Omar Khan | Hamad Bin Khalifa University
Hamad Bin Khalifa University


Omar Khan

Dr. Omar Khan

Assistant Professor
College of Health and Life Sciences

  • Phone44548052
  • Office locationB141, 1st Floor, LAS Building, HBKU


Dr. Khan did his Masters in Biochemistry from Karachi University, Pakistan before moving to Sweden. In Sweden, he did Masters in Cell Biology from Uppsala University, and then a Ph.D. in the lab of Prof. Martin Bergo, a protein lipidation expert. In Bergo's lab, he identified the biochemical importance of protein lipidation enzyme GGTase-I in immune cell function and refuted the popular idea that GGTase-I can be a therapeutic target against inflammatory conditions. After finishing his Ph.D., he moved to The Francis Crick Institute in Dr. Axel Behrens Lab, where he worked on identifying the posttranslational regulators of a tumour suppressor protein FBW7 and mechanisms of chemotherapy resistance in cancer.


Research Interests

Dr. Khan's research is focused on posttranslational protein modifications including ubiquitylation and deubiquitylation in cellular function and how these processes contribute to cancer growth and chemotherapy resistance. Dr. Khan identified posttranslational downregulation of FBW7 protein as a tumour promoting mechanism in colorectal cancer. Because FBW7 controls different cellular functions including stemness, cell cycle, metabolism, inflammation and cell death, it is conceivable that posttranslational stabilization of FBW7 in human cancers may block tumour progression. Consequently, Dr. Khan will exploit biochemistry, cell biology and precision medicine platforms to identify potential drug targets whose inhibition can stabilize FBW7 and improve response to chemotherapy in patients derived cancer cell lines and 3D tumour organoid models.


Honorary Teaching Assistant

King’s College London, United Kindom

  • Postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Axel Behrens

    The Francis Crick Institute, United Kingdom

    2013 - 2018
  • Postdoc with Prof. Martin Bergo




Ph.D. in Molecular Medicine with Prof. Martin Bergo

Sahlgrenska Cancer Center Gothenburg University, Sweden

2007 – 2012
  • MSc in Molecular Cell Biology

    Uppsala University, Sweden

    2005 – 2006
  • MSc in Biochemistry

    University of Karachi, Pakistan

    2002 – 2003

Selected Publications

  • The deubiquitinase USP9X regulates FBW7 protein stability and suppresses colorectal cancer

    J Clin Invest. Feb 2018. (IF: 12.78)

    Omar M. Khan, Joana Carvalho, Bradley Spencer-Dene, Richard Mitter, David Frith, Bram Snijders, Stephen A. Wood, and Axel Behrens

  • Loss of one copy of Zfp148 reduces lesional macrophage proliferation and atherosclerosis in mice by activating p53

    Circ Res. 2014 Oct 10;115(9):781-9. (IF: 13.96)

    Sayin VI, Khan OM, Pehlivanoglu LE, Staffas A, Ibrahim MX, Asplund A, Agren P, Nilton A, Bergström G, Bergo MO, Borén J, Lindahl P.

  • Targeting GGTase-I activates RHOA, increases macrophage reverse cholesterol transport, and reduces atherosclerosis in mice

    Circulation Feb 2013. (IF: 19.3)

    Khan OM, Akula MK, Skålen K, Karlsson C, Ståhlman M, Young SJ, Boren J and Bergo MO.

  • GGTase-I deficiency hyperactivates macrophages and induces erosive arthritis in mice

    J Clin Invest. 2011 Feb 1;121(2):628–39. (IF: 12.78)

    Khan OM, Ibrahim MX, Jonsson IM, Karlsson C, Liu M, Sjogren AKM, Olofsson FJ, Brisslert M, Andersson S, Ohlsson C, Hultén LM, Bokarewa M, and Bergo MO.

  • InactivatingGGTase-I reduces disease phenotypes in a mouse model of K-RAS-induced myeloproliferative disease

    Leukemia 2010 Oct 26. (IF: 11.7)

    Sjogren AK, Andersson KM, Khan O, Olofsson FJ, Karlsson C, Bergo MO.

  • 3-Bromopyruvate as inhibitor of tumour cell energy metabolism and chemopotentiator of platinum drugs

    Mol. Oncol. 2008 Jun;2(1):94–101.(IF: 5.33)

    Linda Strandberg Ihrlund, Emma Hernlund, Omar Khan, Maria C. Shoshan