilla L. Environmental Science and Pollution Research. 22(5):3687-96. PMID: 25256583.
Zecchini V, Madhu B, Russell R, Pértega-Gomes N, Warren A, Gaude E, Borlido J, Stark R, Zecchini HI, Rao R, Scott H, Boren J, Massie C, Asim M, Brindle K, Griffiths J, Frezza C, Neal D, Mills IG. (2014) Nuclear ARRB1 induces pseudohypoxia and cellular metabolism reprogramming in prostate cancer. EMBO Journal. 33(12):1365-82. PMID: 24837709.
Eckey M, Kraft F, Kob R, Escher N, Asim M, Fischer H, Fritsche MK, Melle C, Baniahmad A. (2013) The corepressor activity of Alien is controlled by CBP/p300. FEBS Journal. 280(8):1861-8. PMID: 23441852.
Altay G, Asim M, Markowetz F, Neal DE. (2011) Differential C3NET reveals disease networks of direct physical interactions. BMC Bioinformatics Jul 21;12:296. PMID: 21777411.
Asim M, Hafeez BB, Siddiqui IA, Gerlach C, Patz M, Mukhtar H, Baniahmad A. (2011) Ligand-dependent corepressor acts as a novel androgen receptor corepressor, inhibits prostate cancer growth, and is functionally inactivated by the Src protein kinase. Journal of Biological Chemistry Oct 28;286(43):37108-17. PMID: 21856747.
Siddiqui IA, Asim M (Joint first), Hafeez BB, Adhami VM, Tarapore RS, Mukhtar H. (2011) Green tea polyphenol EGCG blunts androgen receptor function in prostate cancer. FASEB Journal Apr;25(4):1198-207. PMID: 21177307.
Saleem M, Murtaza I, Tarapore RS, Suh Y, Adhami VM, Johnson JJ, Siddiqui IA, Khan N, Asim M, Hafeez BB, Shekhani MT, Li B, Mukhtar H. (2009) Lupeol inhibits proliferation of human prostate cancer cells by targeting beta-catenin signaling. Carcinogenesis May;30(5):808-17. PMID: 19233958.
Eisold M, Asim M, Eskelinen H, Linke T, Baniahmad A. (2009) Inhibition of MAPK-signaling pathway promotes the interaction of the corepressor SMRT with the human androgen receptor and mediates repression of prostate cancer cell growth in the presence of antiandrogens. Journal of Molecular Endocrinology. May;42(5):429-35. PMID: 19223455.
Siddiqui IA, Adhami VM, Bharali DJ, Hafeez BB, Asim M, Khwaja SI, Ahmad N, Cui H, Mousa SA, Mukhtar H. (2009) Introducing nanochemoprevention as a novel approach for cancer control: proof of principle with green tea polyphenol epigallocatechin-3-gallate. Cancer Research Mar 1;69(5):1712-6. PMID: 19223530.
Hafeez BB, Adhami VM, Asim M, Siddiqui IA, Bhat KM, Zhong W, Saleem M, Din M, Setaluri V, Mukhtar H. (2009) Targeted knockdown of Notch1 inhibits invasion of human prostate cancer cells concomitant with inhibition of matrix metalloproteinase-9 and urokinase plasminogen activator. Clinical Cancer Research Jan 15;15(2):452-9. PMID: 19147749.
Khan N, Asim M (Joint first), Afaq F, Abu Zaid M, Mukhtar H. (2008) A novel dietary flavonoid fisetin inhibits androgen receptor signaling and tumor growth in athymic nude mice. Cancer Research Oct 15;68(20):8555-63. PMID: 18922931.
Asim M, Siddiqui IA, Hafeez BB, Baniahmad A, Mukhtar H. (2008) Src kinase potentiates androgen receptor transactivation function and invasion of androgen-independent prostate cancer C4-2 cells. Oncogene Jun 5;27(25):3596-604. PMID: 18223692.
Hafeez BB, Asim M, Siddiqui IA, Adhami VM, Murtaza I, Mukhtar H. (2008) Delphinidin, a dietary anthocyanidin in pigmented fruits and vegetables: a new weapon to blunt prostate cancer growth. Cell Cycle; 7(21):3320-6. PMID: 1894874.
Hafeez BB, Siddiqui IA, Asim M, Malik A, Afaq F, Adhami VM, Saleem M, Din M, Mukhtar H. (2008) A dietary anthocyanidin delphinidin induces apoptosis of human prostate cancer PC3 cells in vitro and in vivo: involvement of nuclear factor-kappaB signaling. Cancer Research 2008 Oct 15;68(20):8564-72. PMID: 18922932.
Saleem M, Maddodi N, Abu Zaid M, Khan N, bin Hafeez B, Asim M, Suh Y, Yun JM, Setaluri V, Mukhtar H. (2008) Lupeol inhibits growth of highly aggressive human metastatic melanoma cells in vitro and in vivo by inducing apoptosis. Clinical Cancer Research Apr 1;14(7):2119-27. PMID: 18381953.
Siddiqui IA, Shukla Y, Adhami VM, Sarfaraz S, Asim M, Hafeez BB, Mukhtar H. (2008) Suppression of NFkappaB and its regulated gene products by oral administration of green tea polyphenols in an autochthonous mouse prostate cancer model. Pharm Res. Sep;25(9):2135-42. PMID: 18317887.
Moehren U, Papaioannou M, Reeb CA, Grasselli A, Nanni S, Asim M, Roell D, Prade I, Farsetti A, Baniahmad A. (2008) Wild-type but not mutant androgen receptor inhibits expression of the hTERT telomerase subunit: a novel role of AR mutation for prostate cancer development. FASEB Journal Apr;22(4):1258-67.PMID: 17991730.
Siddiqui IA, Malik A, Adhami VM, Asim M, Hafeez BB, Sarfaraz S, Mukhtar H. (2008) Green tea polyphenol EGCG sensitizes human prostate carcinoma LNCaP cells to TRAIL-mediated apoptosis and synergistically inhibits biomarkers associated with angiogenesis and metastasis. Oncogene Mar 27;27(14):2055-63. PMID: 17998943.
Siddiqui IA, Saleem M, Adhami VM, Asim M, Mukhtar H. (2007) Tea beverage in chemoprevention and chemotherapy of prostate cancer. Acta Pharmacol Sin. Sep;28(9):1392-408. PMID: 17723173.
Gessner G, Schönherr K, Soom M, Hansel A, Asim M, Baniahmad A, Derst C, Hoshi T, Heinemann SH. (2005) BKCa channels activating at resting potential without calcium in LNCaP prostate cancer cells. J Membr Biol. Dec;208(3):229-40. PMID: 16604468.
Papaioannou M, Reeb C, Asim M, Dotzlaw H, Baniahmad A. (2005) Co-activator and corepressor interplay on the human androgen receptor. Andrologia. Dec;37(6):211-2.
* Denotes publications as corresponding author