Razq Hakem PhD, University of Aix-Marseille II
Photo of Dr. Rasq Hakem
Contact Info
T: (416) 634-8780 | Lab Phone: (416) 634-8781
Princess Margaret Cancer Research Tower
MaRS Centre
101 College St., Rm 13-310
Toronto, ON, M5G 1L7
Research Interests
Cancer Diagnosis and Therapy, Cancer Mechanisms and Models

At a Glance

  • Identification of novel cancer genetic risk factors.
  • Role of cell signaling in cancer.
  • Multidisciplinary approach to cancer research.
  • Our long-term goal is to discover better diagnosis markers and therapies for cancer patients.

Short Bio

Dr. Hakem is a Professor at the Department of Medical Biophysics at the University of Toronto. He is also a Senior Scientist at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. He received his Ph.D degree from the University of Aix-Marseille II, France. He completed post-doctoral training at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute/Washington University Medical School, Saint Louis in the US and the Amgen Research Institute in Toronto. Dr. Hakem started his faculty position in 1998 and has focused his research program on the mechanisms that drive cancer development as well as on the identification of novel therapeutic strategies for cancer. His laboratory has identified several novel tumor suppressor genes and investigated the function and the mechanisms that regulates some of the major human tumor suppressor genes (e.g. BRCA1 and P53). Dr. Hakem is a world-class expert in cancer genetics, cell signaling, and molecular oncology. His work has been published in leading journals including Cell, Science, Nature Genetics, Nature Communication, The Journal of Experimental Medicine, and The Journal of Clinical Investigation. Several of Dr.’s Hakem former trainees are now faculties or have influential positions in the private sectors.

Novel Cancer Therapies Diagrom


Research Synopsis

The focus of our research is to characterize novel genetic risk factors and unravel mechanisms that regulate cell signaling pathways important for human cancer. A major effort of our research program is to identify novel strategies that could improve cancer therapy.

Currently ongoing projects investigate

1- BRCA1 and BRCA2 and their role in cancer

2- Signaling pathways including NOTCH, WNT and the Hippo pathways

3- CRISPR screening to identify synthetic lethal targets to kill breast, ovarian, and other tumor types

Using multidisciplinary approaches and collaborating with scientists, clinicians, pathologists and bioinformaticians, we focus on our long-term goal to contribute to better diagnosis and therapy for cancer patients.

Graduate Students

Josh Miller
Parasvi Patel

Publications and Awards

View PubMed search of this faculty member's recent publications.

Recent Publications

  • Li L, Guturi KKN, Gautreau B, Patel PS, Saad A, Morii M, Mateo F, Palomero L, Barbour H, Gomez A, Ng D, Kotlyar M, Pastrello C, Jackson HW, Khokha R, Jurisica I, Affar EB, Raught B, Sanchez O, Alaoui-Jamali M, Pujana MA, Hakem A, Hakem R. (2018). Ubiquitin ligase RNF8 suppresses Notch signaling to regulate mammary development and tumorigenesis. Journal of Clinical Investigation. 128(10):4525-4542.
  • Guturi KK, Bohgaki M, Bohgaki T, Srikumar T, Ng D, Kumareswaran R, El Ghamrasni S, Jeon J, Patel P, Eldin MS, Bristow R, Cheung P, Stewart GS, Raught B, Hakem A, Hakem R. (2016). RNF168 and USP10 regulate topoisomerase II? function via opposing effects on its ubiquitylation. Nature Communication. 7:12638
  • Bohgaki M, Bohgaki M, Srikumar T, Maire G, Panier S, Stewart G, Raught R, Hakem A and Hakem R. (2013). RNF168 Ubiquitylates 53BP1 and Controls Its Responses to DNA Double-Strand Breaks. PNAS. 110(52):20982-7.
  • Hakem, A., El Ghamrasni, S., Maire, G., Lemmers, B., Salmena, L., Karaskova, J., Perez-Ordonez, B., Sanchez, O., Squire, J. and Hakem, R. (2012). Role of Casp8 in Cytokinesis, Genomic Integrity and Cancer. Blood. 119, p3495.
  • Li, L., Halaby, M. J., Hakem, A., Cardoso, R., El Ghamrasni, S., Harding, S., Chan, N., Bristow, R., Sanchez, O., Durocher, D., Hakem, R. (2010). Rnf8 deficiency impairs class switch recombination, spermatogenesis, genomic integrity and predisposes for cancer. The Journal of Experimental Medicine. 207:983-97.
  • Salmena, L. and Hakem, R. (2005). Caspase-8 deficiency in T cells leads to a lethal lymphoinfiltrative immune disorder. The Journal of Experimental Medicine, 202: 727-732.
  • McPherson, J. P., Lemmers, B., Chahwan, R., Pamidi, A., Migon, E., Matysiak-Zablocki, E., Moynahan, M. E., Essers, J., Hanada, K., Poonepalli, A., Sanchez-Sweatman, O., Khokha, R., Kanaar, R., Jasin, M., Hande, M. P., and Hakem, R. (2004). Involvement of mammalian Mus81 in genome integrity and tumor suppression. Science, 304: 1822-1826.
  • Hakem, R., Hakem, A., Duncan, G. S., Henderson, J. T., Woo, M., Soengas, M. S., Elia, A., de la Pompa, J. L., Kagi, D., Khoo, W., Potter, J., Yoshida, R., Kaufman, S. A., Lowe, S. W., Penninger, J. M., and Mak, T. W. (1998). Differential requirement for caspase 9 in apoptotic pathways in vivo. Cell, 94: 339-352.
  • Hakem, R., de la Pompa, J.L., Sirard, C., Mo, R., Woo, M., Hakem, A., Wakeham, A., Potter, J., Reitmair, A,. Billia., F., Firpo, E., Hui, C.C., Roberts, J., Rossant, J., and Mak, T.W. (1996). The tumor suppressor Brca1 is required for embryonic cellular proliferation in the mouse. Cell, 85: 1009-1023.