Nabiha Yusuf, Ph.D.


Yusuf_09University of Alabama at Birmingham
VH 566 A
1530 3rd Avenue South
Birmingham, AL 35294-0019

Office: (205)934-7432



 Education and Academic Affiliation

Department:    Dermatology
Faculty Appointment:          Assistant Professor, School of Medicine; Associate Scientist, Comprehensive Cancer Center, UAB
Title:   Assistant Professor
Graduate Education:   Ph.D., Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, India, Biochemistry
Research Fellowship:   Post-doctoral Fellow, Dermatology, UAB, 2001-2005


Academic Appointments:



New Delhi Tuberculosis Center, New Delhi, India, 2000

Assistant Professor:


Department of Dermatology, School of Medicine, UAB, 2009-till date



Veterans Administration Medical Center, Birmingham, AL 2006-till date


Research Interests

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.


Huang C-M, Foster K.W., DeSilva, T., Zhang J., Shi Z., Yusuf N., VanKampen, K.R., Elmets C.A. and Tang D-C. Comparative proteomic profiling of murine skin. J. Invest. Dermatol. 121(1) :51-64, 2003.

Elmets C.A., Yusuf N., Hamza S., Iranikhah N., Smith J., Volk A.L., Skelton H., Smith K.. Topical application of Dimethylbenz(a)anthracene results in the generation of multiple melanocytic nevi in C3H/HeN mice. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 195(3):355-60, 2004.

Hasan N., Yusuf N., Toossi Z., Islam N. Suppression of Mycobacterium tuberculosis induced reactive oxygen species (ROS) and TNF-alpha mRNA expression in human monocytes by allicin. FEBS Lett. 580(10): 2517-22, 2006.

Yusuf N., Irby C., Katiyar S.K., and Elmets, C.A. Photoprotective effects of green tea polyphenols. Photodermatol Photoimmunol Photomed. 23: 48-56, 2007

Yusuf N., Timares L., Seibert M.D., Xu H., and Elmets C.A. Acquired and innate immunity to polyaromatic hydrocarbons. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 224: 308-12, 2007.

Yusuf N., Nasti T.H., Long J.A., Naseemuddin M., Lucas A.P., Xu H., and Elmets C.A. Protective role of Toll-like receptor 4 during the initiation stage of cutaneous chemical carcinogenesis. Cancer Res. 68(2): 615-22, 2008.

Yusuf N., Katiyar S.K., and Elmets, C.A. Effects of Phthalocyanine photodynamic therapy in mice are mediated by CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells and can be adoptively transferred to naive recipients. Photochem Photobiol. 84(2):366-70, 2008.

Yusuf N., Nasti T.H., Katiyar S.K., Jacobs M.K., Seibert M.D., Ginsburg A.C., Timares L., Xu H. and Elmets C.A. Antagonistic roles of CD4+ and CD8+ T-cells in 7,12-dimethylbenz(a)anthracene cutaneous carcinogenesis. Cancer Res. 68(10): 3924-30, 2008.

  Elmets CA, Yusuf N, Hamza S, Iranikhah N, Smith J, Volk AL, Skelton H, Smith K. 2004. Topical application of Dimethylbenz(a)anthracene results in the generation of multiple melanocytic nevi in C3H/HeN mice. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol195:355-60.

 Yusuf N, Nasti TH, Long JA, Naseemuddin M, Lucas AP, Elmets CA. 2008. Protective role of TLR4 during the initiation stage of cutaneous chemical carcinogenesis. Cancer Res 68: 615-622.

Yusuf N, Katiyar SK, Elmets CA. 2008. The Immunosuppressive Effects of Phthalocyanine Photodynamic Therapy in Mice Are Mediated by CD4+ and CD8+ T Cells and Can Be Adoptively Transferred to Naive Recipients. Photochem. Photobiol 84: 366-370.

Yusuf N, Nasti TH, Katiyar SK, Jacobs MK, Seibert MD, Ginsburg AC, Timares L, Xu H, Elmets CA. 2008. Antagonistic roles of CD4+ and CD8+ T-Cells in 7,12-dimethylbenz(a)anthracene cutaneous carcinogenesis. Cancer Res 68:3924-30.

Yusuf N, Nasti TH, Huang CM, Huber BS, Jaleel T, Lin HY, Xu H, Elmets CA. 2009. Heat shock proteins HSP27 and HSP70 are present in the skin and are important mediators of allergic contact hypersensitivity. J Immunol 182:675-83.

Yusuf N, Nasti TH, Meleth S, Elmets CA. 2009. Resveratrol enhances cell-mediated immune response to DMBA through TLR4 and prevents DMBA induced cutaneous carcinogenesis. Mol. Carcinog 48:713-23. 

Sharma SD, Meeran SM, Katiyar N, Tisdale B, Yusuf N, Xu H, Elmets CA, Katiyar SK. 2009. IL-12-deficiency suppresses 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate-induced skin tumor development in 7, 12-dimethylbenz(a)anthracene-initiated mouse skin through inhibition of inflammation. Carcinogenesis 30:1970-7. 

 He D, Li H, Yusuf N, Elmets CA, Li J, Mountz J, Xu H. 2010. IL-17 promotes tumor development through the induction of tumor promoting microenvironments at tumor sites and myeloid derived suppressor cells. J Immunol 184:2281-8.

 Nasti TH, Iqbal O, Geise JT, Katiyar SK, Yusuf N. 2011. Differential roles of T-cell subsets in regulation of ultraviolet radiation induced cutaneous photocarcinogenesis. Photochem. Photobiol 87: 387-398.

 Lewis W, Simanyi E, Li H, Thompson CA, Nasti TH, Jaleel T, Xu H, Yusuf N. 2011. Regulation of ultraviolet radiation induced cutaneous photoimmunosuppression by Toll like receptor-4. Arch. Biochem. Biophys 508: 171-177.

 Stanishevsky AV, Styres C, Yockell-Lelievre H, Yusuf N. 2011. Nanostructured carbon beads--properties and biomedical applications. J Nanosci Nanotechnol 11:8705-11.

 Mojib N, Nasti TH, Andersen DT, Attigada VR, Hoover RB, Yusuf N, Bej AK. The antiproliferative function of violacein-like purple violet pigment (PVP) from an Antarctic Janthinobacterium sp. Ant5-2 in UV-induced 2237 fibrosarcoma. Int J Dermatol 50:1223-33. 

 Ahmad I, Jimenez H, Yaacob NS, Yusuf N. 2012. Tualang Honey protects keratinocytes from ultraviolet radiation induced inflammation and DNA damage(†).Photochem Photobiol 88:1198-204.

 He D, Li H, Yusuf N, Elmets CA, Athar M, Katiyar SK, Xu H. 2012. IL-17 mediated inflammation promotes tumor growth and progression in the skin. PLos One 7:e32126.

 Ahmad I, Muneer KM, Tamimi IA, Chang ME, Ata MO, Yusuf N. 2013. Thymoquinone suppresses metastasis of melanoma cells by inhibition of NLRP3 inflammasome. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 270:70-6

Click for pubmed link to further publications


Active Grant Support

American Skin Association
Project entitled:"Regulation of Ultraviolet Radiation-Induced Photodamage and Repair by Toll-Like Receptors"
Period: 01/01/2012 - 12/31/2014
Role:Mentor to Medical Student Grant