Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
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Mazhar Adli, PhD

Associate Professor, Obstetrics and Gynecology (Reproductive Science in Medicine)

Mazhar Adli, PhD

Research Program


adli( at )

Cancer-Focused Research

I obtained my Ph.D. training in cancer biology and postdoc training in the large-scale human genome and epigenome mapping projects provides me a unique set of experimental and analytical skills to execute this project. My research goal to understand key drivers of cancerous cellular state and identify novel therapeutic vulnerabilities for novel drug combinations. To achieve this goal, we are utilizing unbiased genomics and epigenomic approaches. My laboratory is utilizing cutting-edge functional genomics strategies and developing novel CRISPR based manipulation tools to understand dynamic gene regulation and 3D genome organization in normal and malignant settings. These efforts are based on my previous expertise in cancer research, genome-wide approaches, and development of novel technologies. In my Ph.D., I discovered the mechanism of constitutive NF-B cell signaling in cancer (JBC 2006; Cancer Research 2007). During my postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School and the Broad Institute, I established unique technical and analytical expertise in genomics and epigenomic profiling and computational data analysis. During this process, I developed the Nano-ChIP-Seq technology that overcomes the cell number limitation of conventional ChIP-Seq technology (Nature Methods, 2010; Nature Protocols, 2011) and played critical roles in multiple large-scale projects including Roadmap Epigenome Mapping Consortium (Cell, 2013; co-first and co-corresponding author) and cancer genome projects (Nature 2012, Cancer Cell 2012, NEJM 2013, co-first author for the latter two). My laboratory is combining genome and epigenome mapping expertise with novel CRISPR-based manipulation tools to achieve our ultimate research goals. To this end, we have developed a strong expertise in CRISPR technologies (Nature Communications 2018; Nature Methods 2016; Nature Biotechnology 2014; NAR, 2015). We are actively developing and utilizing novel CRISPR tools to edit genome, manipulate epigenome and image live cells chromatin dynamics in living cells (Nature Methods, 2017, Nature Communications, 2017). These functional genomic tools combined with our capacity to analyze and integrate large-scale data analysis enables us to set rigorous and ambitious research goals and achieve them faster.