Dr. Saman Maleki
Dr. Saman Maleki
Dr. Saman Maleki
Early Career Investigator


Early Career Investigator

My laboratory is interested in microbiome-based therapeutic strategies that would sensitize hard-to-treat cancers to immunotherapy.

We use preclinical mouse models to test bacterial-based therapies in combination with immunotherapies for the treatment of different tumors. We also collect stool samples from patients and conduct observational studies involving avatar mouse models through human-to-mouse fecal transplants that would allow us to better understand the role of the gut microbiome in cancer treatment response and treatment-related toxicities. We also conduct interventional microbiome-based clinical trials (phase I/II) that involve fecal microbiota transplant (FMT) in cancer patients receiving systemic treatment including immunotherapy and chemotherapy.

Experience & Education
  • Co-Director, Translational Immuno-Oncology Research Group, Centre for Translational Cancer Research, Western University
  • Ph.D. Dept of Microbiology and Immunology, Western University
  • M.Sc. Dept of Microbiology, University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran
  • B.Sc. Dept of Microbiology, Arak Azad University, Arak, Iran
Current Affiliations
  • Assistant Professor, Departments of Oncology, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, and Medical Biophysics at Western University
  • Translational Immuno-Oncology Scientist at Lawson Health Research Institute
  • Early Career Investigator, OICR
Select Publications
  • El-Hajjar, Mikal, Lara Gerhardt, Megan MY Hong, Mithunah Krishnamoorthy, Rene Figueredo, Xiufen Zheng, James Koropatnick, and Saman Maleki. “Inducing mismatch repair deficiency sensitizes immune-cold neuroblastoma to anti-CTLA4 and generates broad anti-tumor immune memory.” Molecular Therapy (2022).
  • Aghamajidi, Azin, and Saman Maleki. “The Effect of the Gut Microbiota on Systemic and Anti-Tumor Immunity and Response to Systemic Therapy against Cancer.” Cancers 14, no. 15 (2022): 3563.
  • Krishnamoorthy, Mithunah, John G. Lenehan, and Saman Maleki. “Neoadjuvant immunotherapy for high-risk, resectable malignancies: scientific rationale and clinical challenges.” JNCI: Journal of the National Cancer Institute 113, no. 7 (2021): 823-832.
  • Gameiro, Steven F., Farhad Ghasemi, John W. Barrett, James Koropatnick, Anthony C. Nichols, Joe S. Mymryk, and Saman Maleki. “Treatment-naïve HPV+ head and neck cancers display a T-cell-inflamed phenotype distinct from their HPV-counterparts that has implications for immunotherapy.” Oncoimmunology 7, no. 10 (2018): e1498439.
  • Saman Maleki. “High and low mutational burden tumors versus immunologically hot and cold tumors and response to immune checkpoint inhibitors.” Journal for immunotherapy of cancer 6, no. 1 (2018): 1-5.

See Dr. Maleki’s recent publications on PubMed.

Research Areas
Disease Areas
All Brain Breast Head and Neck Lung Pancreatic Prostate
  • OICR Early Career Investigator Award 2022-2028
  • Department of Oncology Excellence in Academics and Teaching, Western University
  • SITC Sparkathon Award 2017-2018
  • Community Impact Award, Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Division, Celebrating 2014 Impact in Community Prevention, Outreach, Advocacy Award
Opportunities to Collaborate
  • Microbiome analysis
  • Immunophenotyping of tumors
  • Phase I clinical trials in microbiome-based therapies and immunotherapies
  • Microbiome biobank
In the News
Trusting the gut in cancer research: Q&A with Dr. Saman Maleki
Trusting the gut in cancer research: Q&A with Dr. Saman Maleki
Aug 15, 2022
Fecal transplants bolster melanoma treatment in unique clinical trial
Fecal transplants bolster melanoma treatment in unique clinical trial
Jul 07, 2023