Saame "Raz" Shaikh, PhD
Saame "Raz" Shaikh, PhD
Saame "Raz" Shaikh in the Gillings news
- Shaikh named co-director of UNC Nutrition Obesity Research Center
- At inaugural symposium, UNC experts seek to improve research on causes of obesity
- NIH to extend funding for nutrition and obesity research at UNC through 2026
- Department of Nutrition receives new funding to advance research, service related to COVID-19
- Study finds evidence that omega-3 fatty acid-derived molecules can improve chronic inflammation in obesity
Honors and AwardsEarly Career Award
2012, ISSFALFive Year Achievement Award for Excellence in Research and Creative Activity
2016, East Carolina UniversityMary Swartz Rose Young Investigator Award
2018, American Society for Nutrition
Dr. Shaikh has expertise in teaching lipid biochemistry, nutritional immunology and metabolism. He has previously taught graduate courses on medical biochemistry and nutritional metabolism.
Research in the Shaikh lab is broadly focused on understanding how dietary fatty acids and their metabolites regulate immunological and metabolic outcomes in obesity, Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. The lab vertically integrates differing model systems including biomimetic membranes, cell culture, transgenic/knockout mice and human subjects. The lab uniquely fuses techniques from lipid biochemistry, membrane biophysics, and nutritional immunology to address questions related to the following major projects.
The first project aims to understand how metabolites known as specialized pro-resolving lipid mediators, which generally are deficient in obese subjects, can be used therapeutically to boost innate and adaptive immunity in pre-clinical and clinical models. Efforts focus on the mechanisms by which the metabolites target specific receptors to improve immunological responses mediated by B cells in addition to macrophages and select T cells.
Another project addresses how mitochondrial inner membrane structure-function is impaired in response to modifications to the mitochondrial-specific phospholipid known as cardiolipin. Investigation centers on how the remodeling of cardiolipin fatty acyl chains, as observed in Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, impairs oxidative phosphorylation enzyme activity and the formation of mitochondrial structures known as supercomplexes.
Several additional projects currently are in development, including some epidemiological work and a phase I clinical trial is starting, which is focused on novel fatty acids and inflammation.
Dr. Shaikh is involved in organizing events and conferences for national and international meetings for differing societies. Dr. Shaikh currently serves on the editorial board for the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry and Frontiers in Nutrition and is an associate editor of Prostglandins, Leukotrienes, and Essential Fatty Acids. Dr. Shaikh previously has done extensive work with diversity and inclusion initiatives.
17β-Estradiol Directly Lowers Mitochondrial Membrane Microviscosity and Improves Bioenergetic Function in Skeletal Muscle. Torres MJ, Kew KA, Ryan TE, Pennington ER, Lin CT, Buddo KA, Fix AM, Smith CA, Gilliam LA, Karvinen S, Lowe DA, Spangenburg EE, Zeczycki TN, Shaikh SR, Neufer PD. (2018). Cell Metabolism, 27(1), 167-179.e7.
Docosahexaenoic acid lowers cardiac mitochondrial enzyme activity by replacing linoleic acid in the phospholipidome. Sullivan EM, Pennington ER, Sparagna GC, Torres MJ, Neufer PD, Harris M, Washington J, Anderson EJ, Zeczycki TN, Brown DA, Shaikh SR (2018). Journal of Biological Chemistry, 293(2), 466-483.
B Cell Activity Is Impaired in Human and Mouse Obesity and Is Responsive to an Essential Fatty Acid upon Murine Influenza Infection. Kosaraju R, Guesdon W, Crouch MJ, Teague HL, Sullivan EM, Karlsson EA, Schultz-Cherry S, Gowdy K, Bridges LC, Reese LR, Neufer PD, Armstrong M, Reisdorph N, Milner JJ, Beck M, Shaikh SR (2017). Journal of Immunology, 198(12), 4738-4752.
Murine Diet-Induced Obesity Remodels Cardiac and Liver Mitochondrial Phospholipid Acyl Chains with Differential Effects on Respiratory Enzyme Activity. Sullivan EM, Fix A, Crouch MJ, Sparagna GC, Zeczycki TN, Brown DA, Shaikh SR (2017). Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, 45(1), 94-103.
Expert Consensus Document: Mitochondrial Function as a Therapeutic Target in Heart Failure. Brown DA, Perry JB, Allen ME, Sabbah HN, Stauffer BL, Shaikh SR, Cleland JG, Colucci WS, Butler J, Voors AA, Anker SD, Pitt B, Pieske B, Filippatos G, Greene SJ, Gheorghiade M (2017). Nature Reviews Cardiology, 4(1), 238-250.
Postdoctoral Fellowship, Immunology, Johns Hopkins University, 2008
PhD, Medical Biophysics, Indiana University, 2004
MS, Biology, Purdue University, 2001
BS, Psychology/Biology, Purdue University, 1998