Contact details


Telephone number: 01865 274351

Social media: @AzizAboobaker

Role: The  Dean; Fellow and Tutor in Biological Sciences; Professor of Functional and Comparative Genomics


Dr Aziz Aboobaker


  • Visiting Research Scholar, New England Biolabs, MA, USA 2003
  • Wellcome Trust International Prize Fellow, UC Berkeley, CA, USA 2003-2006
  • RCUK Fellow, University of Nottingham, UK 2006-2010
  • Director of ‘Deep Seq’, University of Nottingham, UK 2009-2012
  • Lecturer, University of Nottingham, UK 2010-2012

Research interests

We have established the first UK laboratory to utilize the planarian model system. The group remains, to our knowledge, the only group in the UK dedicated to exploiting planarians for biomedical and evolutionary studies. Our research programme leverages the planarian model system to study basic questions in relation to regeneration and stem cell biology. Furthermore, I believe we can use planarians to study the molecular mechanisms related to both aging and cancer.


I teach LMH students in all aspects of Genetics and Cell Biology, particularly in the first year. I also teach Regenerative Biology, Genomics and Genome Evolution in the second and third years of the Biological Sciences Degree at Oxford.



Biological Sciences

Selected publications

  • Kao, D, Lai A, Stamataki E, 21 other authors, Pavlopoulos A, Aboobaker AA. The genome of the crustacean Parhyale hawaiensis, a model for animal development, regeneration, immunity and lignocellulose digestion.Elife, 2016 AA, Kao D. A lack of commitment for over 500 million years: conserved animal stem cell pluripotency. EMBO J. 2012 May 4;31(12):2747-9. doi: 10.1038/emboj.2012.131.
  • Koutsovoulos G, Kumar S, Laetsch DR, Stevens L, Daub J, Conlon C, Maroon H, Thomas F, Aboobaker AA, Blaxter M No evidence for extensive horizontal gene transfer in the genome of the tardigrade Hypsibius dujardini.. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016 Mar 24. pii: 201600338. 
  • Solana J, Gamberi C, Mihaylova Y, Grosswendt S, Chen C, Lasko P, Rajewsky N, Aboobaker AA. The CCR4-NOT complex mediates deadenylation and degradation of stem cell mRNAs and promotes planarian stem cell differentiation. PLoS Genetics. (2013) 9(12):e1004003. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1004003
  • González-Estévez C, Felix DA, Smith MD, Paps J, Morley SJ, James V, Sharp TV, Aboobaker AA. SMG-1 and mTORC1 act antagonistically to regulate response toinjury and growth in planarians. PLoS Genet. 2012 Mar;8(3):e1002619.
  • Solana J, Kao D, Mihaylova Y, Jaber-Hijazi F, Malla S, Wilson R, Aboobaker A. Defining the molecular profile of planarian pluripotent stem cells using a combinatorial RNAseq, RNA interference and irradiation approach. Genome Biol. 2012;13(3):R19.
  • Tan TC, Rahman R, Jaber-Hijazi F, Felix DA, Chen C, Louis EJ, Aboobaker A. Telomere maintenance and telomerase activity are differentially regulated in asexual and sexual worms. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Mar 13;109(11):4209-14.
  • Aboobaker AA. Planarian stem cells: a simple paradigm for regeneration. Trends Cell Biol. 2011 May;21(5):304-11