Mohammad Saleem, PhD

Mohammad Saleem (Bhat) earned his BS from Kashmir University, India. He earned his Ph.D. in Toxicology with a focus on cancer prevention/therapy from the Hamdard University (New Delhi, India) in 2000. From 1998-2000, Dr. Saleem taught the subject of Cancer Biology and Environmental Toxicology courses to the post-graduate students at the Faculty of Science, Hamdard University (New Delhi, India). He was a postdoctoral scientist at the International Agency for Research on Cancer, World Health Organization (IARC, WHO) at Lyon, France from 2001-2002. While at IARC, Dr. Saleem received training in the field of cancer biomarkers under the leadership of Professor Hiroshi Ohshima. Dr. Saleem moved to the Department of Medicine/Dermatology of the University of Wisconsin at Madison (WI, USA) in August 2002 where he continued his research work in the field of cancer biomarkers and cancer therapy in the laboratory of Professor Hasan Mukhtar.

In February 2010, Dr. Saleem moved to the Hormel Institute as an Assistant Professor, with an adjunct faculty appointment in the Department of Urology, University of Minnesota at Minneapolis. Since 2018, he has been an Associate Professor in the Department of Urology, Masonic Cancer Center at the University of Minnesota-Minneapolis. Dr. Saleem is a member of the Masonic Cancer Center, and Cellular Mechanism Program at the University of Minnesota. 



Prostate cancer, Pancreatic cancer, Biomarkers, PDX models, Cancer disparity, and Cancer therapy


Awards & Recognition

Research Fellowship, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, India, 1997

Research Fellowship, Department of Ocean Development, India, 1998

IARC- Research Training Fellowship, World Health Organization(WHO, IARC), 2001 


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Research Summary/Interests

The research focus of his laboratory is as following:

  • Understanding the biochemical, cellular and molecular processes crucial for the development of hormone-related (prostate cancer) and lethal (pancreatic) cancers. Dr. Saleem`s team is studying the role of S100A4 (a calcium-binding protein), BMI-1 (a polycomb group gene and stem cell factor), Androgen Receptor variants, cFLIP (a casapse-8 inhibitor) and matriptase (a serine protease) in the recurrence and metastasis of prostate cancer in humans.
  • Identifying novel tissue, serum and urine-based diagnostic and predictive biomarkers for prostate cancer: Dr. Saleem`s team has identified novel fusion proteins as biomarkers of aggressive prostate cancer.
  • Understanding the causes of disparity in prostate cancer diagnosis and outcome of therapy in African-Americans using genomic analysis and novel models: Dr Saleem`s team has identified a novel molecular pathway “ROBO1/DOCK1” as a distinctive mechanism underlying the metastasis of African-American patients.
  • Developing novel PDX models: Dr. Saleem`s team is engaged in developing novel Patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models of cancer, which are used as a tool to test new therapies and identify novel biomarkers of disease progression. The major interest is in developing novel prostate PDX models and cell lines representing disease in African-American patients.
  • Using genomics, proteomics, structural biology, Dr. Saleem`s team is involved in identifying potential agents that could be used to treat and prevent cancer in humans. Currently, the laboratory is testing the preventive-therapy potential of novel and non-toxic agents (i) S100A4-inhibitors, (ii) BMI1-inhibitors, (iii) cFLIP-inhibitors, and (iv) Lupeol-derivatives and nano-Lupeol in patients against the recurrence of disease after initial treatment such as surgery, radiotherapy of primary cancer. We are developing novel antibodies against soluble S100A4 protein and testing their immunotherapy potential in GEM models of prostate cancer.

His research programs have been supported by funding from federal agencies such as National Cancer institute/National Institutes of Health (NIH), Department of Defence (DOD), and the American Institute of Cancer Research (AICR).


  • Umbreen S, Banday MM, Jamroze A, Mansini AP, Ganaie AA, Ferrari MG, Maqbool R, Beigh FH, Murugan P, Morrissey C, Corey E, Konety BR, Saleem M. COMMD3:BMI1 Fusion and COMMD3 Protein Regulate C-MYC Transcription: Novel Therapeutic Target for Metastatic Prostate Cancer. Mol Cancer Ther. 2019 Nov.
  • Ganaie AA, Beigh FH, Astone M, Ferrari MG, Maqbool M, Umbreen S, Aijaz S. Parray AS, Siddique HR, Hussain T, Murugan P, Morrissey C, Koochekpour S, Deng Y, Konety BR, Hoeppner LH, Saleem M . BMI1 drives metastasis of prostate cancer in Caucasian and African-American men and is a potential therapeutic target: hypothesis tested in race-specific models. Clinical Cancer Research. 2018 Aug 7. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-18-1394. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 3008714
  • Wang L, Wang J, Xiong H, Wu F, Lan T, Zhang Y, Guo X, Wang H, Saleem M, Jiang C, Lu J, Deng Y. Co-targeting hexokinase 2-mediated Warburg effect and ULK1- dependent autophagy suppresses tumor growth of PTEN- and TP53-deficiency-driven castration-resistant prostate cancer. EBioMedicine. 2016 May.
  • Wang L,Xiong H, Wu F, Zhang Y, Zhao L, Lin T, Guo X, Chang L, Zhang, Y , You JM, Koochekpour S,Saleem M, Huang H, Lu J, Deng Y. Hexokinase 2-Mediated Warburg Effect Is Required for PTEN- and p53-Deficiency-Driven Prostate Cancer Growth. CELL Reports, Sep 11;8(5):1461-74, 2014.PMID: 25176644
  • Koochekpour S, Willard SS, Shourideh M, Ali S, Liu C, Azabdaftari G, Saleem M, Attwood K. Establishment and characterization of a highly tumorigenic African American prostate cancer cell line, E006AA-hT. Int J Biol Sci. 2014 Jul 26.
  • Siddique HR, Adhami VM, Parray A, Johnson JJ, Siddique I, Shekhani MT, Murtaza I, Ambartsumian N, Konety BR, Mukhtar H, Saleem M. S100A4 Oncoprotein Promotes Prostate Tumorigenesis in Transgenic Mouse Model: Regulates NF?B through RAGE Receptor. Genes and Cancer, 2013 May;4(5-6):224-34. doi:10.1177/1947601913492420. PubMed PMID: 24069509. 
  • Siddique HR, Saleem M. Role of BMI1, a stem cell factor in cancer recurrence and chemoresistance: Preclinical and clinical evidences. Stem Cells, 2012.
  • Siddique HR, Parray A, Tarapore RS, Wang L, Karnes RJ, Deng Y, Konety BR, Saleem M. BMI1 Polycomb Group Protein Acts as a Master Switch for Growth and Death of Tumor Cells: Regulates TCF4-transcriptional Factor-induced BCL2 Signaling. PLoS One. 2013 May 6;8(5):e60664.
  • Mishra SK, Siddique HR, Saleem M. S100A4 calcium-binding protein is key player in tumor progression and metastasis: preclinical and clinical evidence. Cancer Metastasis Review, 2011 Nov 23. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 22109080.
  • Siddique HR, Mishra SK, Karnes RJ, Saleem M. Lupeol, a novel androgen receptor inhibitor: implications in prostate cancer therapy. Clinical Cancer Research, 2011 Aug 15;17(16):5379-91. PubMed PMID: 21712449.