Hayedeh Behzad, PhD

Research Scientists


Research Interests

​Dr. Behzad is a molecular biologist interested in understanding the impact of environmental perturbations on biological systems – in humans and microorganisms. Her work spans a wide range of topics from research on the impact of global climate changes on airborne and marine microbial ecology, to understanding the molecular landscapes of a number of human diseases including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), hematopoietic cancers, and tendinopathy. Her current research in the Living Systems Laboratory involves examining and understanding the genomic, transcriptomic, epigenetic, and phenotypic landscapes of pluripotent stem cells, at single cell level, at different stages of cell differentiation. The insights gained from these studies could directly benefit the application of stem cells in regenerative medicine.

Selected Publications

  • ​Global ramifications of dust and sandstorm microbiota
    Behzad H., Mineta K., Gojobori T.
    Genome Biology and Evolution, 10, 8, 1970-1987, 2018
  • Metagenomic studies of the Red Sea
    Behzad H., Ibarra M., Mineta K., Gojobori T.
    Gene, 576, 717-23, 2016
  • Challenges and opportunities of airborne metagenomics
    Behzad H., Gojobori T., Mineta K.
    Genome Biology and Evolution, 7, 5, 1216-26, 2015
  • Mechanism of mast cell adhesion to human tenocytes in vitro
    Behzad H., Tsai S.H., Nassab P., Mousavizadeh R., McCormack R.G., Scott A.
    Journal of Orthopedic Research, 33, 9-16, 2015
  • Accumulation of oxidized LDL in the tendon tissues of C57BL/6 or Apolipoprotein E knock-out mice that consume a high fat diet: potential impact on tendon health
    Grewal N., Thornton G., Behzad H., Sharma A., Lu A., Zhang P., Reid D., Granville D., Scott A.
    PLOS One, 9, 12, e114214, 2014
  • Cyclic strain alters the expression and release of angiogenic factors in human tendon cells
    Mousavizadeh R., Khosravi S., Behzad H., McCormack R., Duronio V., Scott A.
    PLOS One, 9, 5, e97356, 2014
  • Mast cells exert pro-inflammatory effects of relevance to the pathophysiology of tendinopathy
    Behzad H., Sharma A., Mousavizadeh R., Lu A., Scott A.
    Arthritis Research & Therapy ,15, 6, R184, 2013
  • Increased mast cell numbers in a calcaneal tendon overuse model
    Pingel J., Wienecke J., Kongsgaard M., Behzad H., Langberg H., Scott A.
    Scand J Med Sci Sports, 23, 6, e353–e360, 2013
  • GLA-SE, a synthetic Toll like receptor-4 agonist, enhances T-cell response to influenza vaccine in older adults
    Behzad H., Huckriede A.L., Haynes L., Gentleman B., Coyle K., Wilschut J.C., Kollmann T.R., Reed S.G., McElhaney J.E.
    The Journal of Infectious Diseases, 205, 3, 466-73, 2012
  • Cytokine-mediated FOXO3a phosphorylation suppresses FasL expression in hemopoietic cell lines: investigations of the role of Fas in apoptosis due to cytokine starvation
    Behzad H., Jamil S., Denny T., Duronio V.
    Cytokine, 38, 2, 74-83, 2007


  • Ph.D., Experimental Medicine, University of British Columbia (UBC), Vancouver, Canada, 2007
  • M.Sc., Pathology, UBC, Vancouver, Canada, 1999
  • B.Sc., Medical Laboratory Science, UBC, Vancouver, Canada, 1993

Professional Profile

  • ​2019- Present: Research Scientist, Living Systems Laboratory, KAUST, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia
  • 2014-2018: Research Scientist, Comparative Genomics and Genetics Laboratory, KAUST, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia 
  • 2011-2013: Honorary Lecturer, Department of Medicine, UBC, Vancouver, Canada
  • 2009-2013: Research Scientist, Department of Medicine, UBC, Vancouver, Canada
  • 2007-2009: Post Doctoral Fellow, Department of Medicine, UBC, Vancouver, Canada

KAUST Affiliations

  • KAUST Environmental Epigenetics Program (KEEP)
  • Biological and Environmental Sciences and Engineering (BESE)

Research Interests Keywords

Bioscience Molecular biology

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King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, 1924 – 2015

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