Dr. Mohammad Asim is a Molecular Biologist who studies Cancer. he has over 15 years 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 AR in PCa and is potentially vital in finding novel treatment for aggressive PCa.Mohammad graduated with a PhD from 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).
Following a two-year postdoc in Cancer Biology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA 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, UK. Here, Mohammad performed some ground-breaking work, identifying the first kinase that can act as a chaperone for AR and is a drug target.
At Surrey, his work uncovered a novel synthetic lethal relationship between AR and PARP which is being clinically exploited to treat castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). His lab identified PDZ binding Kinase as a mediator of AR function in CRPC thus revealing the molecular mechanism underlying the failure of hormone therapy of PCa. 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 Masters 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. In 2007, he embarked on his very first 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. In 2010 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 theme of the Uro oncology lab and trained several scientists. After spending more than 6 years at Cambridge, in December 2016 he joined the University of Surrey.
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 treatment 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 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 appointment
Nature Genetics, Nature Communications, The Journal of Clinical Investigation, Cancer Research, Clinical Cancer Research, EMBO Molecular Medicine, Molecular Cancer Research, Frontiers in Oncology, Oncogenesis, Cancer Letters, Scientific Reports, Cell Death and Disease, Epigenetics, 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, 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
Lecturer in the School of Biosciences and Medicine
Module Lead BMS2036: Molecular Biology and Genetics: Introduction to Cancer Genetics
Module tutor BMS1047: Molecular Biology and Genetics: Introduction to Cancer Genetics
Module Lead for a Molecular and Systems Pathology Module (To commence 2021/22)
Courses I teach on
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 (Corresponding author). (2019) A reciprocal feedback between the PDZ binding kinase and androgen receptor drives prostate cancer. Oncogene.38(7):1136-1150. PMID: 30237440
Asim M (Corresponding author), 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 (Corresponding author), 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 (Corresponding author), 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.