Dr. Sanaz Memarzadeh is a board-certified gynecologic oncologist with over 13 years of active practice. She is an accomplished surgeon and is skilled in gynecologic cancer surgeries (ovarian, endometrial, cervical, vulvar/vaginal cancers), robotic and minimally invasive operations. Compassionate and adept, she specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of all gynecologic diseases. She serves patients at UCLA and also serves women Veterans at the West Los Angeles VA hospital.
After the conclusion of her formal residency at the UCLA Medical Center, she continued at UCLA completing a specialized three-year fellowship training in gynecologic oncology. This fellowship is designed to meet the subspecialty requirements of the Gynecologic Oncology Division of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Beyond clinical care of patients, Dr. Memarzadeh is dedicated to leading-edge research to discover new and more effective treatment options for gynecologic cancers. After completing her fellowship training, she went to earn a Ph.D. in the department of Molecular Biology at UCLA. In addition to being a skilled surgeon, maintaining an active clinical practice, and caring for her patients, she is the Director of the G.O. Discovery Laboratory in the Broad Stem Cell Research Center at UCLA. This independent research laboratory focuses on understanding the molecular pathways of gynecologic cancers and developing new, more effective therapies to help patients. This includes characterizing therapy resistant ovarian cancer tumor cells with the goal of therapeutic targeting of these tumors first experimentally and then implementation in clinical trials. She also has an interest in understanding the causes of uterine cancers including endometrial carcinosarcoma and uterine sarcomas. Her research team focuses on studying genetic pathways that can initiate these tumors, and ways to better target them. On the forefront of translating Gynecologic cancer research to the therapy of patients, she has been awarded multiple funding sources for her work, including the Reproductive Scientist Developmental Grant, the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation Grant, a Gynecologic Cancer Foundation award, and the STOP CANCER award. Dr. Memarzadeh has authored many published articles in respected journals and textbook chapters.
Dr. Memarzadeh is dedicated to teaching the next generation of physicians and scientists, holding a tenured position as a Professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. She has received acknowledgments for her capability as a teacher including the APGO Excellence in Teaching Award. She takes a personal role in helping all those who work with her to learn as much as they can with the goal of advancing the field of women's gynecologic cancer care.
Dr. Memarzadeh currently maintains staff and operating room privileges at Ronald Regan UCLA Medical Center. She is readily available for consultations and is accepting new patients seeking care in all aspects of gynecologic cancer or pre-cancerous diseases. If you are interested in making an appointment, please call (310) 794-7274 or (310) 794-9098.
- Professor with Tenure and Gynecologic Cancer Surgeon, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, UCLA Ronald Reagan Hospital
- Gynecologic Oncology Staff and Gynecologic Cancer Surgeon, VA Hospital, West Los Angeles
- Director, G.O. Discovery Laboratory, UCLA Broad Stem Cell Research Center
- Affiliate Oncologist, The Ovarian Cancer Circle Inspired by Robin Babbini
G.O. Discovery Lab, 3017 Terasaki Life Sciences Building
610 Charles E. Young Drive East
Los Angeles, California 90095
Medical Board Certifications
Areas of Focus
The goal at the G.O. Discovery Laboratory (godiscoverylab.com) is to improve the way we treat patients with gynecologic cancers. As part of this goal, we are looking for effective and better tolerated therapies for these diseases, including ovarian cancer and uterine cancers.
Characterizing therapy resistant ovarian cancer tumor cells
Carboplatin, platinum-based chemotherapy, is the frontline treatment for patients diagnosed with epithelial ovarian cancers. Many patients respond to this treatment initially, but many experience relapse with therapy-resistant disease. To understand the emergence of platinum-resistance in ovarian cancer, we are focused on identifying the unique signature of these ovarian cancer cells using cyTOF. In parallel, we are utilizing an in vitro 3D miniring organoid drug assay to test the platinum sensitivity of patient ovarian cancer tumor samples. This may be adopted as a potential tool to predict the chemotherapy response of the patients before drug administration.
Therapeutic targeting of platinum resistant gynecologic and ovarian cancer tumor cells
Resistance to platinum-based chemotherapy poses a significant clinical challenge for the treatment of patients diagnosed with aggressive gynecologic cancers. We are investigating two potential reasons for therapy resistance in the laboratory: (1) overexpression of inhibitors of apoptosis proteins (IAPs) which can promote cancer cell survival by blocking apoptosis, and (2) alterations in the tumor suppressor p53 commonly found in aggressive gynecologic tumors. To address these two potential mechanisms that may mediate therapy resistance, we are investigating whether degradation of IAPs using a small molecule inhibitor can sensitize platinum-resistant ovarian cancer cells to the cytotoxic effects of carboplatin. In addition, we are investigating the efficacy of a structure-based peptide, called ReACp53, in targeting p53-mutated tumors of the gynecologic tract. We are testing if such combination therapies can better target ovarian cancer tumor cells.
We are also exploring ways to empower the immune system in attacking gynecologic cancers. Several laboratory models aimed at enhancing an immune response to ovarian cancer are being tested in collaboration with prominent immunologists at UCLA.
Studying normal progenitor cells as a potential precursor for endometrial tumors
The human endometrium (the lining of the uterus) is a remarkable tissue with the capacity to shed cells and regenerate many times throughout a woman's life. The endometrium is incredibly hormone-responsive and is hypothesized to contain a subset of progenitor cells with stem-like properties. These cells may hold the key to understanding the development of endometrial cancers and endometriosis. Ongoing work is focused on identifying these precursor cells and better understanding mechanisms that turn normal endometrial cells into cancers.
- Top Doctors, Los Angeles Magazine, 2021
- Super Doctors® of Southern California (2020 & 2021)
- West Hollywood City Council Certificate of Recognition for outstanding service, commitment, and accomplishments in ovarian cancer research (2020)
- Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors recognition for ovarian cancer research and awareness (2020)
- Department of Veterans Affairs Research Merit Award (2019)
- Top Doctors, Los Angeles Magazine, 2018
- Los Angeles City Council recognition for commitment to ovarian cancer research (2017)
- APGO Excellence in Teaching Award (2014)
- Research gift from the Leah L. and Marcia L. Millen Charitable Gift Fund (2013 & 2015 & 2018)
- UCLA CTSI Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health Award (2011)
- Research gift from the Ovarian Cancer Circle/Inspired by Robin Babbini (2011-2020)
- STOP Cancer Research Career Development Award (2010 & 2015)
- Research gift from the Ovarian Cancer Coalition of Greater California (2009)
- Gynecologic Cancer Foundation/St. Louis Ovarian Cancer Awareness Research Award (2008)