Yashar Azar

Yashar Mehrbani Azar


My role as a postdoctoral fellow is to understand the mechanisms by which radiation damages growing bones in animal models.


Children receiving radiotherapy during cancer treatment are highly susceptible to radiotherapy’s side effects. Because they are still growing radiation can cause skeletal disorders including short stature, irregular body proportions and spinal curvature (Mäkipernaa, A. et al., Eur. J. Pediatr. 152, 197–200 (1993)). One reason why radiotherapy can cause skeletal malformations is that radiation directly damages the cells that allow bone growth: growth plate chondrocytes. Interestingly, bone growth may continue in an impaired fashion, but the underlying mechanisms of this recovery are poorly understood. Efforts to understand and prevent radiation-induced skeletal disorders are currently hampered by the lack of suitable laboratory models.

In my project, I have first established the minimal dose required to cause growth retardation in mice. In order to explore the process by which radiation impairs growth, I have been monitoring the behavior of individual chondrocytes using the Confetti model of clonal genetic tracing (Snippert et al. Cell. 1;143(1):134-44 (2010). This model has allowed me to show that radiation causes impaired growth by preventing growth plate chondrocytes from forming growth columns, something essential for bone elongation. With my ongoing experiments, I aim to determine the underlying molecular mechanisms regulating this process.

Selected publications:

Article:  Yashar Mehrbani Azar, Carola Ulrike Niesler, Mari van de Vyver (2020). Ex vivo antioxidant preconditioning improves the survival rate of MSCs in the presence of wound fluid. Wound Repair and Regeneration, doi:10.1111/wrr.12815

Thesis: Yashar Mehrbani Azar (2019). An investigation into the effects of ex vivo antioxidant treatment on the regenerative potential of mesenchymal stem cells following prolonged exposure to a pathological microenvironment associated with diabetes mellitus in vivo. Sunscholar, https://doi.org/10019.1/106940

Chapter:  Yashar Mehrbani Azar, Maria Jacoba Kruger, Dalene de Swardt, Michelle Maartens, Ascentia M Seboko, William Frank Ferris, Mari van de Vyver (2020). Model for studying the effects of chronic metabolic disease on endogenous bone marrow stem cell populations. In Dietary Models for Studies on Maximizing Health span: Protocols and Methods. Methods in Molecular Biology, doi:10.1007/978-1-0716-0471-7_6

Article: Mehrbani Azar, Y., Green, R., Niesler, C.U., and van de Vyver, M. (2018). Antioxidant Preconditioning Improves the Paracrine Responsiveness of Mouse Bone Marrow Mesenchymal Stem Cells to Diabetic Wound Fluid. Stem Cells Dev. 27, 1646–1657. doi: 10.1089/scd.2018.0145

Article: Visuttijai, K., Pettersson, J., Mehrbani Azar, Y., Bout, I. van den, Örndal, C., Marcickiewicz, J., Nilsson, S., Hörnquist, M., Olsson, B., Ejeskär, K., et al. (2016). Lowered Expression of Tumor Suppressor Candidate MYO1C Stimulates Cell Proliferation, Suppresses Cell Adhesion and Activates AKT. PLOS ONE 11, e0164063. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0164063  PMID: 27716847

Thesis: Yashar Mehrbani Azar (2012). Protein expression analysis of PI3K/AKT pathway components in cells expressing INPP5K and MYO1C. DiVA, URN: urn:nbn:se:his:diva-12988 


PhD in Medical Sciences (Stem cell biology and Regenerative Medicine); 

M.Sc. in Biomedicine (Biology of Cancer)

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM)


Akademiska priser och utmärkelser

My research would not be possible without substantial contributions from these sources. I am currently funded by:

  • The Swedish Childhood Cancer Fund - Barncancerfonden (2020)
  • Barn cancer fonden-travel grant (2022)
  • Wenner-Gren Stiftelserna (gästforskarbostäder)-2022