Atefeh Rabiee

Atefeh Rabiee

Assistant Professor

At Pacific Since: 2020

Atefeh Rabiee, PhD earned her bachelor of science in cell and molecular biology from Kharazmi University and her master of science in biochemistry from Azad University, Science and Research Branch. She earned her doctor of philosophy in biochemistry and molecular biology from University of Southern Denmark. In 2014, she started as a postdoctoral research fellow at Copenhagen University, Department of Health and Medical Sciences, Center for Basic Metabolic Research. In 2017, Dr. Rabiee was the recipient of a 4-year Stanford Bio-X Foundation Fellowship for visiting postdoctoral research scholar, a partnership between Novo Nordisk and Stanford.

A deep interest in disease biology and the ability to dissect the underlying mechanisms of human diseases drew her to pursue a career centered on biochemistry and molecular biology. Preventing and treating human diseases relies extensively on the efforts of basic science researchers, which serves as a strong motivator for Dr. Rabiee. Dr. Rabiee is a member of American Diabetes Association, American Physiological Society, American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics and the Rho Chi Society.

Observing the success of alumni from Pacific’s Pharmaceutical and Chemical Sciences Program (PCSP) inspires Dr. Rabiee to contribute to the personal and professional success of Pacific students through her teaching. She believes the success of the PCPS alumni reflects Pacific’s commitment to fostering a student-centered learning environment.

Dr. Rabiee’s hobbies include watching movies and biking. Spending time with her daughter is one of her greatest joys in life.


BSc in Cell and Molecular Biology, Kharazmi University, 2006
MSc in Biochemistry, Azad University, Science and Research Branch, 2009
PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Southern Denmark, 2014
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Copenhagen University, Dept. of Health and Medical Sciences, Center for Basic Metabolic Research, 2014-2017
Visiting Postdoctoral Research Scholar, Stanford University Medical School, Dept. of Chemical and Systems Biology, 2017-2020

Teaching Interests

Teaching Philosophy
“I find teaching to be a very rewarding experience. Teaching also serves as a way to help myself branch out.”

PHAR 212 - Introduction to Pharmacology
PHAR 341 - Integrated Clinical Sciences: Cardiovascular Disease I – Foundations

Research Focus

Research Summary
“My research is focused on understanding and maintaining the mammalian energy balance as a potential strategy to combat obesity and type 2 diabetes.”

Research Interests

  • Disease Physiology
  • Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes
  • Adipocyte (Fat Cell) Biology
  • Cell Signaling


Scholarly Activity

More Scholarly Activity

Atefeh Rabiee presented “Turning on the Heat on Obesity” at the 2021 AAPS InSight Symposium, June 4, 2021.

Bruna B. Brandão, Ankita Poojari and Atefeh Rabiee published “Thermogenic Fat: Development, Physiological Function, and Therapeutic Potential” in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, May 31, 2021.

Jacob Ardenkjær-Larsen, et al, Atefeh Rabiee and Brice Emanuelli published “Insulin-induced serine 22 phosphorylation of retinoid X receptor alpha is dispensable for adipogenesis in brown adipocytes” in Adipocyte, Dec. 9, 2020.

Atefeh Rabiee, et al. published “White adipose remodeling during browning in mice involves YBX1 to drive thermogenic commitment” in Molecular Metabolism, February 2021.

Michael L Zhao, Atefeh Rabiee, et al. published “Molecular Competition in G1 Controls When Cells Simultaneously Commit to Terminally Differentiate and Exit the Cell Cycle” in Cell Reports, June 16, 2020.

Bruna B Brandão, Søren Madsen, Atefeh Rabiee, et al. published “Dynamic changes in DICER levels in adipose tissue control metabolic adaptations to exercise” in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Sept. 22, 2020.

Atefeh Rabiee, “Beige Fat Maintenance; Toward a Sustained Metabolic Health” Frontiers in Endocrinology, Sept. 4, 2020.

Zahra Bahrami-Nejad, Tinghuan Chen, Stefan Tholen, Zhi-Bo Zhang, Atefeh Rabiee, Michael L Zhao Fredric B Kraemer, Mary N Teruel, “Early enforcement of cell identity by a functional component of the terminally differentiated state” bioRxiv preprint doi:; Aug. 14, 2020.

Keren Ita Hilgendorf, Carl Takeshi Johnson, Kyuho Han, Atefeh Rabiee, Janos Demeter, Ran Cheng, Yingdi Zhu, Zewen Jiang, Katrin J Svensson, Michael Bassik, Peter K Jackson, “A CRISPR-based genome-wide screen for adipogenesis reveals new insights into mitotic expansion and lipogenesis” bioRxiv preprint doi:; July. 14, 2020.

Michael L Zhao, Atefeh Rabiee, Kyle M Kovary, Zahra Bahrami-Nejad, Brooks Taylor, Mary N Teruel, “Molecular Competition in G1 Controls When Cells Simultaneously Commit to Terminally Differentiate and Exit the Cell Cycle” Cell Reports, Jun. 16, 2020.

Jacob Ardenkjær-Larsen, Kaja Rupar, Goda Sinkevičiūtė, Patricia SS Petersen, Julia Villarroel, Morten Lundh, Romain Barrès, Atefeh Rabiee, Brice Emanuelli, “Insulin-induced serine 22 phosphorylation of retinoid X receptor alpha is dispensable for adipogenesis in brown adipocytes” Adipocytes, Apr. 05, 2020.

Stefan Tholen, Kyle Kovary, Atefeh Rabiee, Ewa Bielczyk-Maczyńska, Wenting Yang, Mary N Teruel, “Flattened circadian glucocorticoid oscillations cause obesity due to increased lipid turnover and lipid uptake” bioRxiv preprint doi:; Jan. 3, 2020.