Shehzad Sheikh is a physician-scientist who specializes in the management of patients with the inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs). His research focuses on characterizing the impact of genetics and gene regulation on the clinical phenotypes of human IBD. His training in mucosal immunology, epithelial cell biology, genomics and clinical IBD have positioned him to make an impact on IBD outcomes. . His current research projects are funded through targeted NIH discovery based initiatives. This has led to the identification of specific gene regulators (RNA, chromatin and microRNAs) in tissue, macrophages and intestinal epithelial cells with potential to impact IBD phenotype. He has active collaborations within the UNC community (Carolina Center for Genome Sciences, CGIBD, UNC and NCSU Department of Biomedical Engineering) and with the greater IBD research community (NIDDK IBD Genetics Consortium and CCF PRO-KIIDS NETWORK). His research group has demonstrated the first set of high-throughput sequencing studies in the field that include ex vivo functional and mechanistic validation (in whole tissue, immune cells and epithelial cells) incorporating chromatin (murine, human adult), RNA (murine, human adult and pediatric) and small RNA (human adult and pediatric) in relation to IBD phenotypes.
Relevance of Research to CGIBD Mission: The focus of Dr. Sheikh’s clinical and translational research is inflammatory bowel disease. His group has shown that microRNA mR-31 from the colonic epithelium associates with the development of Crohn’s phenotype.
CGIBD Focus Area(s): Clinical/Translational Research
Pilot and Feasibility Award 2012 & 2018
Collaborators: Allbritton, Hansen, Herfarth, Furey, Long, Rawls, Sartor, Sylvester