Myriem Boufraqech, Ph.D.

Myriem Boufraqech, Ph.D.
Staff Scientist

I have a broad expertise in basic science and translational cancer research. My research is credited with a number of breakthrough findings in endocrine oncology. My specific research interests span the area of cancer genetics, genomics and pharmacology. Using molecular and cellular biology tools such as quantitative high-throughput drugs screening, cell metabolism assays, and integrated analysis of various high-throughput multi-omic platforms, I aim to decipher the molecular mechanisms underlying the progression and dedifferentiation of thyroid cancer. My goal is to harness genomic alterations of thyroid cancer to assess diagnostic tools and to discover new strategies for cancer therapy.

Areas of Expertise

1) cancer biology, 2) endocrine oncology, 3) thyroid cancer, 4) genomics, 5) pharmacology

Contact Info

Myriem Boufraqech, Ph.D.
Center for Cancer Research
National Cancer Institute
Building 10, Room 5950
Bethesda, MD 20892
Ph: 240-858-3599

Cancer metastasis and progression account for the majority of cancer-related morbidity and mortality. Our understanding of the important regulators of cancer metastasis and progression has improved, but there is a significant lacuna as to why certain therapies become ineffective in cancer. In addition to being one of the most common cancers, thyroid cancer is an excellent model for studying cancer progression and metastasis, since most deaths are due to cancer progression resulting from dedifferentiation and metastasis of differentiated thyroid cancer cells. Dr. Myriem Boufraqech’s research focuses on 1)-understanding the key molecular events that govern the initiation and progression of thyroid cancer, 2)-determining the critical changes involved in these processes that may help in the development of more effective therapies for thyroid cancer, and 3)-to discover new drugs effective in metastatic tumors with clinical relevance. Dr. Boufraqech’s research goal is predict tumor behavior and cancer aggressiveness that will provide valuable diagnostic and prognostic information and to significantly improve the clinical management of patients with thyroid cancer toward a more personalized therapeutic approach.

NIH Scientific Focus Areas:
Cancer Biology, Genetics and Genomics, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Molecular Pharmacology
View Dr. Boufraqech's PubMed Summary

Selected Recent Publications

  1. Boufraqech M, Patel D, Nilubol N, Powers A, King T, Shell J, Lack J, Zhang L, Gara SK, Gunda V, Klubo-Gwiezdzinska J, Kumar S, Fagin J, Knauf J, Parangi S, Venzon D, Quezado M, Kebebew E.
    Thyroid. 29(1): 79-92, 2019. [ Journal Article ]
  2. Weyemi U, Paul BD, Bhattacharya D, Malla AP, Boufraqech M, Harraz MM, Bonner WM, Snyder SH.
    Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 116(15): 7471-7476, 2019. [ Journal Article ]
  3. Nilubol N, Boufraqech M, Zhang L, Gaskins K, Shen M, Zhang YQ, Gara SK, Austin CP, Kebebew E.
    Oncotarget. 9(68): 33030-33042, 2018. [ Journal Article ]
  4. Kotian S, Zhang L, Boufraqech M, Gaskins K, Gara SK, Quezado M, Nilubol N, Kebebew E.
    Clin Cancer Res. 23(17): 5044-5054, 2017. [ Journal Article ]
  5. Boufraqech M, Klubo-Gwiezdzinska J, Kebebew E.
    Best Pract Res Clin Endocrinol Metab. 30(5): 603-619, 2016. [ Journal Article ]

Dr. Boufraqech received her master’s degree from the University of Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg in France, and her Ph.D. from the University of Paris-Sud XI in France. Her Ph.D. thesis work uncovered the role of reactive oxygen species in radiation-induced thyroid cancer; and was funded by the French Foundation for Cancer Research (ARC).

She then trained as a Postdoc and Research Fellow at the Endocrine Oncology Branch, National Cancer Institute (NCI), where she made significant findings in cancer biology, including the discovery of the role of Lysyl Oxidase (LOX) and miRNAs in thyroid cancer progression and metastasis. Her work has been published in highly regarded scientific journals including Cancer Research, Clinical Cancer Research, Thyroid, Nature Communications, PNAS, among others.

Dr. Boufraqech was recently appointed as a Staff Scientist in Surgical Oncology Program. Her current research is aimed at deciphering the molecular mechanism involved in thyroid cancer progression and metastasis and to identify novel therapeutics in difficult-to-treat endocrine cancers.

Dr. Boufraqech has received the American Thyroid Association fellow grant from 2013 to 2017.  She also received the Endocrine Society Outstanding Abstract Award in 2014.  Her work on anaplastic thyroid cancer progression has been recognized in 2014 and 2015 by the Fellows Award for Research Excellence (FARE) and she was selected as one of the finalists of the five outstanding postdoctoral fellows of the National Cancer Institute in 2017.  Dr. Boufraqech is the author of over 30 original research papers and numerous review articles and book chapters. She serves as a reviewer for numerous leading journals in the field of cancer biology.