School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences


Photo of Dr Sassan Hafizi

Dr Sassan Hafizi

  • Qualifications: BSc PhD FRSB FHEA
  • Role Title: Reader in Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Address: St Michael's Building, White Swan Road, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO1 2DT
  • Telephone: 023 9284 2665
  • Email:
  • Department: School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences
  • Faculty: Faculty of Science


I graduated with a BSc in Biochemistry from Royal Holloway and Bedford New College, University of London in 1992. In 1999, I completed a PhD thesis on vasoconstrictors and human vascular smooth muscle at the National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, under the supervision of Prof Sir Magdi Yacoub. In 1999, I became an EU Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellow at Lund University, Sweden, working with Prof Björn Dahlbäck on the biology of the Gas6-TAM system. I then continued my research work under higher postdoctoral fellowships and as an independent investigator, until joining the University of Portsmouth in 2009 as Senior Lecturer in Pharmacology. I was promoted to Reader in Cell and Molecular Biology in 2017.

Other roles within Department/Faculty:

  • Outreach activities (School visits and Open Lab Day hosting)
  • Postgraduate Journal Club organiser 
  • Examiner for PhD Major Review and Thesis

For more information about my research please visit my lab page.


Teaching Responsibilities

Undergraduate courses (BSc Pharmacology, BSc Biomedical Science, M Pharmacy):

Year 1: Lectures on Cell to Systems unit;

Year 2: Lectures on units: Neuroscience, Endocrine and Gastrointestinal Pharmacology; Protein Science; Biomedical Toolbox

Level 3: Unit co-ordinator for: Project and Laboratory-Based Work Experience (LBWE) units. Lectures on Cellular and Molecular Drug Targets unit; major project supervisor; Molecular biology lab practical in Neuropharmacology 3 unit.

Personal Tutor for MPharm students, Years 1-4.  



PhD student supervisor

MSc Biomedicine course: Deputy Course Leader, Unit co-ordinator for Molecular Medicine unit; Scientific Methods unit: Lectures and lab practicals on western blotting and qRT-PCR; MSc Project supervisor. 

Graduate School Development Programme (GSDP) workshops on ‘Research Design’ and ‘Preparing for Major Review’.



1) Growth factor and growth factor receptor signalling in disease, in particular The Gas6-TAM ligand-receptor system in cancer and in multiple sclerosis (MS).

2) Intracellular signalling via the Tensin family proteins in normal and cancer cell biology.

Full-time project supervision:



Shannon Gilchrist (2018-)
Nadide Aydin (2018-)
Nour Al Kafri (2017-)
Nathaniel Weygant (2018, by publication)
Jonathan Towse (co-supervisor; MPhil 2018)
Louise Kelly (PhD 2017​​; ​​​co-supervisor​)
Jonathan Chamberlain (PhD 2016​; ​​​co-supervisor​​)
Salman Goudarzi (PhD 2016)
Mikaella Vouri (PhD 2016)
Jessica Carter (PhD 2013)

Professional Doctorates

Satishkumar Krishnan (expected​ ​compl 2018)
Munyoro Guvamatanga (2016-)


Natalie Lane​ (2018-2019)
Matthew Shearer-Sowe (2017-2018)

Project internships

​-​Nadide Aydin, Johannes-Gutenberg-University in Mainz, Germany​ ​(2017)
​-​Ana Carmona Alonso​, University of Granada, Spain ​(2017)
​-​Nouran Rehan, Alexandria’s University, Egypt​ ​(2017)
-Students from Furtwangen University, Germany: Philipp Staudacher (2009), Desiree Ludwig (2010), Steffen Schütz (2010), Regina Meyer (2010), David Kleinhansl (2011), Claudia Schmidberger (2011), Julia Sandmeier (2012). 
-Rafael Guimaraes Ramos - Brazilian “Science without Borders” scheme (2104). 
-Léa Peyrolle - Biology Engineering School, Polytechnic Nice-Sophia, France (2012). 
-Wellcome Trust Biomedical Vacation Scholarships: Matthew Parslow (2012), Charlotte Ford (2011), Rebecca Foreman (2010). 
-Multiple undergraduate BSc Pharmacology summer research students and School placement week student.

Group Leader within the Cell Biology and Pharmacology Group of IBBS


Research profile

Explore my research profile, publications and activities on the Portsmouth Research Portal

View profile