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Dr Ishaq Khan

Assistant Professor

Dr. Ishaq N. Khan 

Assistant Professor IBMS,

Postdoc, Cancer Drug Discovery (USA)

PhD, Cancer Biology (KSA) 

HEC approved supervisor in MPhil and PhD Molecular Biology and Genetics


I began working as an Assistant Professor at the department of Molecular Biology & Genetics, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences (IBMS), Khyber Medical University (KMU), where I founded the Cancer Cell Culture & Precision Oncomedicine Lab (C3POL) and established a biobank (PIK-BioBank) of brain cancer patients and their primary cancer cell lines. In addition, I have also generated primary cultures from other cancers including Oral-Squamous cell carcinoma and Breast cancer patients. Furthermore, I established the Pakistan Neuro-Oncology Research Group (PKNORG) in collaboration with renowned national and international scientists, neurosurgeons, histopathologists, and oncologists. Previously, I worked in a global "Transitional Neurooncology Group," where I generated primary brain cancer cells from Arabian patients. Moreover, I worked as a consultant for Next-Generation Sequencing using Oxford Nanopore Technology (ONT) platform and Sanger sequencing (ABI) at Advance Center for Genomic Technologies (ACGT) in collaboration with Johns Hopkins University and NIH, USA. I am an active team member of the Pakistan Society of Neuro-Oncology ( and a young investigator of European Association for Cancer Research.

Currently, I am working jointly at the Texas A&M Health Science Center and MD Anderson Cancer Center USA on the discovery of novel small molecule kinase inhibitors for the treatment of Breast Cancer Brain Metastasis (BCBM). My primary area of doctorate research was focused on the characterization of drug resistant cells in primary brain tumors, where I studied the molecular analysis of pathogenesis, pleomorphism, apoptosis, cancer stem cells presence and unique genetic signatures of meningiomas, which resulted in discovery of AGR2 as a novel marker for aggressive brain tumors. This work has been competed at different platforms including the “Neurooncology 20th scientific meeting” San Antonio, TX, USA, the DKFZ (German cancer research center) Heidelberg, Germany, and got published in journal Cancer Cell International. In the post doctorate phase at C3POL, I generated primary cells from wide range of adult and pediatric brain tumors’ patients including meningiomas, medulloblastomas, pituitary tumors, schwannomas, ependymoma, glioblastomas and other astrocytic tumors. In addition, I have generated primary cell lines from patients with other cancers such as breast cancer and oral-squamous cell carcinoma. I have been recently working on the in-vivo evaluation of novel kinase inhibitors for the treatment of Hepatocellular carcinoma and breast cancer brain metastasis.

My primary goal is to investigate various biological and molecular aspects of aggressive tumors, with a particular emphasis on genomic, transcriptomic, proteomic, and metabolomic instabilities in cancer populations, with the ultimate goal of discovering novel treatment options and improving therapeutic outcomes.

I have published around 49 research articles and peer reviews (, and have supervised/co-supervised 17 M.Phil. and 2 Ph.D. students. I am currently supervising/co-supervising 7 M.Phil. and 5 Ph.D. Students. I have recently completed research projects on brain tumors under start-up research grant and lab-strengthening grant that was awarded by Higher Education Commission of Pakistan. At my current assignment in the USA, our lab has recently won an innovative grant proposal award, worth $100,000 (28.5 million PKR) that aim to discover novel therapeutic strategies for aggressive breast cancer brain metastasis.

Contact: [email protected]