Additional Information

Dr. Akhtar’s research interests focus on how chromatin modifiers switch states in cancer cells and may function both as activators as well as silencers at the same time, and how these changes contribute to the development and progression of cancer.

After completing his PhD in Biology at Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), Dr. Akhtar joined Jindan Yu’s lab as a postdoctoral fellow at Feinberg School of Medicine/Northwestern University. At Yu’s lab, he worked on the how EZH2 works as silencer as well as an activator that leads to the activation of the androgen receptor gene in prostate cancer. In July 2023, he was given the opportunity to join Saloura’s lab as a Visiting Fellow at the National Cancer Institute (NCI). His current project focuses on dissecting the mechanisms through which the chromatin modifier SMYD3 functions in a bifaceted manner, both as an activator and a repressor of genes in HPV-negative head and neck squamous cell carcinoma using genome wide techniques. Dr. Akhtar is also actively pursuing the development of PROTACs targeting SMYD3.