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Alaa Refaat, PhD

Alaa Refaat, PhD

  • Staff Scientist



PhD – School of Medical and Pharmaceutical sciences, University of Toyama, Japan
MSc – 
Faculty of Pharmacy, Cairo University, Egypt
BSc – 
Faculty of Pharmacy, Misr International University, Egypt

Honors and Awards

  • 2018  Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions Individual Fellowship, EU Commission
  • 2015 – 2016  International Fellowship Program, TAKEDA Science Foundation, Japan   
  • 2015  Researcher Links - Newton fund, British Council, UK
  • 2013  Short-term grant, Science & Technology Development Fund, Egypt
  • 2008 - 2011  Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science & Technology Scholarship, Japan
  • 2006 - 2008  Academy of Scientific Research &Technology research funding award, Egypt


I joined St. Jude as a Staff Scientist at the Pathology Department, with a focus on the genomic and functional characterization of pediatric cancers. I had my PhD from Japan, and since then I expanded my studies in several research institutes in Japan (University of Toyama; Kobe University), Europe (Aston University; Queen's University Belfast; National University of Ireland Galway), and Egypt (Zewail City of Science and Technology). I have committed my career to cancer research, and at St. Jude I aim to contribute to the global efforts to fight cancer.

Research Interests

  • Characterization of the genomic alterations in pediatric myeloid malignancies.
  • Implementation of experimental models to investigate the mechanistic regulation of myeloid malignancies.
  • Contributing to the development of a genetic risk stratification for children with myeloid leukemia.

Selected Publications

B. Wang, Y. Saito, M. Nishimura, Z. Ren, L. H. Tjan, A. Refaat, R. Iida, R. Tsukamoto, M. Komatsu, T. Itoh, T. Matozaki, Y. Mori.  An animal model that mimics human herpesvirus 6B pathogenesis.  J Virol., 94(6):e01851-19, 2020

A. Reda, A. Refaat, A. Abd-Rabou, A. Mahmoud, M. Adel, S. Sabet, and S. Ali. Role of Mitochondria in rescuing glycolytically inhibited subpopulation of triple negative but not hormone-responsive breast cancer cells.  Sci Rep., 9:13748, 2019.

N. Forsythe, A. Refaat*,    A. Javadi, H. Khawaja, J. Weir, H. Emam, W. Allen, F. Burkamp, V. Popovici, P. Jithesh, C. Isella, M. Labonte, I. Mills, P. Johnston, S. Van Schaeybroeck. The unfolded protein response: a novel therapeutic target for poor prognostic BRAF mutant colorectal cancer. Mol Cancer Ther.   17(6):1280-1290, 2018. *Equal contribution.

A. Refaat, M. Owis, S. Abdelhamed, I. Saiki, H. Sakurai.  Retrospective screening of microarray data to identify candidate IFN-inducible genes in a HTLV-1 transformed model. Oncol Lett., 15(4):4753-4758, 2018.

A. Refaat, Pararasa C, Arif M, Brown J, Carmichael A, Ali S, Sakurai H, Griffiths H. Bardoxolone-methyl inhibits migration and metabolism in MCF7 cells.  Free Radic Res., 51(2): 211-221, 2017.

S. Zaidi*, A. Refaat*, Y. Zhou, J. Muhammad, I. Saiki, H. Sakurai, T. Sugiyama. Helicobacter pylori Induces phosphorylation of Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor via p38/ERK activation in gastric epithelial cells in Heparin Binding-Epidermal Growth Factor independent manner.  Helicobacter, 20(5):381-9, 2015. *Equal contribution.

A. Refaat, A. Dimeng, Y. Zhou, M. Kawanishi, M. Shin, S. Abdelhamed, R. Tomaru,  K. Koizumi S. Yokoyama, I. Saiki, H. Sakurai.   Role of tyrosine kinase-independent phosphorylation of EGFR with activating mutation in cisplatin-treated lung cancer cells. Biochem Biophys Res Commun., 458(4):856-61, 2015.

A. Refaat, S. Abdelhamed, H. Yagita, H. Inoue, S. Yokoyama, Y. Hayakawa, I. Saiki. Berberine enhances TRAIL (tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand)-mediated apoptosis in breast cancer. Oncol Lett., 6(3):840-4, 2013.

A. Refaat, Y. Zhou, S. Suzuki, I. Takasaki, K. Koizumi, S. Yamaoka, Y. Tabuchi, I. Saiki, H. Sakurai. Distinct roles of TAK1/c-Rel and IRF4 pathways in HTLV-1 infected Th17 cells producing IL-9. J Biol Chem., 286(24):21092-9, 2011.

S. Suzuki, Y. Zhou, A. Refaat, I. Takasaki, K. Koizumi, S. Yamaoka, Y. Tabuchi, I. Saiki, H. Sakurai. HTLV-1 manipulates interferon regulatory signals By controlling TAK1-IRF3 and IRF4. J Biol Chem., 285(7):4441–6, 2009.

Last update: June 2020