Dr. Shaik's research expertise is in Dermatology and Immunology with focus on biology and immunology of transforming growth factor beta1 (TGF-?) and its potential implications for therapy in autoimmunity, fibrosis and cancer.
Transforming growth factor beta1 (TGF?), a pleotropic cytokine, has dual role in cancer progression. It acts as a tumor-suppressor by promoting cytostasis and apoptosis during early stages while mediating invasion and metastasis during later stages of cancer progression. TGF? is secreted as part of a latent complex that has to be liberated to be biologically active, a process termed activation. A heterodimeric transmembrane integrin ?v?6 (comprising of integrins ?v (Itgav) and beta6 (Itgb6)) promotes TGF? signaling by activating latent TGF?. Itgb6 is highly expressed in advanced cancers that correlate with poor patient prognosis. Our goal is to elucidate pathways that regulate expression of Itgb6 on aggressive tumors that can be targeted therapeutically to block and reverse metastatic progression of advanced cancers.
Research training of students and postdocs