Research Areas research areas


  • The long-term goal of our research program is to facilitate the development of novel therapies for cancer patients through a better understanding of the role of the tumor microenvironment in lymphoma.

    Despite major therapeutic advances in the treatment of cancer, most malignancies remain incurable. There is compelling evidence to suggest that the crosstalk between malignant cells and stromal cells in the tumor microenvironment favors disease progression by promoting malignant cell functions as well as drug resistance. Therefore, disrupting this interaction between the tumor cells and their microenvironment is an attractive strategy for cancer treatment. As the paradigm in the treatment of cancer shifts toward combining therapies that target both malignant cells and the microenvironment, a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms that regulate the crosstalk between malignant cells and the microenvironment are clearly needed. Cytokines within the tumor microenvironment can profoundly affect tumor cells and targeting cytokines has been shown to have therapeutic efficacy in several neoplasms. Therefore, identification of cytokines that are dysregulated in cancer and understanding the mechanisms of their regulation may serve as a therapeutic avenue for targeted cancer therapy.

    Our group is studying the following aspects of the tumor microenvironment (TME) using the bone marrow microenvironment as a model for the B cell lymphoma Waldenström macroglobulinemia (WM):

    1. Identification and characterization of novel GLI target genes in the tumor microenvironment.
    2. Characterizing novel epigenetic regulation of WM and the TME.
    3. Identification and characterization of the role of GLI proteins in Waldenström macroglobulinemia and other B cell malignancies.
    4. Identification and characterization of novel signaling pathways that regulate GLI proteins.
    5. Characterization of the role of GLI in inflammation.
    6. Characterization of the role of GLI in B cell biology and immunoglobulin secretion.

    If you are interested in any aspect of our research program, please contact us to inquire about joining our group!
  • Publications

    Academic Article

    Year Title
    2019 Targeting MYC activity in double-hit lymphoma with MYC and BCL2 and/or BCL6 rearrangements with epigenetic bromodomain inhibitors.Journal of Hematology and Oncology.  12:73. 2019
    2019 Targeting IL-6 receptor reduces IgM levels and tumor growth in Waldenström macroglobulinemia.Oncotarget.  10:3400-3407. 2019
    2019 In Vitro Osteogenic, Angiogenic, and Inflammatory Effects of Copper in beta-Tricalcium PhosphateMaterials Research Society Symposium - Proceedings.  4:1253-1259. 2019
    2018 Elevated GLI3 expression in germinal center diffuse large B cell lymphoma.Leukemia and Lymphoma.  59:2743-2745. 2018
    2018 Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of Fluorescein-Tagged 1-Methyl-o-carborane for Boron Neutron Capture TherapyAnnals of Advances in Chemistry.  2:075-081. 2018
    2018 Calf melanin immunomodulates RPE cell attachment to extracellular matrix protein.Graefe's Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology.  256:1883-1893. 2018
    2017 Cobalt-Doped Brushite Cement: Preparation, Characterization, and In Vitro Interaction with Osteosarcoma CellsJOM.  69:1348-1353. 2017
    2017 Novel Molecular Mechanism of Regulation of CD40 Ligand by the Transcription Factor GLI2.Journal of Immunology.  198:4481-4489. 2017
    2017 Sublethal effects of imidacloprid exposure on Spalangia endius, a pupal parasitoid of filth fliesBioControl Entomophaga.  62:53-60. 2017
    2017 rtfA controls development, secondary metabolism, and virulence in Aspergillus fumigatus.PLoS ONE.  12:e0176702. 2017
    2015 Modulation of the IL-6 Receptor α Underlies GLI2-Mediated Regulation of Ig Secretion in Waldenström Macroglobulinemia Cells.Journal of Immunology.  195:2908-2916. 2015
    2015 The oncogenic transcription factor IRF4 is regulated by a novel CD30/NF-κB positive feedback loop in peripheral T-cell lymphoma.Blood.  125:3118-3127. 2015
    2015 Factors regulating immunoglobulin production by normal and disease-associated plasma cells.Biomolecules.  5:20-40. 2015
    2014 The transcription factor GLI1 interacts with SMAD proteins to modulate transforming growth factor β-induced gene expression in a p300/CREB-binding protein-associated factor (PCAF)-dependent manner.Journal of Biological Chemistry.  289:15495-15506. 2014
    2013 Activation of the transcription factor GLI1 by WNT signaling underlies the role of SULFATASE 2 as a regulator of tissue regeneration.Journal of Biological Chemistry.  288:21389-21398. 2013
    2013 GLI2 (GLI family zinc finger 2)Atlas of Genetics and Cytogenetics in Oncology and Haematology2013
    2013 Epigenetic Regulation of Toll-Like Receptor Signaling: Implications for Cancer DevelopmentMedical Epigenetics.  1:19-30. 2013
    2012 Novel AKT1-GLI3-VMP1 pathway mediates KRAS oncogene-induced autophagy in cancer cells.Journal of Biological Chemistry.  287:25325-25334. 2012
    2012 The transcription factor GLI1 mediates TGFβ1 driven EMT in hepatocellular carcinoma via a SNAI1-dependent mechanism.PLoS ONE.  7:e49581. 2012
    2011 Comprehensive analysis of tumor microenvironment cytokines in Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia identifies CCL5 as a novel modulator of IL-6 activity.Blood.  118:5540-5549. 2011
    2011 GLI2 transcription factor mediates cytokine cross-talk in the tumor microenvironment.Journal of Biological Chemistry.  286:21524-21534. 2011
    2011 MicroRNA expression in tumor cells from Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia reflects both their normal and malignant cell counterparts.Blood Cancer Journal.  1:e24. 2011
    2010 The oncogenic effect of sulfatase 2 in human hepatocellular carcinoma is mediated in part by glypican 3-dependent Wnt activation.Hepatology.  52:1680-1689. 2010
    2010 Primers on molecular pathways - cycling toward pancreatic cancer.Pancreatology.  10:6-13. 2010
    2009 Monocytes promote tumor cell survival in T-cell lymphoproliferative disorders and are impaired in their ability to differentiate into mature dendritic cells.Blood.  114:2936-2944. 2009
    2009 Cytokines in the microenvironment of Waldenström's macroglobulinemia.Clinical Lymphoma Clinical Lymphoma and Myeloma.  9:43-45. 2009
    2008 CDDO-imidazolide mediated inhibition of malignant cell growth in Waldenström macroglobulinemia.Leukemia Research.  32:1895-1902. 2008
    2006 Generation of tumoricidal PAX3 peptide antigen specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes.International Journal of Cancer.  119:126-132. 2006
    2006 Selective activation of TACI by syndecan-2.Blood.  107:3235-3242. 2006
    2006 B-lymphocyte stimulator (BLyS) stimulates immunoglobulin production and malignant B-cell growth in Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia.Blood.  107:2882-2888. 2006
    2005 Recognition of six-transmembrane epithelial antigen of the prostate-expressing tumor cells by peptide antigen-induced cytotoxic T lymphocytes.Clinical Cancer Research.  11:4545-4552. 2005
    2004 T-cell epitope peptide vaccines.Expert Review of Vaccines.  3:563-575. 2004
    2004 Murine gamma-herpesvirus-68-induced IL-12 contributes to the control of latent viral burden, but also contributes to viral-mediated leukocytosis.Journal of Immunology.  172:516-524. 2004
    2003 Exacerbation of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis in rodents infected with murine gammaherpesvirus-68.European Journal of Immunology.  33:1849-1858. 2003
    2003 Reduced CTL response and increased viral burden in substance P receptor-deficient mice infected with murine gamma-herpesvirus 68.Journal of Immunology.  170:2605-2612. 2003
    Bone marrow stromal cells interaction with titanium; effects of composition and surface modificationPLoS ONE


    Year Title
    2018 GLI Family Zinc Finger 2.  2077-2088. 2018
    2017 GLI Family Zinc Finger 2.  1-11. 2017

    Conference Proceeding

    Year Title
    2018 Abstract 193: The tumor microenvironment protects against ibrutinib but not rituximab-mediated control of Waldenström macroglobulinemia (WM)in vivoTumor Biology. 193-193. 2018
    2018 The tumor microenvironment protects against ibrutinib but not rituximab-mediated control of Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia (WM) in vivoCancer Research. 2018
    2016 The transcription factor GLI2 modulates CD40L expression in the tumor microenvironmentJournal of Immunology. 2016
    2014 A Novel Mechanism of GLI2 Mediated Regulation of IgM Secretion in Waldenstrom MacroglobulinemiaBlood. 2014
    2014 Novel Route towards Large Scale Synthesis of Bright, Water Dispersible Core-Shell Fluorescent Dye Doped Organosilicate NanoparticlesIEEE International Conference on Electro Information Technology. 562-566. 2014
    2014 Structural Differentiation of Common Bacteria Using Impedance SpectroscopyIEEE International Conference on Electro Information Technology. 518-523. 2014
    2013 GLI Transcription Factors Modulate IgM Secretion In Waldenstrom MacroglobulinemiaBlood. 2013
    2013 The Transcription Factor GLI3 Is a Novel Candidate Effector Of Toll-Like Receptor 4 (TLR4) Signaling In MonocytesBlood. 2013
    2011 GLI Proteins Orchestrate the Cytokine Milieu in Pancreatic Tumor MicroenvironmentPancreas. 1309-1310. 2011
    2011 GLI1 overexperssion contributes to HCC recurrence partly through the induction of SNAI1-induced epithelial-to-mesenchymal transitionCancer Research. b20-b20. 2011
    2010 GLI2, An Effector of the Hedgehog Pathway, Is a Novel Regulator of IL6 Oncogenic Function In the Tumor MicroenvironmentBlood. 269-269. 2010
    2010 A Novel PI3K-AKT-GLI3 Axis Activates the Machinery Controlling Autophagy in Pancreatic Cancer CellsPancreas. 1331-1331. 2010
    2010 An Active AKT is Required for KRAS Modulation of GLI1 Activity in Pancreatic Cancer CellsPancreas. 1307-1307. 2010
    2010 Molecular mechanisms underlying hedgehog-GLI oncogenic function via interaction with the TGF-beta-SMAD4 axisCancer Research. 3917-3917. 2010
    2009 Inhibition of the Jak/Stat Pathway Downregulates Immunoglobulin Production and Induces Cell Death in Waldenstrom Macroglobulinemia.Blood. 674-674. 2009
    2008 Comprehensive Analysis of the Waldenstrom Macroglobulinemia "Cytokine Milieu" Reveals a Novel Role of Rantes Signaling in the Regulation of Immunoglobulin ProductionBlood. 230-230. 2008
    2008 Monocytes Promote Survival of Malignant T Cells in Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma and Are Recruited to the Tumor Microenvironment by CCL5Blood. 146-147. 2008
    2008 miRNA Analysis Identifies a Unique Expression in Waldenstrom Macroglobulinemia B Cells and Plasma CellsBlood. 231-231. 2008
    2007 Multiplex analysis of serum cytokine levels in Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia patientsBlood. 770A-770A. 2007
    2006 Preferential inhibition of malignant cell growth by CDDO in Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia.Blood. 715A-715A. 2006
    2005 Role of B-lymphocyte stimulator (BLyS) in Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia.Blood. 178A-179A. 2005
    2003 Murine gammaherpesvirus 68-induced IL-12 contributes to the control of latent viral burden, but also contributes to viral-mediated leukocytosisFASEB Journal. C158-C158. 2003
    2003 Reduced CTL response and increased viral burden in substance P receptor deficient mice infected with murine gammaherpesvirus 68FASEB Journal. C303-C303. 2003
    Copper Doped Tricalcium Phosphate; Phase Composition and in vitro Interaction with Osteoblast Cells
    Effects of Copper on Physical, Mechanical, and Biological Properties of Brushite Cement
    Targeting Bromodomain and external domain epigenetic reader protein as effective strategy for double hit and triple-hit B-cell lymphoma

    Teaching Activities

  • Doctoral Thesis Taught course 2019
  • Ethical Issues in Biomed Sci Taught course 2019
  • Doctoral Thesis Taught course 2018
  • Immunology Taught course 2018
  • Immunology Laboratory Taught course 2018
  • Immunology Laboratory Taught course 2018
  • Immunology Laboratory\Honors Taught course 2018
  • Immunology Laboratory\Honors Taught course 2018
  • Doctoral Research Taught course 2018
  • Ethical Issues in Biomed Sci Taught course 2018
  • Doctoral Research Taught course 2017
  • Immunology Taught course 2017
  • Immunology Laboratory Taught course 2017
  • Immunology Laboratory Taught course 2017
  • Full Name

  • Sherine Elsawa
  • Mailing Address

  • University of New Hampshire


    46 College Rd

    Durham, NH  03824

    United States