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Dr. Wael ElShamy

Director, Moecular Cancer Therapeutic Program
Cancer Institute/University of Mississippi Medical Center
2500 N. State St., G651-6

Brief Biography:

Wael M. ElShamy, Ph.D.



Dr. ElShamy is the Director of Molecular Cancer Therapeutics Program, Cancer Institute and an Associate Professor of Biochemistry, University of Medical Center.


Dr. ElShamy received his B.Sc. degree from Ayn-Shams University, Cairo, Egypt in 1986 in Chemistry. Dr. ElShamy relocated in 1990 to Stockholm, Sweden where he has performed 2 M.S. degrees, one in 1993 and the second in 1994 in Stockholm University, Sweden. In 1995 Dr. ElShamy, moved to the Royal Karolinska Institute to start his Ph.D. thesis, which he defended in 1998 at the Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics department.


After that Dr. ElShamy moved to Boston, MA, to join the group of Dr. David Livingston at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School to perform his postdoctoral studies In Cancer Biology. In 2002, Dr. ElShamy was promoted to an Instructor position in Medicine at Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA


In 2006, Dr. ElShamy accepted an Assistant Professor position in Loyola University Chicago, and in 2008 he moved to join the University of Hawaii, department of Pathology at the John A. Burns School of Medicine and the Cancer Research Center.


Dr. ElShamy has received many grants and honors through the years like the Egyptian government, Karolinska Institute Scholarship of excellence. He is a scholar of the Royal Swedish Institute, the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) and the Human Frontiers foundation and the American Cancer Society.


Dr. ElShamy was the recipient of the first SPORE/NCI Breast Cancer Pilot Project grant/award in 2002, the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (OCRF) Individual Investigator Research grant/award in 2004, the Schweppe Career development grant/award in 2006, and American Cancer Society grant.


In 2009, Dr. ElShamy received a developmental grant from Hawaii Community Foundation and he is now a scholar of the American Cancer Society where was awarded a 4 years grant to study breast cancer metastasis and try to target this deadly part of the disease with a drug.


Dr. ElShamy is a member of many scientific organizations like the American Association for Cancer Research, American Society for Microbiology, Neuroscience Society, and has served as an ed hoc referee for several journals such as the British Journal of Cancer, Molecular and Cellular Biology, International Journal for Biochemistry and Cell Biology.




1. Walum E, Eriksson G, Peterson A, Holm E, Larsson N-G, Eriksson C, ElShamy WM. Use of primary cultures and continuous cell lines to study effects on astrosytic regulatory functions. Clin Exp Pharm Phys J 1995:22: 284-287.

2. ElShamy WM, Linnarsson S, Lee KF, Jaenisch R, Ernfors P. Prenatal and postnatal requirements of NT-3 for sympathetic neuroblast survival and innervation of specific targets. Development 1996; 122: 491-500.

3. Ernfors P, Duan ML, ElShamy WM, Canlon B. Protection of auditory neurons from aminoglycoside toxicity by neurotrophin-3. Nature Medicine 1996; 2: 463-467.

4. ElShamy WM, Ernfors P. A local action of neurotrophin-3 prevents the death of proliferating sensory neuron precursor cells. Neuron 1996; 16: 963-972.

5. ElShamy WM, Ernfors P. Requirement of neurotrophin-3 for the survival of proliferating trigeminal ganglion progenitor cells. Development 1996; 122: 2405-2414.

6. ElShamy WM, Ernfors P. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor, neurotrophin-3, and neurotrophin-4 complement and cooperate with each other sequentially during visceral neuron development. J Neuroscience 1997; 15: 8667-8675.

7. Nosrat CA, Blomlöf J, ElShamy WM, Ernfors P, Olson L. Lingual deficits in BDNF and NT3 mutant mice leading to gustatory and somatosensory disturbances, respectively. Development 1997; 124: 1333-1342.

8. Naveilhan P, ElShamy WM, Ernfors P. Differential regulation of mRNAs for GDNF and its receptors, ret and GDNF(a), following a sciatic nerve lesion. Eur. J Neuroscience 1997; 9: 1450-1460.

9. ElShamy WM, Klevenvall Fridvall L, Ernfors P. Growth arrest failure, G1 restriction point override, and S phase death of sensory precursor cells in the absence of neurotrophin-3. Neuron 1998; 21:1003-1015.

10. Avni, D, Yang, H, Martelli, F, Hofmann, F, ElShamy, WM, Ganesan, S, Scully, R, Livingston, DM. Active localization of the retinoblastoma protein in chromatin and its response to S phase DNA damage. Molecular Cell, 2003, 12, 735-746.

11. ElShamy WM, Livingston, DM. Identification of BRCA1-IRIS, a novel BRCA1 locus product. Nat. Cell Biol. 2004, 6 (10): 954-67.

12.  ElShamy WM, Livingston DM. Promoter usage of BRCA1-IRIS. Nat. Cell Biol. 2005, 7(4): 326.

13. ElShamy WM. Epithelial to mesenchymal transition, cell surface receptors activation and intracellular communications in breast cancer metastasis. Cancer Therapy, Vol. 3: 443-460. Review.

14. Nukuci N, Xu, M, Pujana M, Valls J, ElShamy WM. Geminin is bound to chromatin in G2/M phase to promote proper cytokinesis. Int J Biochemistry and Cell Biology 2006, 38(7): 1207-1220.

15. Nakuci E., Mahner S., DiRenzo J., ElShamy, WM. BRCA1-IRIS regulates Cyclin D1 expression in breast cancer cells. Exp. Cell Res. 2006 312(16): 3120-31.

16. Hao L., ElShamy WM. BRCA1-IRIS activates cyclin D1 expression in breast cancer cells by down-regulating the JNK phosphatase DUSP3/VHR. Int. J. Cancer, 2007; 121(1):2793-800.

17. Pujana M, Han J-D, Starita L, Tewari M, Ahn J, Assmann V, ElShamy WM, Rual J-F, Gelman R, Gunsalus K, Greenberg R, Bohian B, Bertin N, Venkatesan K, Ayivi-Guedehoussou N, Lázaro C, Cusick M, Nathanson K, Weber B, Hill D, Livingston DM, Parvin J, and Vidal M. A Breast Cancer Network Model Establishes a Link between BRCA1 and Centrosome Dysfunction, Nature Gent, 2007, 39(11):1338-1349.

18. ElShamy WM and Livingston DM. BRCA1-IRIS can induce a neoplastic phenotype in mammary epithelial cells. In preparation

19. Chock K, Allison J and ElShamy WM. BRCA1-IRIS overexpression abrogates UV-induced p38MAPK/p53 and promotes proliferation of damaged cells. Oncogene. 2010; 29(38):5274-85.

20. Elshamy WM. Induction of breast cancer in wild type p53 cells by BRCA1-IRIS overexpression. Hawaii Med J. 2010; 69(8):200-1.

21. Chock KL, Allison JM, Shimizu Y and ElShamy WM. BRCA1-IRIS Overexpression Promotes Cisplatin Resistance in Ovarian Cancer Cells. Cancer Res. Cancer Res. 2010;70(21):8782-91.

22. Gardner L, Malik R, Shimizu Y and ElShamy WM. Geminin overexpression prevents the completion of topoisomerase IIα chromosome decatenation leading to aneuploidy in human mammary epithelial cells. Breast Cancer Res. 2011; 13(53).




Academic positions:

Associate Professor of Biochemistry


Research interests:

Cancer Biology, Cancer Therapy, Cell cycle, Molecular Biology


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