Rahman Research Laboratory

Overcoming tumor resistance and finding a cure for brain tumors


The overall goals of our research are to understand the complexity of brain cancer, characterize the mechanisms driving its heterogeneity and explore new treatment strategies leading to translational therapeutic development. Our laboratory has specific interests in harnessing the immune system to overcome tumor resistance, the development of vaccines for delivery mRNA to treat gliomas and combination approaches with laser interstitial thermotherapy.

Research Projects

mRNA vaccine development: Glioblastoma (GBM) is heterogeneous and targeting one antigen often fails due to the heterogeneity of tumor cells. We have significant experience with delivering mRNA as an antigen using dendritic cell vaccines (ongoing large phase II randomized controlled trial in patients with GBM, NCT 02465268). mRNA has the benefit of being able to target several antigens simultaneously. Leveraging this experience we have developed a hydrogel-CXCL9-mRNA vaccine platform that delivers large amounts of mRNA to the peripheral immune system inducing a powerful anti-tumor response. The objective of this work is to elucidate the mechanisms by which the hydrogel-CXCL9-mRNA (HCM) vaccine reprograms the tumor microenvironment (TME) and results in significant survival benefit in aggressive murine models of GBM. We are also actively working on translation of this technology for testing in patients with brain tumors. 

Laser interstitial thermotherapy (LITT):

LITT is a clinically available novel therapy that causes tumor cell death by introducing a laser probe stereotactically and delivering laser ablation to the tumor. We are studying the ability to leverage LITT to open the blood brain barrier for delivery of therapeutics post LITT treatment and reprgramming the intra-tumoral immune response post-LITT. We have developed a murine LITT system in the lab and having ongoing studies in patients with GBM (NCT 04187872). 




  • Farhad Dastmalchi DVM, Research scientist, 2016-2022
  • Aida Karachi DVM PhD, Research scientist, 2014-2022
  • Hassan Azari PhD, Research scientist, 2013-2016

Medical students

  • Alexander Vlasak, 6/2015-2019
  • Lauren Donnangello, 6/2013-12/2013 
  • Jorge Gil, 6/2013-8/2013 
  • Joseph Abbatamatteo, 6/2015-6/2018 
  • Edward DeLeo, 6/2015-6/2017
  • Rachel Freedman 07/2016-2020
  • Logan Cope 04/2016-2017
  • John Mayfield 01/2016-2017
  • Patricia Sacks 06/2017-06/2020
  • Omar Awan 06/2018-06/2019
  • Kevin Pierre 06/2019-06/2020
  • Claire Grady (2020)
  • Abeer Dagra (2020)
  • Michael Goutnik (2020)


   Other Students

  • Eman Shreteh, 06/2014-06/2015
  • Sarah Shireen Gul, 06/2013, General surgery resident
  • Usma Baban 08/2016-8/2017 
  • Rachel Newsome 06/2018-01/2019 – PhD student 
  • Michael Shang 07/2016 – 06/2019 – PhD student
  • Lisa Kurian 06/2018-06/2020 – currently medical student



  • Kyle Fargen, 7/2014-6/2015 – Now neurosurgery faculty at Wake Forest
  • Kris Hooten, 7/2013-6/2016 – Now neurosurgery faculty in the Army
  • Kristin Weaver, 7/2014-current – Now neurosurgery faculty at U Miss
  • Kelvin Wilson, 6/2015-6/2016 – Now neurosurgery faculty in the Army
  • Matthew Decker, 7/2014-2020 – Now faculty at UF
  • Timothy Lockney, 7/2013-2020 – In practice in Nashville, TN
  • Stephanie Adamzcak, 7/2015-2020
  • Sasha Vaziri, 7/2015-current
  • Dimitri Laurent 07/2016-current
  • Carl Brophy 07/2017-2019
  • Ken Porche 07/2017-current
  • Kaitlyn Barkley 07/2017-current
  • David Shin 07/2018-current
  • Megan Still 07/2019-current
  • Carlton Christie 07/2019-current
  • Rasheedat Zakare 07/2019-current
  • Rachel Moore 07/2020-current
  • Arnold Obungu 07/2020-current


   Postdoctoral Graduate Students

  • Aida Karachi, DVM PhD, 07/2015-2019



rahman maryam – Search Results – PubMed (nih.gov)


Contact us

Maryam Rahman MD MS

Adam Michael Rosen Neuro-Oncology Laboratories

Department of Neurosurgery

University of Florida

Basic Science Building, B1-155

1333 Center Dr.

Gainesville, FL 32610

Office room # B1-126

Phone: 352-273-9381

Email: mrahman@ufl.edu


Our lab is part of the Adam Michael Rosen Neuro-Oncology Laboratories of UF Brain Tumor Immunotherapy Program, which occupies over 13,000 square feet of newlyrenovated and stateoftheart research space within the Basic Sciences Building at the University of Florida.

Maps: Visit the University of Florida Campus Map, search for “Basic Science (BSU)