|Nabiha Yusuf, Ph.D.
Instructor, Department of Dermatology
Areas of Focus: Our laboratory is involved in evaluating the effect of environmental influences such as chemical carcinogens and ultraviolet radiation on the skin immune system. The focus of our research is on the role of innate immunity in the development of skin carcinogenesis.
Our laboratory is involved in evaluating the effect of environmental influences such as chemical carcinogens and ultraviolet radiation on the skin immune system. The focus of our research is on the role of innate immunity in the development of skin carcinogenesis. Toll-like receptors (TLRs), one component of innate immunity, are intricately associated with a number of dermatologic conditions. We have found that the innate immune system mediates through Toll like receptor-4 (TLR4) signaling to activate the cell mediated adaptive immune response against chemically induced tumors. TLR4 signaling had a protective effect against 7,12-dimethylbenz(a)anthracene (DMBA) induced skin cancer in certain strains of mich which develop cell mediated immune response to this chemical carcinogen. We are currently in the process of evaluating the role of the innate immune system in ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation induced skin cancer. The mechanisms by which UVB radiation influences cell mediated immune responses have been the subject of extensive investigation. However, there is little information on the role of innate immunity in this process. Our recent experiments suggest that certain components of innate immunity, especially TLR4, may play an important role in photoimmunosuppression. Currently, we are investigating whether the resistance of TLR4 gene knockout mice to UVB-induced immunosuppression has implications for photocarcinogenesis. The ultimate goal of these studies will be to define the role of TLR4 in the development of immune suppression and tumor development that occurs following UV radiation. This may allow us to identify genetic loci that are involved in these processes and to develop immunopreventive and immunotherapeutic approaches toward them
Nabiha Yusuf, Assistant Professor in the Department of Dermatology, completed her postgraduate (MS) studies in Microbiology at the RD University, Jabalpur, India. In 2000, she completed her doctoral work (PhD) in cardiac immunology at Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, India. There, she performed clinical studies to evaluate the role of circulating autoantibodies in dilated cardiomyopathy. She joined UAB in 2001 as a Postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Dermatology at UAB. Her project focussed on the role of T-cell subsets in cutaneous contact hypersensitivity responses and 7,12-dimethylbenz(a)anthracene (DMBA) induced skin cancer. Here, she also studied the role of T-cell subsets in photodynamic therapy of solid tumors. She continued her work and became an Instructor in 2005. In 2009, she was appointed as Assistant Professor in the same Department. She is currently pursuing her studies on the role of Toll like receptors in skin cancer