Abbes Belkhiri, Ph.D.

Research Assistant Professor of Surgery
Lab Phone
Phone: (615) 875-9799

Dr. Abbes Belkhiri received his Ph.D. in microbiology at the University of Manitoba (Canada), and postdoctoral training in cancer research at the Biotechnology Research Institute (Montreal, Canada) and the University of Virginia. He has focused his research on upper gastrointestinal cancers including gastric and esophageal adenocarcinomas. He joined the Department of Surgery (VUMC) initially as a Research Instructor and later promoted as a Research Assistant Professor in 2008. His current research focus involves the role of AXL receptor tyrosine kinase in chemotherapeutic drug resistance and esophageal Barrett’s tumorigenesis in response to reflux-induced DNA damage and oxidative stress.


Belkhiri, A, El-Rifai, W. 5-Methylcytosine hydroxylation-mediated LINE-1 hypomethylation: a novel mechanism of proto-oncogenes activation in colorectal cancer. Gut, , , 2013.

Hong, J, Belkhiri, A. AXL mediates TRAIL resistance in esophageal adenocarcinoma. Neoplasia, 15(3), 296-304, 2013.

Hong, J, Peng, D, Chen, Z, Sehdev, V, Belkhiri, A. ABL regulation by AXL promotes cisplatin resistance in esophageal cancer. Cancer Res, 73(1), 331-40, 2013.

Katsha, A, Soutto, M, Sehdev, V, Peng, D, Washington, MK, Piazuelo, MB, Tantawy, MN, Manning, HC, Lu, P, Shyr, Y, Ecsedy, J, Belkhiri, A, El-Rifai, W. Aurora Kinase A Promotes Inflammation and Tumorigenesis in Mice and Human Gastric Neoplasia. Gastroenterology, , , 2013.

Saad, R, Chen, Z, Zhu, S, Jia, P, Zhao, Z, Washington, MK, Belkhiri, A, El-Rifai, W. Deciphering the unique microRNA signature in human esophageal adenocarcinoma. PLoS One, 8(5), e64463, 2013.

Sehdev, V, Katsha, A, Ecsedy, J, Zaika, A, Belkhiri, A, El-Rifai, W. The combination of alisertib, an investigational Aurora kinase A inhibitor, and docetaxel promotes cell death and reduces tumor growth in preclinical cell models of upper gastrointestinal adenocarcinomas. Cancer, 119(4), 904-14, 2013.

Zhu, S, Hong, J, Tripathi, MK, Sehdev, V, Belkhiri, A, El-Rifai, W. Regulation of CXCR4-mediated invasion by DARPP-32 in gastric cancer cells. Mol Cancer Res, 11(1), 86-94, 2013.

Belkhiri, A, Zhu, S, Chen, Z, Soutto, M, El-Rifai, W. Resistance to TRAIL is mediated by DARPP-32 in gastric cancer. Clin Cancer Res, 18(14), 3889-900, 2012.

Hong, J, Katsha, A, Lu, P, Shyr, Y, Belkhiri, A, El-Rifai, W. Regulation of ERBB2 receptor by t-DARPP mediates trastuzumab resistance in human esophageal adenocarcinoma. Cancer Res, 72(17), 4504-14, 2012.

Peng, D, Belkhiri, A, Hu, T, Chaturvedi, R, Asim, M, Wilson, KT, Zaika, A, El-Rifai, W. Glutathione peroxidase 7 protects against oxidative DNA damage in oesophageal cells. Gut, 61(9), 1250-60, 2012.

Sehdev, V, Peng, D, Soutto, M, Washington, MK, Revetta, F, Ecsedy, J, Zaika, A, Rau, TT, Schneider-Stock, R, Belkhiri, A, El-Rifai, W. The aurora kinase A inhibitor MLN8237 enhances cisplatin-induced cell death in esophageal adenocarcinoma cells. Mol Cancer Ther, 11(3), 763-74, 2012.

Soutto, M, Belkhiri, A, Piazuelo, MB, Schneider, BG, Peng, D, Jiang, A, Washington, MK, Kokoye, Y, Crowe, SE, Zaika, A, Correa, P, Peek, RM, El-Rifai, W. Loss of TFF1 is associated with activation of NF-??B-mediated inflammation and gastric neoplasia in mice and humans. J Clin Invest, 121(5), 1753-67, 2011.

Vangamudi, B, Zhu, S, Soutto, M, Belkhiri, A, El-Rifai, W. Regulation of ??-catenin by t-DARPP in upper gastrointestinal cancer cells. Mol Cancer, 10, 32, 2011.

Zhu, S, Belkhiri, A, El-Rifai, W. DARPP-32 increases interactions between epidermal growth factor receptor and ERBB3 to promote tumor resistance to gefitinib. Gastroenterology, 141(5), 1738-48.e1-2, 2011.

Mukherjee, K, Peng, D, Brifkani, Z, Belkhiri, A, Pera, M, Koyama, T, Koehler, EA, Revetta, FL, Washington, MK, El-Rifai, W. Dopamine and cAMP regulated phosphoprotein MW 32 kDa is overexpressed in early stages of gastric tumorigenesis. Surgery, 148(2), 354-63, 2010.

Vangamudi, B, Peng, DF, Cai, Q, El-Rifai, W, Zheng, W, Belkhiri, A. t-DARPP regulates phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase-dependent cell growth in breast cancer. Mol Cancer, 9, 240, 2010.

Dar, AA, Belkhiri, A, El-Rifai, W. The aurora kinase A regulates GSK-3beta in gastric cancer cells. Oncogene, 28(6), 866-75, 2009.

Belkhiri, A, Dar, AA, Peng, DF, Razvi, MH, Rinehart, C, Arteaga, CL, El-Rifai, W. Expression of t-DARPP mediates trastuzumab resistance in breast cancer cells. Clin Cancer Res, 14(14), 4564-71, 2008.

Dar, AA, Belkhiri, A, Ecsedy, J, Zaika, A, El-Rifai, W. Aurora kinase A inhibition leads to p73-dependent apoptosis in p53-deficient cancer cells. Cancer Res, 68(21), 8998-9004, 2008.

Dar, AA, Zaika, A, Piazuelo, MB, Correa, P, Koyama, T, Belkhiri, A, Washington, K, Castells, A, Pera, M, El-Rifai, W. Frequent overexpression of Aurora Kinase A in upper gastrointestinal adenocarcinomas correlates with potent antiapoptotic functions. Cancer, 112(8), 1688-98, 2008.