Harvard Catalyst Profiles

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Shideh Kazerounian, Ph.D.


I am an instructor in the Department of Pediatrics, Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School. My research interests include identifying the genetic causes and molecular pathogenesis of Diamond-Blackfan anemia (DBA) and developing new therapies. I am also interested in identifying new targets for advancing cancer immunotherapy with an emphasis on the role of thrombosopondin-1 and its receptors in immune cells in tumor microenvironment.

My Ph.D. project was focused on investigating the molecular mechanism of Paraneoplastic Pemphigus autoimmune disease. I demonstrated that sera from patients with Paraneoplastic Pemphigus contained antibodies against linker regions of periplakin and envoplakin. In continuation of my studies, I also identified a new nuclear protein, periphilin, which interacted with periplakin linker region in keratinocytes. Recent studies have shown that periphilin also has a role in developing Parkinson's disease.

During my postdoctoral training, I demonstrated that spleen tyrosine kinase (Syk) was important for enhancing the VEGFR-2 signaling pathways by up-regulating the phosphorylation of Y-1175 in a positive feed-back loop. This work led to the novel discovery of the cross-talk between the thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1) anti-angiogenic and the VEGF-A pro-angiogenic signaling pathways through Syk. These findings also developed new insights into the complexity of the mechanism of angiogenic switch and suggested the possible role of Syk as a mediator of tumor progression.

My future goal is to establish an interdisciplinary collaboration with investigators in academia and industry to optimize novel therapeutic approaches for Blackfan anemia and cancer immunotherapy.

I am open to start new collaborations with investigators in the field of Diamond-Blackfan anemia and in the areas of angiogenesis, signal transduction pathway, and cancer biology. I am also open to have new students. If you are a summer, graduate, or medical student and are interested in my research, please feel free to contact me. I will be happy to meet with you to discuss your options for joining our laboratory.


Kazerounian S, Yee KO, Lawler J. Thrombospondins: from structure to
therapeutics: Thrombospondins in cancer. Cell Mol Life Sci. 2008 Mar; 65(5):

Yee KO, Connolly CM, Duquette M, Kazerounian S, Washington R, Lawler J.
The effect of thrombospondin-1 on breast cancer metastasis. Breast Cancer Res
Treat. 2009 Mar;114(1):85- 96.

Zhang X, Kazerounian S, Duquette M, Perruzzi C, Nagy JA, Dvorak HF, Parangi
S, Lawler J. Thrombospondin-1 modulates vascular endothelial growth factor
activity at the receptor level. FASEB J. 2009 Oct;23(10):3368-76.

Kazerounian S, Duquette M, Reyes MA, Lawler JT, Song K, Perruzzi K, Primo L,
Bussolino F, Rabinovitz I, Lawler J. Priming of the Vascular Endothelial Growth
Factor Signaling Pathway by Thrombospondin-1, CD36, and Spleen Tyrosine
Kinase. Blood. 2011 Apr 28;117(17):4658-66

Kazerounian S and Lawler J. A Novel Mechanism for the TSP-1-induced Breast
Cancer Cell Migration. (To be submitted)
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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.