Mani Larijani

Professor & Shrum Chair in Biological Mechanisms of Disease
Molecular Biology & Biochemistry

Areas of interest

I work on processes that mutate and alter the genetic codes of DNA/RNA. My laboratory is interested in various dimensions of DNA/RNA-mutating processes. The overarching theme of our research is to understand their molecular/cellular mechanisms and biological impacts. Depending on the species, DNA/RNA-mutating processes have diverse biological functions ranging from modulating immune response, causing and exacerbating cancer, evolution of host and viral genomes, developmental reprogramming and tissue differentiation.

Thematically, we work on two broad fronts: first, how DNA/RNA-mutating processes impact human health and diseases; second, how they evolved, presently function or used to function in early-evolved non-human species. Our methodologies are interdisciplinary and integrate biochemistry, structural biology, molecular & cellular biology, evolutionary biology, whole organism approaches, and computational biology.


  • Honours B.Sc. in Immunology with minor in Microbiology, University of Toronto
  • Ph.D. in Immunology, University of Toronto & Harvard University

Selected Publications

  • Holland SJ, Berghuis LM, King JJ, Iyer L, Sikora K, Fifield H, Peter S, Quinlan EM, Fumiaki S, Prashant S, Trancoso I, Iwanami N, Temereva E, Strohmeier C, Kuratani S, Venkatesh B, Evanno G, Aravind L, Schorpp M, Larijani M*, Boehm T*. Expansions, diversification and inter-individual copy number variation of AID/APOBEC family cytidine deaminase genes in lampreys. Proc Natl Acad Sci2018. Mar 19. pii: 201720871 (*ML and TB co-senior authors)
  • Borzooee F, Asgharpour M., Quinlan E., Grant M., Larijani M. Viral subversion of APOBEC3s: lessons for anti-tumor immunity and tumor immunotherapy. International Rev. Immunol. 2017. Dec 6:1-14. doi: 10.1080/08830185
  • Quinlan EM, King JJ, Amemiya CT, Hsu E, Larijani M. Biochemical regulatory features of AID have remained conserved from lamprey to humans. Mol Cell. Biol. 2017. Jul 17. pii: MCB.00077-17
  • King JJ, Larijani M. A novel regulator of AID/APOBECs: Schrödinger's CATalytic pocket, Frontiers Imm. 2017, Apr 6;8:351
  • King JJ, Manuel CA, Barrett CV, Raber S, Lucas HM, Sutter P, Larijani M. Catalytic pocket inaccessibility of activation induced cytidine deaminases a safeguard against excessive mutagenic activity, Structure. 2015. Apr 7; 23(4):615-27

Important Notice

Undergraduates, graduates, and post-docs interested in positions with the Larijani Lab must direct enquiries to