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Haifa Shen, MD, PhD

Professor of Nanomedicine, Institute for Academic Medicine
Full Member, Research Institute
Houston Methodist
Weill Cornell Medical College

Dr. Shen earned his M.D. degree in 1985 from Zhejiang University Medical School in Hangzhou, China and his Ph.D. degree in 1997 from the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Texas at Houston and MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. After completing a four-year postdoctoral fellowship at the National Cancer Institute, he entered the pharmaceutical industry as a drug development scientist. He returned to Academia in 2010. Dr. Shen is currently Professor of Nanomedicine at the Institute for Academic Medicine at Houston Methodist Hospital, Full Member of Houston Methodist Research Institute, and Member of Houston Methodist Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. He is also on a faculty role at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, New York.

Description of Research

Dr. Shen's research interest is on the development of effective treatments for human cancers. His research team has designed and developed (1) an injectable nanoparticle generator platform for targeted delivery and in situ activation of prodrugs at the tumor lesions, (2) an inflammatory tumor vasculature-targeted delivery system for small molecule inhibitors and therapeutic siRNA, and (3) a highly potent therapeutic cancer nanovaccine platform. Researchers in the lab are applying these technology platforms to treat multiple cancer types. Multiple projects from Dr. Shen’s laboratory have been promoted from research to drug development and clinical applications.

Areas Of Expertise

Nanotechnology Drug delivery Experimental cancer therapy Cancer vaccine
Education & Training

Postdoctoral Fellowship, National Cancer Institute (NCI)
PhD, The University of Texas at Houston, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

DNA Thioaptamer with Homing Specificity to Lymphoma Bone Marrow Involvement
Mai, J, Li, X, Zhang, G, Huang, Y, Xu, R, Shen, Q, Lokesh, GL, Thiviyanathan, V, Chen, L, Liu, H, Zu, Y, Ma, X, Volk, DE, Gorenstein, DG, Ferrari, M & Shen, H 2018, Molecular Pharmaceutics, vol 15, no. 5, pp. 1814-1825. DOI: 10.1021/acs.molpharmaceut.7b01169

Pharmacological targeting of MYC-regulated IRE1/XBP1 pathway suppresses MYC-driven breast cancer
Zhao, N, Cao, J, Xu, L, Tang, Q, Dobrolecki, LE, Lv, X, Talukdar, M, Lu, Y, Wang, X, Hu, DZ, Shi, Q, Xiang, Y, Wang, Y, Liu, X, Bu, W, Jiang, Y, Li, M, Gong, Y, Sun, Z, Ying, H, Yuan, B, Lin, X, Feng, XH, Hartig, SM, Li, F, Shen, H, Chen, Y, Han, L, Zeng, Q, Patterson, JB, Kaipparettu, BA, Putluri, N, Sicheri, F, Rosen, JM, Lewis, MT & Chen, X 2018, Journal of Clinical Investigation, vol 128, no. 4, pp. 1283-1299. DOI: 10.1172/JCI95873

Cyclic cRGDfk peptide and Chlorin e6 functionalized silk fibroin nanoparticles for targeted drug delivery and photodynamic therapy
Mao, B, Liu, C, Zheng, W, Li, X, Ge, R, Shen, H, Guo, X, Lian, Q, Shen, X & Li, C 2018, Biomaterials, vol 161, pp. 306-320. DOI: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2018.01.045

Distribution of glutathione-stabilized gold nanoparticles in feline fibrosarcomas and their role as a drug delivery system for doxorubicin—preclinical studies in a murine model
Zabielska-Koczywas, K, Wojtalewicz, A, Uzarowska, E, Klejman, A, Wojtkowska, A, Dolka, I, Wojnicki, M, Sobczak, K, Wójcik, M, Shen, H, Ferrari, M & Lechowski, R 2018, International Journal of Molecular Sciences, vol 19, no. 4, 1021. DOI: 10.3390/ijms19041021

SMAD4 gene mutation renders pancreatic cancer resistance to radiotherapy through promotion of autophagy
Wang, F, Xia, X, Yang, C, Shen, J, Mai, J, Kim, HC, Kirui, D, Kang, Y, Fleming, JB, Koay, EJ, Mitra, S, Ferrari, M & Shen, H 2018, Clinical Cancer Research, vol 24, no. 13, pp. 3176-3185. DOI: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-17-3435

Engineering functional inorganic-organic hybrid systems: Advances in siRNA therapeutics
Shen, J, Zhang, W, Qi, R, Mao, ZW & Shen, H 2018, Chemical Society Reviews, vol 47, no. 6, pp. 1969-1995. DOI: 10.1039/c7cs00479f

Co-delivery of tumor antigen and dual toll-like receptor ligands into dendritic cell by silicon microparticle enables efficient immunotherapy against melanoma
Zhu, M, Ding, X, Zhao, R, Liu, X, Shen, H, Cai, C, Ferrari, M, Wang, HY & Wang, RF 2018, Journal of Controlled Release, vol 272, pp. 72-82. DOI: 10.1016/j.jconrel.2018.01.004

A novel DNA aptamer for dual targeting of polymorphonuclear myeloid-derived suppressor cells and tumor cells
Liu, H, Mai, J, Shen, J, Wolfram, J, Li, Z, Zhang, G, Xu, R, Li, Y, Mu, C, Zu, Y, Li, X, Lokesh, GL, Thiviyanathan, V, Volk, DE, Gorenstein, DG, Ferrari, M, Hu, Z & Shen, H 2018, Theranostics, vol 8, no. 1, pp. 31-44. DOI: 10.7150/thno.21342

Bone-targeting nanoparticle to co-deliver decitabine and arsenic trioxide for effective therapy of myelodysplastic syndrome with low systemic toxicity
Wu, X, Hu, Z, Nizzero, S, Zhang, G, Ramirez, MR, Shi, C, Zhou, J, Ferrari, M & Shen, H 2017, Journal of Controlled Release, vol 268, pp. 92-101. DOI: 10.1016/j.jconrel.2017.10.012

Porous silicon microparticle-based cancer vaccines and methods for potentiating anti-tumoral immunity
Shen, H, Xia, X & Ferrari, M 2017, , Patent No. AU2016243027, IPC No. A61K 39/ 12 A I.

A chloroquine-induced macrophage-preconditioning strategy for improved nanodelivery
Wolfram, J, Nizzero, S, Liu, H, Li, F, Zhang, G, Li, Z, Shen, H, Blanco, E & Ferrari, M 2017, Scientific Reports, vol 7, no. 1, pp. 13738. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-14221-2

Contribution of Kupffer cells to liposome accumulation in the liver
Samuelsson, E, Shen, H, Blanco, E, Ferrari, M & Wolfram, J 2017, Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces, vol 158, pp. 356-362. DOI: 10.1016/j.colsurfb.2017.07.014

Targeting autocrine CCL5-CCR5 axis reprograms immunosuppressive myeloid cells and reinvigorates antitumor immunity
Ban, Y, Mai, J, Li, X, Mitchell-Flack, M, Zhang, T, Zhang, L, Chouchane, L, Ferrari, M, Shen, H & Ma, X 2017, Cancer Research, vol 77, no. 11, pp. 2857-2868. DOI: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-16-2913

A Liposome Encapsulated Ruthenium Polypyridine Complex as a Theranostic Platform for Triple-Negative Breast Cancer
Shen, J, Kim, HC, Wolfram, J, Mu, C, Zhang, W, Liu, H, Xie, Y, Mai, J, Zhang, H, Li, Z, Guevara, M, Mao, ZW & Shen, H 2017, Nano Letters, vol 17, no. 5, pp. 2913-2920. DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.7b00132

Lipopolyplex potentiates anti-tumor immunity of mRNA-based vaccination
Persano, S, Guevara, ML, Li, Z, Mai, J, Ferrari, M, Pompa, PP & Shen, H 2017, Biomaterials, vol 125, pp. 81-89. DOI: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2017.02.019

Multi-step encapsulation of chemotherapy and gene silencing agents in functionalized mesoporous silica nanoparticles
Shen, J, Liu, H, Mu, C, Wolfram, J, Zhang, W, Kim, HC, Zhu, G, Hu, Z, Ji, LN, Liu, X, Ferrari, M, Mao, ZW & Shen, H 2017, Nanoscale, vol 9, no. 16, pp. 5329-5341. DOI: 10.1039/c7nr00377c

Taking the vehicle out of drug delivery
Shen, J, Wolfram, J, Ferrari, M & Shen, H 2017, Materials Today. DOI: 10.1016/j.mattod.2017.01.013

Post-nano strategies for drug delivery: multistage porous silicon microvectors
Venuta, A, Wolfram, J, Shen, H & Ferrari, M 2017, Journal of Materials Chemistry B, vol 5, no. 2, pp. 207-219. DOI: 10.1039/C6TB01978A

Enhancing cancer immunotherapy through nanotechnology-mediated tumor infiltration and activation of immune cells
Shen, H, Sun, T, Hoang, HH, Burchfield, JS, Hamilton, GF, Mittendorf, EA & Ferrari, M 2017, Seminars in Immunology. DOI: 10.1016/j.smim.2017.09.002

Enzyme-responsive multistage vector for drug delivery to tumor tissue
Mi, Y, Wolfram, J, Mu, C, Liu, X, Blanco, E, Shen, H & Ferrari, M 2016, Pharmacological Research, vol 113, pp. 92-99. DOI: 10.1016/j.phrs.2016.08.024