Dr. Shashi GujarDVM, PhD, MHA

Assistant Professor

shashi Gujar v2

Email: shashi.gujar@dal.ca
Phone: 902-494-1973
Mailing Address: 
Room, 11J, 5850 College Street
Sir Charles Tupper Medical Building
Dalhousie University
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada B3H 1X5
Research Topics:
  • Cancer immunotherapies
  • Oncolytic viruses
  • Applied immunomics
  • Immuno-metabolism
  • Myeloma genomics

Head, Laboratory for Cancer Metabolism, Cell Biology & Immunotherapies



Interested in Joining Us? 

WE ARE LOOKING FOR QUALIFIED GRADUATE STUDENTS AND POST-DOCTORAL FELLOWS. If you are interested in joining our research group, please send the following information to shashi.gujar@dal.ca: 1. Your complete CV, 2. Research statement stating how your training matches our research goals and why you would like to join our team.

Research & Clinical Interests

Our research program focuses on molecular and immunological aspects of human health, with special focus on personalized and precision cancer immunotherapies. Our multi-disciplinary interests include Oncolytic viruses, Immunology and immunotherapies, Epitope discovery, Cellular biology and metabolism, Applied immunomics and Proteo-immuno-metabolomics.

Translational immuno-metabolomics and oncolytic virus-based cancer immunotherapies

Similar to what you would read in sci-fi novels, viruses can be used to treat human malignancies. On October 27, 2015, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of modified herpes virus (trade name Imlygic) for the treatment of skin cancer [similar approval was granted by the regulatory bodies in Europe as well]. This first-of-a-kind historic decision opened the doors for these modern anticancer medicines to be used in clinics.

These cancer-killing viruses, known as oncolytic viruses, act through two distinct mechanisms: 1) kill cancer cells directly, and 2) educate patient's immune system to attack cancer on its own. It is now clear that such education of the immune system against cancer is the indispensable part of this innovative therapy.

My laboratory specialises in harnessing the immunological benefits of oncolytic viruses. Our own research thus far has revealed that we can train the host immune system using these viruses- to not only eradicate the existing cancer cells, but also establish long-term protection against possible relapse. Thus, oncolytic viruses hold the key to promote lifelong cancer free health.

To achieve this goal, we have developed cutting-edge technology platforms that leverage the latest developments in the areas of immunology, metabolism and multiOMICs. Using these innovative approaches, we are set to discover the next generation of cancer immunotherapies which will aid the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancers.

Selected Publications

  1. GUJAR S, Bell J and Diallo JS. 2019. Cancer immunotherapy with oncolytic viruses. Cell. Doi: 10.1016/10.1016/j.cell.2019.01.051.
  2. Kennedy B, Clements D, Murphy J, Holay N, Kim Y, Konda P and GUJAR S. 2019. Inhibition of pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase enhances the antitumor efficacy of oncolytic reovirus.  Cancer Research. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-18-2414 .
  3. Sharif T, Dai C, Martell E, Ghassemi-Rad MS, Hanes M, Murphy P, Kennedy B, Venugopal C, Subapanditha M, Giacomantonio C, Marcato P, Singh S and GUJAR S. 2019. TAp73 modifies metabolism and positively regulates growth of cancer stem-like cells in a redox-sensitive manner. Clinical Cancer Research. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-17-3177.
  4. Murphy P, Kim Y, Clements D, Konda P, Schuster H, Kowalewski D, Paulo J, Stevanovich S, Gygi S, and GUJAR S. 2019. Newly induced MHC I ligands shape neo antitumor CD8 T cell responses during oncolytic reovirus-based cancer immunotherapy. Journal of Proteome Research.
  5. Sharif T, Martell E, Dai C, Ghassemi-Rad M, Hanes M, Murphy P, Giacomantonio C, Marcato P, Lee P and GUJAR S. 2019. HDAC6 differentially regulates autophagy in stem-like versus differentiated cells. Autophagy. doi: 10.1080/15548627.2018.1548547.
  6. Konda P, Murphy J, and GUJAR S. 2019. Improving MHC-I ligand identifications from LC-MS/MS data by incorporating the corresponding peptide motifs. Proteomics. doi: 10.1002/pmic.201800458.
  7. Murphy P, Yu Q, Konda P, Paolo JA, Jedrychowski M, Kowalewski D, Schuster H, Kim Y, Jain A, Stevanovic S, Gygi S, Mancias J, and GUJAR S. 2019. Multiplexed quantitation with isobaric tagging mass spectrometry reveals MHC-I ligand dynamics in response to doxorubicin. Analytical Chemistry. doi: 10.1021/acs.analchem.8b05616.
  8. Sharif T, Martell E, Dai K, Singh S and GUJAR S. 2019. Regulation of the proline regulatory axis and autophagy modulates stemness in p73 deficient cancer stem-like cells. Autophagy. doi: 10.1080/15548627.2019.1586321.
  9. Sharif T, Martell E, Dai C, Saleh M, Kennedy B, Lee P and GUJAR S. 2019. Regulation of cancer and cancer-related genes via NAD+. Antioxidants and redox Signaling. Jan 15. doi: 10.1089/ars.2017.7478.
  10. Vidovic D, Huynh T, Konda P, Dean C, Cruickshank B, Sultan M, Coyle K, GUJAR S, and Marcato P. 2019. Long non-coding RNA NRAD1 is a novel target for triple-negative breast tumors and cancer stem cells. Cell Death and Differentiation.
  11. Monro S, Colon K, Premadasa L, Roque J, Konda P, GUJAR S, Thummel R, Cameron C and McFarland S. 2019. Transition metal complexes and photodynamic therapy: Challenges, opportunities, and highlights from the development of TLD1433. Chemical Reviews. doi: 10.1080/15548627.2018.1548547.
  12. Xu M, Almasi S, Yang Y, Yan C, Sterea A, Shen B, Clements D, GUJAR S, Wang J, Zong W, Trebak M, Xu H, El Hiani Y, and Dong X. 2019. The lysosomal TRPML1 channel regulates triple negative breast cancer development by promoting mTORC1 and purinergic signaling pathways. Cell Calcium. 79:80-88.
  13. Almasi S, Sterea A, Clements D, Marcato P, GUJAR S and El Hiani Y. 2019alm. TRPM2 ion channel promotes gastric cancer migration, invasion and tumor growth through the AKT signaling pathway. Scientific Reports. 9(1):4182.
  14. Mohamed A, Clements D, Konda P, GUJAR S, Lee P, Smiley J, and Shmulevitz M. 2019. Viral Genetic and Phenotypic Characteristics that Define Reovirus Oncolytic Potency. BioRxiv. 2019 March; doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/569301.
  15. Almasi S, Long CY, Sterea A, Clements DR, GUJAR S, El Hiani Y.  2019. TRPM2 Silencing Causes G2/M Arrest and Apoptosis in Lung Cancer Cells via Increasing Intracellular ROS and RNS Levels and Activating the JNK Pathway. Cell Physiology & Biochemistry. 2019;52(4):742-757. doi: 10.33594/000000052. PubMed PMID: 30933439.
  16. GUJAR S, Pol J, Kim Y, Lee P and Kroemer G. 2018. Antitumor benefits of antiviral immunity: an underappreciated aspect of oncolytic virotherapies. Trends in Immunology (Cell Press). S1471-4906(17)30228-4. [Selected as the cover feature of March 2018 issue of the journal, and also highlighted on Cell.com].
  17. Lee P and GUJAR S. 2018. Potentiating prostate cancer immunotherapy with oncolytic viruses. Nature Reviews Urology. doi: 10.1038/nrurol. [Featured on the cover page of April 2018 issue of the journal].
  18. Murphy P, Giacomantonio M, Paulo J, Everley R, Kennedy B, Pathak G, Clements D, Kim Y, Sharif T, Dai C, Gygi S, and GUJAR S. 2018. The NAD+ salvage pathway supports PHGDH-driven serine biosynthesis. Cell Reports. Aug 28;24(9):2381-2391.
  19. Pathak GP, Shah R, Kennedy B, Murphy P, Clements D, Giacomantonio M, Xu X, Schlaepfer I and GUJAR S. 2018. RTN4 inhibition dysregulates the AKT pathway, destabilizes the cytoskeleton and enhances the efficacy of paclitaxel in cancer cells. Molecular Therapy. Aug 1;26(8):2019-2033.
  20. Sharif T, Martell E, Dai C, Ghassemi-Rad M, L Kristen, Weaver I, Singh S and GUJAR S. 2018. Phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase inhibition induces p-mTOR-independent autophagy and promotes multilineage differentiation in embryonal carcinoma stem-like cells. Cell Death and Disease. 9(10):990.
  21. GUJAR S, Pol J and Kroemer G. 2018. Heating it up: Oncolytic viruses make tumors ‘hot’ and suitable for checkpoint blockade immunotherapies. OncoImmunology. doi.org/10.1080/2162.
  22. Pol J, Lévesque S, Workenhe S, GUJAR S, Le Boeuf F, Clements D, Bell JC, Mossman KL, Fucikova J, Spisek R, Zitvogel L, Kroemer G, and Galluzzi L. 2018. Trial Watch: Oncolytic viro-immunotherapy of hematologic and solid tumors. OncoImmunology. doi: 10.1080/2162402X.2018.1503032.
  23. Cruickshank B, Giacomantonio M, Marcato P, Pol J and GUJAR S. 2018. Dying to be Noticed: Epigenetic Regulation of Immunogenic Cell Death for Cancer Immunotherapy. Frontiers in Immunology. 9:654. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2018.00654.
  24. Almasi S, Kennedy BE, El-Aghil M, Sterea A, GUJAR S, Partida-Sánchez S and El Hiani Y. 2018. TRPM2 channel-mediated regulation of autophagy maintains mitochondrial function and promotes gastric cancer cell survival via the JNK signaling pathway. Journal of Biological Chemistry. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M11.
  25. Sultan M, Vidovic D, Paine AS, Huynh TT, Coyle KM, Thomas M, Cruickshank BM, Dean C, Clements DR, Kim Y, Lee K, GUJAR S, Weaver I and Marcato P. 2018. Epigenetic silencing of TAP1 in Aldefluor+ breast cancer stem cells contributes to their enhanced immune evasion. Stem cells. Jan 17. doi: 10.1002/stem.2780.
  26. Warford JR, Lamport AC, Clements DR, Malone A, Kennedy BE, Kim Y, GUJAR S, Hoskin DW, Easton AS. 2018. Surfen, a proteoglycan binding agent, reduces inflammation but inhibits remyelination in murine models of Multiple Sclerosis. Acta Neuropathologica Communications. 2018 Jan 4;6(1):4.
  27. Kennedy B, Sharif T, Martell E, Dai C, Kim Y, Lee P and GUJAR S. 2018. NAD+ salvage pathway in cancer metabolism and therapy. Invited review in Pharmacological Research. 114:274-283.
  28. Murphy P, Konda P (co-first author), Schuster H, Kowalewski D, Clements D, Cohen A, Sharif T, Kim Y, Nielsen M, Stevanovic S, Lee P and GUJAR S. 2017. Enhancing mass spectrometry-based MHC-I ligandome discovery using targeted databases. Journal of Proteome Research. 16(4):1806-1816. [Selected as the American Chemical Society (ACS) Editors’ Choice article].
  29. Sharif T, Martell E, Dai C, Kennedy B, Clements D, Lee P and GUJAR S. 2017. Autophagic homeostasis is required for the pluripotency of cancer stem cells. Autophagy. DOI: 10.1080/15548627.2016.1260808.
  30. Clements D, Murphy JP, Sterea A, Kennedy B, Kim Y, Helson E, Almasi S, Holay N, Konda P, Sharif T, Paulo J, Lee P, Weekes M, Gygi S and GUJAR S. 2017. Quantitative temporal in vivo proteomics (QTiPs) deciphers the transition of murine inflammatory myeloid cells into M2 macrophages. Journal of Proteome Research. 16(9): 3391-3406.
  31. Holay N, Kim Y, Lee P and GUJAR S. 2017. Sharpening the edge for precision cancer immunotherapy: Targeting tumor antigens through oncolytic vaccines. Frontiers in Immunology. 8:800-804.
  32. Yoo B, Khan I, Koomson A, Gowda P, Sasazuki T, Shirasawa S, GUJAR S and Rosen K. 2017. Oncogenic RAS-induced downregulation of ATG12 is required for survival of malignant intestinal epithelial cells.  Autophagy. Sep 21:0. doi: 10.1080/15548627.2017.1370171. [Epub ahead of print].
  33. Sultan M, Coyle K, Vidovic D, Thomas, M, GUJAR S and Marcato P. 2017. Hide and seek: The interplay between cancer stem cells and the immune system. Carcinogenesis. 38: 107-118.