Ayaz Najafov, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center. He has a secondary appointment in the Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern.

Dr. Najafov holds a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in molecular biology and genetics from Bosphorus University in Istanbul, Turkey. He earned his doctoral degree at the University of Dundee in Scotland. He completed postdoctoral training in cell biology at Harvard Medical School in Boston.

Dr. Najafov joined the UT Southwestern faculty in 2021.

Dr. Najafov is a member of the American Association for Cancer Research, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

Research Interest

  • Anti-tumor immunity
  • Cancer
  • Immunogenic cell death
  • Immunotherapy
  • Necroptosis signaling


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

ARIH1 signaling promotes anti-tumor immunity by targeting PD-L1 for proteasomal degradation.
Wu Y, Zhang C, Liu X, He Z, Shan B, Zeng Q, Zhao Q, Zhu H, Liao H, Cen X, Xu X, Zhang M, Hou T, Wang Z, Yan H, Yang S, Sun Y, Chen Y, Wu R, Xie T, Chen W, Najafov A, Ying S, Xia H, Nat Commun 2021 04 12 1 2346
Pharmacological targeting of MCL-1 promotes mitophagy and improves disease pathologies in an Alzheimer's disease mouse model.
Cen X, Chen Y, Xu X, Wu R, He F, Zhao Q, Sun Q, Yi C, Wu J, Najafov A, Xia H, Nat Commun 2020 11 11 1 5731
Modulating TRADD to restore cellular homeostasis and inhibit apoptosis.
Xu D, Zhao H, Jin M, Zhu H, Shan B, Geng J, Dziedzic SA, Amin P, Mifflin L, Naito MG, Najafov A, Xing J, Yan L, Liu J, Qin Y, Hu X, Wang H, Zhang M, Manuel VJ, Tan L, He Z, Sun ZJ, Lee VMY, Wagner G, Yuan J, Nature 2020 11 587 7832 133-138
Casein kinase-1?1 and 3 stimulate tumor necrosis factor-induced necroptosis through RIPK3.
Lee SY, Kim H, Li CM, Kang J, Najafov A, Jung M, Kang S, Wang S, Yuan J, Jung YK, Cell Death Dis 2019 12 10 12 923


Featured Books Legend Featured Books

Honors & Awards

  • Science Signaling Editor’s Choice (Najafov et al., 2019, Mol Cell)
  • Innovator of the Year Award, University of Dundee, Scotland, UK
  • Selection of work by the Faculty of 1000 (Najafov et al., 2012, Biochem J)
  • Best Poster, EMBO Young Scientist Forum
  • Discovery PhD Scholarship, University of Dundee, Scotland, UK
  • Graduated with MSc High Honors (“Summa Cum Laude”)
  • Graduated with BSc Honors (“Magna Cum Laude”)
  • Bronze Medal, 11th International Biology Olympiad