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Sheila Thomas, Ph.D.

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The major interests of my laboratory are in the area of Cancer Cell Biology. In particular, we are interested in elucidating and understanding signaling networks which control key cellular processes. Over the past several years, we have focused on understanding pathways regulating cell migration in normal and malignant cells. We have used both in vivo and in vitro models to elucidate the functions of specific cytoskeletal scaffolding proteins in development and to define the mechanisms by which they regulate processes such as cell migration and transformation. Our work has provided a number of key in vivo and in vitro models for the field (Liu et al., 1999; Hagel et al., 2002; Webb et al., 2004; Chen et al., 2005). These tools have been critical for understanding the molecular basis by which one of these proteins regulates cell migration. Through this work, we have also identified unexpected roles for some of these proteins in a process called autophagy (Chen et al., 2008).
Autophagy is a highly conserved mechanism for controlling cellular homeostasis. Misregulation of this process has been implicated in numerous human pathogenic states including heart disease, cancer, and neurodegenerative disorders. In addition, a number of viral and bacterial pathogens hijack the autophagy machinery. Our goal is to identify the regulatory networks controlling autophagy and to determine how misregulation of this pathway contributes to human disease

The research activities and funding listed below are automatically derived from NIH ExPORTER and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing items. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.
  1. R25GM129830 (THOMAS, SHEILA M.) Sep 6, 2018 - Aug 31, 2023
    Furshpan and Potter Native American High School Summer Program
    Role: Principal Investigator
  2. R25GM109436 (THOMAS, SHEILA M.) Mar 1, 2016 - Feb 28, 2021
    Diversity in Biomedical Sciences Via Personalized Research and Education Programs for Post-Baccalaureates
    Role: Principal Investigator
  3. R25HL121029 (THOMAS, SHEILA M.) Apr 1, 2014 - Mar 31, 2025
    NHLBI Summer Training Experience to Increase Diversity in Health-Related Research
    Role: Principal Investigator
  4. R01CA075621 (THOMAS, SHEILA M) Aug 15, 1997 - Jul 31, 2003
    Role: Principal Investigator

Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.
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PMC Citations indicate the number of times the publication was cited by articles in PubMed Central, and the Altmetric score represents citations in news articles and social media. (Note that publications are often cited in additional ways that are not shown here.) Fields are based on how the National Library of Medicine (NLM) classifies the publication's journal and might not represent the specific topic of the publication. Translation tags are based on the publication type and the MeSH terms NLM assigns to the publication. Some publications (especially newer ones and publications not in PubMed) might not yet be assigned Field or Translation tags.) Click a Field or Translation tag to filter the publications.
  1. Mack HI, Zheng B, Asara JM, Thomas SM. AMPK-dependent phosphorylation of ULK1 regulates ATG9 localization. Autophagy. 2012 Aug; 8(8):1197-214. PMID: 22932492; PMCID: PMC3679237.
    Citations: 109     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
  2. Armour SM, Baur JA, Hsieh SN, Land-Bracha A, Thomas SM, Sinclair DA. Inhibition of mammalian S6 kinase by resveratrol suppresses autophagy. Aging (Albany NY). 2009 Jun 03; 1(6):515-28. PMID: 20157535.
    Citations: 85     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
  3. Chen GC, Lee JY, Tang HW, Debnath J, Thomas SM, Settleman J. Genetic interactions between Drosophila melanogaster Atg1 and paxillin reveal a role for paxillin in autophagosome formation. Autophagy. 2008 Jan; 4(1):37-45. PMID: 17952025.
    Citations: 30     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
  4. Yang L, Kowalski JR, Yacono P, Bajmoczi M, Shaw SK, Froio RM, Golan DE, Thomas SM, Luscinskas FW. Endothelial cell cortactin coordinates intercellular adhesion molecule-1 clustering and actin cytoskeleton remodeling during polymorphonuclear leukocyte adhesion and transmigration. J Immunol. 2006 Nov 01; 177(9):6440-9. PMID: 17056576.
    Citations: 59     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
  5. Yang W, Klaman LD, Chen B, Araki T, Harada H, Thomas SM, George EL, Neel BG. An Shp2/SFK/Ras/Erk signaling pathway controls trophoblast stem cell survival. Dev Cell. 2006 Mar; 10(3):317-27. PMID: 16516835.
    Citations: 112     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
  6. Yang L, Kowalski JR, Zhan X, Thomas SM, Luscinskas FW. Endothelial cell cortactin phosphorylation by Src contributes to polymorphonuclear leukocyte transmigration in vitro. Circ Res. 2006 Feb 17; 98(3):394-402. PMID: 16385081.
    Citations: 51     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
  7. Brachmann SM, Yballe CM, Innocenti M, Deane JA, Fruman DA, Thomas SM, Cantley LC. Role of phosphoinositide 3-kinase regulatory isoforms in development and actin rearrangement. Mol Cell Biol. 2005 Apr; 25(7):2593-606. PMID: 15767666; PMCID: PMC1061637.
    Citations: 67     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
  8. Chen GC, Turano B, Ruest PJ, Hagel M, Settleman J, Thomas SM. Regulation of Rho and Rac signaling to the actin cytoskeleton by paxillin during Drosophila development. Mol Cell Biol. 2005 Feb; 25(3):979-87. PMID: 15657426; PMCID: PMC544021.
    Citations: 29     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
  9. Kowalski JR, Egile C, Gil S, Snapper SB, Li R, Thomas SM. Cortactin regulates cell migration through activation of N-WASP. J Cell Sci. 2005 Jan 01; 118(Pt 1):79-87. PMID: 15585574.
    Citations: 64     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
  10. Webb DJ, Donais K, Whitmore LA, Thomas SM, Turner CE, Parsons JT, Horwitz AF. FAK-Src signalling through paxillin, ERK and MLCK regulates adhesion disassembly. Nat Cell Biol. 2004 Feb; 6(2):154-61. PMID: 14743221.
    Citations: 630     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
  11. Didier C, Broday L, Bhoumik A, Israeli S, Takahashi S, Nakayama K, Thomas SM, Turner CE, Henderson S, Sabe H, Ronai Z. RNF5, a RING finger protein that regulates cell motility by targeting paxillin ubiquitination and altered localization. Mol Cell Biol. 2003 Aug; 23(15):5331-45. PMID: 12861019; PMCID: PMC165736.
    Citations: 58     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
  12. Carneiro AM, Ingram SL, Beaulieu JM, Sweeney A, Amara SG, Thomas SM, Caron MG, Torres GE. The multiple LIM domain-containing adaptor protein Hic-5 synaptically colocalizes and interacts with the dopamine transporter. J Neurosci. 2002 Aug 15; 22(16):7045-54. PMID: 12177201; PMCID: PMC6757888.
    Citations: 42     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
  13. Hagel M, George EL, Kim A, Tamimi R, Opitz SL, Turner CE, Imamoto A, Thomas SM. The adaptor protein paxillin is essential for normal development in the mouse and is a critical transducer of fibronectin signaling. Mol Cell Biol. 2002 Feb; 22(3):901-15. PMID: 11784865.
    Citations: 156     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
  14. Liu ZX, Yu CF, Nickel C, Thomas S, Cantley LG. Hepatocyte growth factor induces ERK-dependent paxillin phosphorylation and regulates paxillin-focal adhesion kinase association. J Biol Chem. 2002 Mar 22; 277(12):10452-8. PMID: 11784715.
    Citations: 44     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
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Funded by the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences through its Clinical and Translational Science Awards Program, grant number UL1TR002541.