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CIHR Skin Research Training Centre
Burn and wound healing lab

Burn and Wound Healing Lab

Under the direction of Dr. Ghahary, the burn & wound healing lab works on the biology of wound healing, including burns and other non-healing wounds, researching a biological skin substitute for burn patients and ways to treat scarring. The burn & wound healing lab is also working to develop a liquid skin material for use on non-healing wounds. Such a material would provide a scaffold for the patient’s skin to close and begin to heal the wound. Currently research in the lab is directed toward finding new strategies to deal with the non-healing pressure ulcers which are often seen in people with SCI.
Dr. Ghahary’s work will soon make it from bench to bedside: the results of his research will soon be used to treat patients directly. He has already developed a cream which decreases scarring for burn patients and those recovering from surgery. Another focus of his research is type I diabetes; he has shown that blood sugar levels can be controlled by transplanting insulin-producing cells into a diabetic patient’s kidney, eliminating the need for insulin injections. The molecule IDO, utilized in this treatment as an immunosuppressant to protect these transplanted cells, could also lead to the development of a non-rejectable skin substitute.



Dr. Aziz Ghahary


ICORD, the Blusson Spinal Cord Centre


Dr. Andrei Krassioukov
Dr. Wolfram Tetzlaff


Dr. Ruhangiz Kilani


Dr. Reza Jalili
Dr. Yunyuan Li


Ryan Hartwell
Azadeh Hosseini-Tabatabaei
Layla Nabai
Malihesadat Poormasjedimibod
Yun Zhang
Matthew Carr
Sanam Salimi
Moreza Bahar  


Cell culture, FACS analysis, Immunohistochemistry techniques, Nanofibres, Scaffolding, Skin grafting/transplantation, Quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), Western Blot


  1. Curran, T.A., and Ghahary, A. 2012. Evidence of a Role for Fibrocyte and Keratinocyte-Like Cells in the Formation of Hypertrophic Scars. J Burn Care Res.
  2. Zhang, Y., Jalili, R.B., Warnock, G.L., Ao, Z., Marzban, L., and Ghahary, A. 2012. Three-dimensional scaffolds reduce islet amyloid formation and enhance survival and function of cultured human islets. Am J Pathol 181:1296-1305.
  3. Akbari, A., Li, Y., Kilani, R.T., and Ghahary, A. 2012. Red blood cell lysate modulates the expression of extracellular matrix proteins in dermal fibroblasts. Mol Cell Biochem.
  4. Rahmani-Neishaboor, E., Hartwell, R., Jalili, R., Jackson, J., Brown, E., and Ghahary, A. 2012. Localized controlled release of stratifin reduces implantation-induced dermal fibrosis. Acta Biomater 8:3660-3668.
  5. Hosseini-Tabatabaei, A., Jalili, R.B., Li, Y., Kilani, R.T., Moeen Rezakhanlou, A., and Ghahary, A. 2012. Mechanism underlying defective interferon gamma-induced IDO expression in non-obese diabetic mouse fibroblasts. PLoS One 7:e37747.
  6. Chavez-Munoz, C., Hartwell, R., Jalili, R.B., Jafarnejad, S.M., Lai, A., Nabai, L., Ghaffari, A., Hojabrpour, P., Kanaan, N., Duronio, V., et al. 2012. SPARC/SFN interaction, suppresses type I collagen in dermal fibroblasts. J Cell Biochem 113:2622-2632.
  7. Chavez-Munoz, C., Hartwell, R., Jalili, R.B., Carr, M., Kilani, R.T., Jafarnejad, S.M., Rahmani-Neishabour, E., Forouzandeh, F., Boyce, S.T., and Ghahary, A. 2012. Application of an indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase-expressing skin substitute improves scar formation in a fibrotic animal model. J Invest Dermatol 132:1501-1505.
  8. Bahar, M.A., Nabai, L., and Ghahary, A. 2012. Immunoprotective role of indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase in engraftment of allogenic skin substitute in wound healing. J Burn Care Res 33:364-370.
  9. Lai, A., Ghaffari, A., Li, Y., and Ghahary, A. 2012. Microarray-based identification of aminopeptidase N target genes in keratinocyte conditioned medium-stimulated dermal fibroblasts. J Cell Biochem 113:1061-1068.
  10. Asdaghi, N., Kilani, R.T., Hosseini-Tabatabaei, A., Odemuyiwa, S.O., Hackett, T.L., Knight, D.A., Ghahary, A., and Moqbel, R. 2012. Extracellular 14-3-3 from human lung epithelial cells enhances MMP-1 expression. Mol Cell Biochem 360:261-270.
  11. Hartwell, R., Leung, V., Chavez-Munoz, C., Nabai, L., Yang, H., Ko, F., and Ghahary, A. 2011. A novel hydrogel-collagen composite improves functionality of an injectable extracellular matrix. Acta Biomater 7:3060-3069.
  12. Jalili, R.B., Moeen Rezakhanlou, A., Hosseini-Tabatabaei, A., Ao, Z., Warnock, G.L., and Ghahary, A. 2011. Fibroblast populated collagen matrix promotes islet survival and reduces the number of islets required for diabetes reversal. J Cell Physiol 226:1813-1819.
  13. Li, Y., Kilani, R.T., Hartwell, R., and Ghahary, A. 2012. MAP kinase mediates silica-induced fibrotic nodule formation and collagen accumulation in fibroblasts. J Cell Physiol 227:328-338.
  14. Carr, M., Chavez-Munoz, C., Lai, A., and Ghahary, A. 2011. Dermal fibroblasts influence the expression profile of 14-3-3 proteins in human keratinocytes. Mol Cell Biochem 353:205-214.
  15. Lai, A., Ghaffari, A., Li, Y., and Ghahary, A. 2011. Paracrine regulation of fibroblast aminopeptidase N/CD13 expression by keratinocyte-releasable stratifin. J Cell Physiol 226:3114-3120.
  16. Moeen Rezakhanlou, A., Miller, C., McMullin, B., Ghaffari, A., Garcia, R., and Ghahary, A. 2011. Gaseous nitric oxide exhibits minimal effect on skin fibroblast extracellular matrix gene expression and immune cell viability. Cell Biol Int 35:407-415.
  17. Forouzandeh, F., Jalili, R.B., Hartwell, R.V., Allan, S.E., Boyce, S., Supp, D., and Ghahary, A. 2010. Local expression of indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase suppresses T-cell-mediated rejection of an engineered bilayer skin substitute. Wound Repair Regen 18:614-623.
  18. Medina, A., and Ghahary, A. 2011. Reprogrammed fibrocytes induce a mixed Th1/Th2 cytokine response of naive CD4(+) T cells. Mol Cell Biochem 346:89-94.
  19. Crome, S.Q., Clive, B., Wang, A.Y., Kang, C.Y., Chow, V., Yu, J., Lai, A., Ghahary, A., Broady, R., and Levings, M.K. 2010. Inflammatory effects of ex vivo human Th17 cells are suppressed by regulatory T cells. J Immunol 185:3199-3208.
  20. Ghaffari, A., Li, Y., Kilani, R.T., and Ghahary, A. 2010. 14-3-3 sigma associates with cell surface aminopeptidase N in the regulation of matrix metalloproteinase-1. J Cell Sci 123:2996-3005.
  21. Habibi, D., Jalili, R.B., Forouzandeh, F., Ong, C.J., and Ghahary, A. 2010. High expression of IMPACT protein promotes resistance to indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase-induced cell death. J Cell Physiol 225:196-205.
  22. Lai, A., Ghaffari, A., and Ghahary, A. 2010. Inhibitory effect of anti-aminopeptidase N/CD13 antibodies on fibroblast migration. Mol Cell Biochem 343:191-199.
  23. Jalili, R.B., Forouzandeh, F., Rezakhanlou, A.M., Hartwell, R., Medina, A., Warnock, G.L., Larijani, B., and Ghahary, A. 2010. Local expression of indoleamine 2,3 dioxygenase in syngeneic fibroblasts significantly prolongs survival of an engineered three-dimensional islet allograft. Diabetes 59:2219-2227.
  24. Medina, A., and Ghahary, A. 2010. Transdifferentiated circulating monocytes release exosomes containing 14-3-3 proteins with matrix metalloproteinase-1 stimulating effect for dermal fibroblasts. Wound Repair Regen 18:245-253.
  25. Rezakhanlou, A.M., Habibi, D., Lai, A., Jalili, R.B., Ong, C.J., and Ghahary, A. 2010. Highly efficient stable expression of indoleamine 2,3 dioxygenase gene in primary fibroblasts. Biol Proced Online 12:9028.
  26. Chavez-Munoz, C., Kilani, R.T., and Ghahary, A. 2009. Profile of exosomes related proteins released by differentiated and undifferentiated human keratinocytes. J Cell Physiol 221:221-231.
  27. Li, M., Moeen Rezakhanlou, A., Chavez-Munoz, C., Lai, A., and Ghahary, A. 2009. Keratinocyte-releasable factors increased the expression of MMP1 and MMP3 in co-cultured fibroblasts under both 2D and 3D culture conditions. Mol Cell Biochem 332:1-8.
  28. Jalili, R.B., Forouzandeh, F., Moeenrezakhanlou, A., Rayat, G.R., Rajotte, R.V., Uludag, H., and Ghahary, A. 2009. Mouse pancreatic islets are resistant to indoleamine 2,3 dioxygenase-induced general control nonderepressible-2 kinase stress pathway and maintain normal viability and function. Am J Pathol 174:196-205.
  29. Ghaffari, A., Kilani, R.T., and Ghahary, A. 2009. Keratinocyte-conditioned media regulate collagen expression in dermal fibroblasts. J Invest Dermatol 129:340-347.
  30. Ghahary, A., and Ghaffari, A. 2007. Role of keratinocyte-fibroblast cross-talk in development of hypertrophic scar. Wound Repair Regen 15 Suppl 1:S46-53.
  31. Kilani, R.T., Medina, A., Aitken, A., Jalili, R.B., Carr, M., and Ghahary, A. 2008. Identification of different isoforms of 14-3-3 protein family in human dermal and epidermal layers. Mol Cell Biochem 314:161-169.
  32. Chavez-Munoz, C., Morse, J., Kilani, R., and Ghahary, A. 2008. Primary human keratinocytes externalize stratifin protein via exosomes. J Cell Biochem 104:2165-2173.

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