Montaser Shaheen, MD

Cancer Biology Program


Dr. Shaheen obtained his MD from Damascus University. He completed a fellowship in Hematology/ Oncology at Indiana University. He is board certified in both hematology and oncology. Dr. Shaheen Joined the University of Arizona Cancer Center in 2017 as the director of advanced melanoma and renal cell carcinoma (RCC). He is a physician-scientist who is interested in early clinical trials involving immune and targeted therapies with emphasis on melanoma and RCC. His lab conducts research in the areas of carcinogenesis, genome instability and the ubiquitin pathway.

Cancer Focus

My lab is interested in uncovering basic mechanisms of DNA double strand breaks' repair. We focus on the role of the ubiquitin pathway, in particular deubiquitylases, in this process. We aim to uncover the function of the important tumor suppressor BAP1 in carcinogenesis in order to design mechanism-based therapeutics. BAP1 is mutated in RCC, ocular and hereditary melanoma among other cancers. I am also involved in a number of immune and targeted trials to improve the outcome of patients with advanced melanoma and RCC (eg: NEJM. 2015 May 21;372(21):2006-17). We conduct research from bench to bedside and vice versa to improve the outcome of individual patients.