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Akil Merchant, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine
NRT 3501 Health Sciences Campus Los Angeles
+1 323 442 7796


Dr. Merchant is Assistant Professor of Medicine at the USC Keck School of Medicine and practices at USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center. He attended medical school and residency at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and then trained in Medical Oncology at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, where he joined the faculty as a junior investigator. Dr. Merchant was recruited to USC Norris Cancer Center in 2012, where his laboratory focuses on overcoming the resistance of leukemia stem cells to chemotherapy. He is the winner of numerous awards including the American Society of hematology Scholar Award, the American Society of Clinical Oncology Young Investigator Award, and the American Association for Cancer Research Fellowship. His research is currently funded by the NIH and the Whittier foundation.


AACR: Scholar-in-Training Award, 2009

American Society of Hematology : Travel Award, 2007

Baylor College of Medicine : Caroline Law Award in Rheumatology, 2002


Primary cilia are present on human blood and bone marrow cells and mediate Hedgehog signaling. Exp Hematol. 2016 Sep 7. View in: PubMed

Integration of Hedgehog and mutant FLT3 signaling in myeloid leukemia. Sci Transl Med. 2015 Jun 10; 7(291):291ra96. View in: PubMed

Activation of liver X receptors inhibits hedgehog signaling, clonogenic growth, and self-renewal in multiple myeloma. Mol Cancer Ther. 2014 Jul; 13(7):1873-81. View in: PubMed

Chloroquine improves survival and hematopoietic recovery after lethal low-dose-rate radiation. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2012 Nov 1; 84(3):800-6. View in: PubMed

Not so benign haematology: anaemia of the elderly. Br J Haematol. 2012 Jan; 156(2):173-85. View in: PubMed

The redox-sensitive transcription factor Nrf2 regulates murine hematopoietic stem cell survival independently of ROS levels. Blood. 2011 Dec 15; 118(25):6572-9. View in: PubMed

Mantle cell lymphoma activation enhances bortezomib sensitivity. Blood. 2010 Nov 18; 116(20):4185-91. View in: PubMed

Targeting Hedgehog--a cancer stem cell pathway. Clin Cancer Res. 2010 Jun 15; 16(12):3130-40. View in: PubMed

Gli1 regulates the proliferation and differentiation of HSCs and myeloid progenitors. Blood. 2010 Mar 25; 115(12):2391-6. View in: PubMed

Self-renewal of acute lymphocytic leukemia cells is limited by the Hedgehog pathway inhibitors cyclopamine and IPI-926. PLoS One. 2010; 5(12):e15262. View in: PubMed

Smoothening the controversial role of hedgehog in hematopoiesis. Cell Stem Cell. 2009 Jun 5; 4(6):470-1. View in: PubMed

GLI1 is a direct transcriptional target of EWS-FLI1 oncoprotein. J Biol Chem. 2009 Apr 3; 284(14):9074-82. View in: PubMed

Hematopoietic fingerprints: an expression database of stem cells and their progeny. Cell Stem Cell. 2007 Nov; 1(5):578-91. View in: PubMed

Molecular profiling of hematopoietic stem cells. Methods Mol Med. 2007; 134:1-16. View in: PubMed

Evidence for diversity in transcriptional profiles of single hematopoietic stem cells. PLoS Genet. 2006 Sep 29; 2(9):e159. View in: PubMed

Differential mRNA processing in hematopoietic stem cells. Stem Cells. 2006 Mar; 24(3):662-70. View in: PubMed

Molecular signatures of proliferation and quiescence in hematopoietic stem cells. PLoS Biol. 2004 Oct; 2(10):e301. View in: PubMed

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