Dr. Shebl current research involves investigating genetic and non-genetic determinants of hepatitis C virus spontaneous and drug induced clearance. In addition, Dr. Shebl is interested in examining the role of inflammation and infection in cancer risk. In the future, Dr. Shebl will focus on understanding cancer’s molecular bases, and identifying biomarkers for early cancer detection, especially for hepatocellular carcinoma. In addition she will investigate the host immune response in individuals infected with hepatitis C virus.
Extensive Research Description
The overarching goal of Dr. Shebl research is to characterize the role of infections, inflammation, and immunosuppression in cancer etiology so that this knowledge may be translated into strategies for prevention, early detection, and new treatment targets. Dr. Shebl have developed a portfolio of research projects in two major areas: (i) Infection, inflammation and immunosuppression in cancer etiology, and (ii) Hepatitis C virus: epidemiology, determinants of clearance, response to treatment, and cancer risk.
Infections and inflammation are recognized as major contributors to cancer risk and might account for approximately 20-25% of cancer cases. Thus, Dr. Shebl research focuses on elucidating the role of infection and inflammation in cancer. Therefore, she utilized several strategies including; studying cancer in populations that are at high risk of infection, inflammation and immunosuppression such as individuals infected with human immunodeficiency virus and individuals with end-stage renal disease, studying inflammation associated conditions such as obesity, diabetes and metabolic syndrome, and finally utilizing direct measures of inflammation such as cytokines.
Chronic HCV infection is observed in approximately 70-80% of HCV infected cases. HCV infection is associated with many complications, as well as cancer. The association between HCV and liver cancer is well known, however, there is increasing evidence supporting the interplay between HCV and the immune response, which might influence not only liver cancer risk but other cancers as well. This notion underscores the importance of immune stimulation in carcinogenesis, which is an area of growing interest. Therefore, Dr. Shebl utilized several strategies to approach these questions including; studying the genetic and non-genetic determinants of spontaneous clearance, and response to treatment, and identifying HCV-related cancer risk including hepatic and extrahepatic cancer sites.
- Shebl FM, Pfeiffer RM, Edlin BR, et al. IL28B-rs12979860 Genotype and Spontaneous Clearance of Hepatitis C Virus in a Multi-Ethnic Cohort of Injection Drug Users:Evidence for a Supra-Additive Association. J Infect dis (in press) PMCID: PMC Journal – In Pr
- Shebl FM, Andreotti G, Meyer TE, et al. Metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance in relation to biliary tract cancer and stone risks: a population-based study in Shanghai, China. Br J Cancer. 2011 Sep 13. [Epub ahead of print] PMCID: PMC Journal – In Pro
- Shebl FM, Yu K, Landgren O, Goedert JJ, Rabkin CS. Increased Levels of Circulating Cytokines with HIV-Related Immunosuppression. AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2011 Sep 30. [Epub ahead of print] PMCID: PMC Journal – In Process
- Gadalla SM, Katki HA, Shebl FM, et al. The Relationship between DNA Methylation and Telomere Length in Dyskeratosis Congenita. Aging Cell. 2011 Oct 8. [Epub ahead of print] PMCID: PMC Journal – In Process Shebl FM, Dollard SC, Pfeiffer RM, Biryahwaho B, A
- Shebl FM, Maeder D, Shao Y et al. In the Absence of HCV Infection, Interferon Stimulated Gene Expression in Liver is Not Associated with IL28B Genotype. Gastroenterology. 2010 Oct;139(4):1422-4. Epub 2010 Aug 25