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Headshot of Dr. Lewis Shi, PhD (Associate Professor, Radiation Oncology - Preclinical Research) in white medical coat, September 2022.Associate Professor
Director of Radiobiology
Koikos-Petelos-Jones-Bragg ROAR Endowed Professor for Cancer Research at UAB
Research Scientist

Areas of Interest:
Radiobiology, Metabolic Regulation of Cancer Immunotherapy, Immunomodulatory Effects of Radiation

Physical address
Hazelrig-Salter Radiation Oncology Center
1700 6th Avenue South
Birmingham, AL 35233
Email: lshi@uab.edu
Tele: 205.975.0521
Fax: 205.975.4372

Administrative Contact
Gerquina Young

Research Interests

Recent approvals of ICBs (anti-CTLA-4, anti-PD-1, and anti-PD-L1) by FDA have rejuvenated the field of cancer immunotherapy. However, accumulating data indicate that only a subset of cancer patients benefit from these treatments, warranting further research endeavors to discover novel targets for cancer interventions. Moreover, severe immune-related adverse events (irAEs) have been observed in a decent proportion of patients treated with ICBs, leading to the early termination of otherwise effective ICBs. Thus, tampering irAEs would unequivocally improve the utilization of ICBs in cancer patients. My research focuses on understanding the mechanisms of immune signaling, metabolic processes, and transcriptional factors that control the maintenance, survival and function of T cells, a central effector cell type in anti-tumor immunity induced by ICBs. For immune signaling, we are interested in IFN-y, IL-17 and IL-7 pathways that orchestrate the formation of effector (TH1 and TH17) and memory T cells (TEM and TCM). For cell metabolic control of T cell differentiation and function, we are interested in the mTOR-HIF1a-glycolysis axis. Information gained from these mechanistic studies could manifest legitimate therapeutic/prophylactic means to mitigate irAEs, and could also reveal potential “metabolic checkpoints” that can be combined with immune checkpoints to boost anti-tumor efficacy. Our experimental approaches include mouse genetics, cellular immunology and biochemistry, as well as murine models of autoimmunity, inflammation, infectious diseases and cancer. Through close collaborations with clinicians at UAB, we will test the translational potentials of our preclinical findings.

Education and Postdoctoral Training

MBBS (MD) in Preventive Medicine, Zhengzhou University College of Medicine, China, 1996
M.S. in Sanitary Toxicology, China CDC, 1999
Ph.D. Candidate in Radioiology, Purdue University, Indiana, 2003
Ph.D. in Neurotoxicology, Purdue University, Indiana, 2005
Research Fellow, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Tennessee, 2013
Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Wisconsin, 2008
Instructor, MD Anderson Cancer Center, 2013-2017

Awards and Honors

2018 American Associate of Immunologiest (AAI) Early Career Faculty Travel Grant
2015 The 1st Immuno-Oncology Young Investigators' Forum Award (Junior Faculty)
2013 American Association of Immunologists (AAI) Abstract Award
2012 American Association of Immunologists (AAI) Abstract Award
2012 FASEB-MARC Travel Award, Transitioning to Independent Positions
2009 Society of Toxicology (SOT) Best Postdoctoral Publication Award
2007 Best Postdoctoral Presentation Award (2nd place), Immunotoxicology Section of SOT
2006 Co-chairperson, Nervous System: Disease Models, SOT Annual Meeting
2005 Best Graduate Student in Health Sciences, Wayne Kessler Award, Purde University
2005 Best abstract prize (2nd place), Invitro Sepcialty Section of SOT
2004 Victor A. Drill award, SOT-Midwest Regional Chapter
2003 Graduate Student Travel Award, 12th International Congress of Radiation Research