Aaron Goodarzi

Associate Professor

Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

Associate Professor

Department of Oncology

Lead of Science Communication and Director of the Charbonneau Microscopy Facility

Charbonneau Cancer Institute

Canada Research Chair for Radiation Exposure Disease

Scientific Director, Evict Radon

Member, Robson DNA Science Centre

B.Sc. (Bachelor of Science) Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)



Research and teaching

Research Activities

From the moment of our conception, our DNA is subject to damage, the most serious form being a break in both strands of the DNA double helix. Unless these breaks are resealed correctly, whole segments of our genome can be lost or irrevocably mutated to fuel a self-propagating process of volatility that underlies cancer formation, radiation poisoning and/or premature cellular aging.

 

Our research focuses on slow-repairing DNA double strand breaks, particularly those induced within densely compacted heterochromatin or by high linear energy transfer ionizing radiation such as alpha particles emitted by radon gas. We are especially curious about DNA double-strand break repair processes involving nucleosome remodeling enzymes. Discoveries in these areas are improving our knowledge of cancer formation, human ageing and radiation protection.

 

Dr. Goodarzi is the Canada Research Chair for Genome Damage and Instability Disease and is both the Education Lead and Microscopy Lead for the University of Calgary’s Arnie Charbonneau Cancer Institute. He obtained his PhD from University of Calgary in 2005 and trained as a post doctoral scholar at the Genome Damage and Stability Centre at the University of Sussex (UK) until 2010. In 2011, he opened his own laboratory at the University of Calgary’s Cumming School of Medicine. In 2015, he was named one of Calgary's Top 40 Under 40 for achievements in science and education and, in 2016, was named a "Peak Scholar" by University of Calgary President Elizabeth Cannon for his efforts in knowledge engagement in the area of the health impact of radon gas inhalation.

Research Personnel: 

  • Dr. Peter Brownlee, Postdoctoral Scholar
  • Dr. Selim Khan, Postdoctoral Scholar
  • Dustin Pearson, Postdoctoral Scholar
  • John Danforth, PhD Graduate Student
  • Luc Provencher, PhD Graduate Student
  • Shujuan Fang, Research Technician
  • Shilpa Salgia, M.Sc. RDSC Manager
  • Weston Jacques, Communications Coordinator
  • Daniel Berger, PhD., Medical Student Researcher
  • Chrissa Foscolos, Student Data Analyst
  • Kaitlin See, Student Data Analyst
  • Natasha Cholowsky, BHSc Undergraduate Student
  • Jumi Lee, Administrative Assistant

Biography

Dr. Goodarzi is the Canada Research Chair for Radiation Exposure Disease, and is the Lead of Science Communication for the University of Calgary’s Charbonneau Cancer Institute. He obtained his PhD from University of Calgary in 2005 and trained as a post-doctoral scholar at the Genome Damage and Stability Centre at the University of Sussex (UK) until 2010. In 2011, he opened his own laboratory at the University of Calgary’s Cumming School of Medicine. In 2015, he was named one of Calgary's Top 40 Under 40 for achievements in science and education. In 2016 he was made a “Peak Scholar” by University of Calgary President Elizabeth Cannon for his work in knowledge engagement and innovation in the community with regards to radon gas induced cancer. In 2018, he was selected as a TEDx speaker on how citizen based science can transform research. Dr. Goodarzi is also the founder and Scientific Director of Evict Radon, a transdisciplinary, national non-profit enterprise aimed at enabling research into understanding and engineering out lung cancer-causing radon gas exposure from the Canadian residential environment.

 


Publications

Publications