Aaron Goodarzi

Lead of Science Communication and Director of the Charbonneau Microscopy Facility

Arnie Charbonneau Cancer Institute

Assistant Professor

Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

Assistant Professor

Department of Oncology


University of Calgary, 2005

Contact information


Office: 403-220-4896

Web presence




Office : HRIC2A21

Preferred method of communication

Admin Assistant

Jumi Lee

Email: jumi.lee@ucalgary.ca

Office: 403-210-3907

Research and teaching

Area of Focus

  • Enabling lung cancer prevention by understanding and finding new ways to reduce exposure to radon
  • Solving molecular mechanisms of chromatin dynamics during the human cellular response to oxidative
  • Studying genetic mutation patterns and variations linked to disease incidence and susceptibility
  • (including cancer) in radiation exposed people

Summary of Research

From the moment of our conception, our DNA is subject to damage, the most serious form being a break in both strands of the DNA double helix. Unless these breaks are resealed correctly, whole segments of our genome can be lost or irrevocably mutated to fuel a self-propagating process of volatility that underlies cancer formation, radiation poisoning and/or premature cellular aging. Our research focuses on slow-repairing DNA double strand breaks induced within densely compacted heterochromatin and/or by high linear energy transfer ionizing radiation such as alpha particles emitted by radon gas. We are especially curious about DNA double-strand break repair processes involving nucleosome remodeling enzymes. We are taking forward our discoveries into the community, conducting wide-scale radon gas exposure testing and aiming to understand how the radiation emitted by radon impacts our bodies and who, based on our genetics, may be the most sensitive to cancer following radon exposure. Discoveries in these areas are improving our knowledge of cancer formation, human ageing and radiation protection.

To test your home for radon whilst also contributing data to research, please visit  www.evictradon.ca for more information.



Dr. Goodarzi is the Canada Research Chair for Radiation Exposure Disease, and is both the Science Communication Lead and Microscopy Lead for the University of Calgary’s Charbonneau Cancer Institute. He obtained his PhD from University of Calgary in 2005 and trained as a post-doctoral scholar at the Genome Damage and Stability Centre at the University of Sussex (UK) until 2010.

In 2011, he opened his own laboratory at the University of Calgary’s Cumming School of Medicine. In 2015, he was named one of Calgary's Top 40 Under 40 for achievements in science and education. In 2016 he was made a “Peak Scholar” by University of Calgary President Elizabeth Cannon for his work in knowledge engagement and innovation in the community with regards to radon gas induced cancer. In 2018, he was selected as a TEDx speaker on how citizen based science can transform research.

Dr. Goodarzi is also the founder and leader of Evict Radon, a non-profit group and REB-approved transdisciplinary national study aimed at understanding and engineering out radon gas exposure from the Canadian residential environment, as well as reducing the future incidence of radon-induced lung cancer by encouraging citizens to test for radon and share their findings with cancer researchers.