Researches Cancer Biology Research Group

Cancer Biology Research Group


Share this story:

The cancer research group is a part of Healthcare Biotechnology department of ASAB, NUST. The group is a specialized one, comprising individuals from different disciplines of biosciences like microbiology, immunology, molecular genetics, biotechnology, and cancer biology. Being at ASAB, we have the opportunity to work closely with other researchers working on different virologic and immunological disorders.

Cancer research ranges from epidemiology, identification of biomarkers, improvement in diagnostics, treatment regimens to decrease systemic damage during chemotherapy and targeted drug delivery. Starting in the mid-1990s, the emphasis in clinical cancer research shifted towards therapies derived from biotechnology research, such as cancer immunotherapy and gene therapy. Cancer research is done in academia, research institutes, and corporate environments, and is largely government funded. Cancer research is based on identification of causes and development of strategies for prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and cure of cancer. The major focus of this laboratory is Prostate, Breast, Colon Cancers and Urologic carcinomas. Our research pursues three major lines of investigation.

Focus of the Laboratory:

  • Building an understanding of cancer
  • Identification of new molecular targets for intervention.
  • Chemoprevention of cancer by natural agents.
  •  Complementary and alternative approaches for the targeted cancer treatment.

Group Members:

  • Dr. Rumeza Hanif (rumeza.hanif@asab.nust.edu.pk)
  • Dr. Maria Shabbir (mshabbir@asab.nust.edu.pk)
  • Dr. Saira Justin (sjustin@asab.nust.edu.pk)

Current Projects:

We are currently working on the following projects:

  • Gold nanoparticles as a targeted drug delivery in breast cancer therapy.
  • Down regulation of novel protein; a possible druggable target for breast cancer management.
  • Potent antiproliferative, pro-apoptotic activity of the flavonoid against liver cancer.
  • Development of nano candidates for treatment of cancers.
  • Investigating impact of mutations R248C and S249C of FGFR3 on bladder cancer: a computational approach.

Grants & Awards:

  • 2019: “Down regulation of novel protein; a possible druggable target for Breast Cancer management” NRPU-HEC, (PKR 3.1 M).
  •  2018: “Gold nanoparticles as a targeted drug delivery vehicle in breast cancer therapy” NRPU-HEC, (PKR 3.2 M).
  • 2018: “Potent antiproliferative, pro-apoptotic activity of the flavonoid against liver cancer” SRGP-HEC, (PKR 0.5 M).

Lab Achievements & Honors:

  1. Ifrah Rafaqat, Fatima Khan, Syeda Yumna Farukh (MS 2018) presented NUST at National Science Fair-2016 and won 2nd Best Stall Prize.
  2. Sundus Naila (PhD) received 2nd best speaker award in the International Conference on “Recent Innovations in Molecular Sciences”, Lahore, Pakistan, November 6-8, 2019.

Selected Research Publications:

  1. Maqbool SN, Lim SC, Park KC, Hanif R, Richardson DR, Jansson PJ, Kovacevic Z. Overcoming tamoxifen resistance in oestrogen receptor-positive breast cancer using the novel thiosemicarbazone anti-cancer agent, DpC. Br J Pharmacol. 2020 May;177(10):2365-2380. doi: 10.1111/bph.14985. Epub 2020 Feb 12.
  2. Shabbir M, Afsar T, Razak S, Almajwal A, Khan MR. Phytochemical analysis and Evaluation of hepatoprotective effect of Maytenus royleanus leaves extract against anti-tuberculosis drug induced liver injury in mice. Lipids Health Dis. 2020 Mar 16;19(1):46. doi: 10.1186/s12944-020-01231-9.
  3. Justin S, Rutz J, Maxeiner S, Chun FK, Juengel E, Blaheta RA. Chronic Sulforaphane Administration Inhibits Resistance to the mTOR-Inhibitor Everolimus in Bladder Cancer Cells. Int J Mol Sci. 2020 Jun 4;21(11): E4026. PMID: 32512849
  4. Hanif J, Khalid N, Khan RS, Bhatti MF, Hayat MQ, Ismail M, Andleeb S, Mansoor Q, Khan F, Amin F, Hanif R, Hashmi MU, Janjua HA. Formulation of active packaging system using Artemisia scoparia for enhancing shelf life of fresh fruits. Mater Sci Eng C Mater Biol Appl. 2019 Jul;100:82-93. doi: 10.1016/j.msec.2019.02.101. Epub 2019 Feb 28.
  5. Hashmi MU, Khalid N, Alam T, Hanif R, Janjua HA. Comparative safety analysis of bactericidal nano-colloids: Assessment of potential functional toxicity and radical scavenging action. Colloids Surf B Biointerfaces. 2019 Dec 1;184:110508. doi: 10.1016/j.colsurfb.2019.110508. Epub 2019 Sep 16.
  6. Jannat A, Khan M, Shabbir M, Badshah Y. Expression of suppressor of cytokine signaling 3 (SOCS3) and interleukin-6 (-174-G/C) polymorphism in atopic conditions. PLoS One. 2019 Jun 28;14(6): e0219084. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0219084. eCollection 2019.
  7. Afsar T, Razak S, Almajwal A, Shabbir M, Khan MR. Evaluating the protective potency of Acacia hydaspica R. Parker on histological and biochemical changes induced by Cisplatin in the cardiac tissue of rats. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2019 Jul 23;19(1):182. doi: 10.1186/s12906-019-2575-8.
  8. Denu RA, Shabbir M, Nihal M, Singh CK, Longley BJ, Burkard ME, Ahmad N. Centriole Overduplication is the Predominant Mechanism Leading to Centrosome Amplification in Melanoma. Mol Cancer Res. 2018 Mar;16(3):517-527. doi: 10.1158/1541-7786.MCR-17-0197. Epub 2018 Jan 12.

DETAILS OF GROUP MEMBERS:

Dr. Rumeza Hanif (Cancer Biology Research Group)

The focus of this research is to find solution of multi drug resistance in cancer. Another aspect is to develop an eco-friendly, biologically safe and cost effected drug delivery vehicles for targeted drug delivery. Two types of nanoparticles namely silver and gold nano-spheres are synthesized from various biological sources. They are conjugated with anti-cancerous drugs used for the treatment of cancer and their activities were checked in cell lines and rodent model. Genetics and epidemiological studies of breast and hepatic cancer have also been conducted in the Pakistani population. This group has managed to publish in various international journals with good impact factor.

Focus of the Laboratory

·      Breast Cancer Genetics

·      Estrogen Receptor alpha associated Biological Regulatory Network related to Breast Cancer

·      Targeted drug delivery using gold and silver nanoparticles

·      Liver Cancer Genetics

Current Laboratory Members:

PhD Scholars:

  1. Sundus Naila
  2. Mudassar Khan
  3. Syeda Saba Shah
  4. Balqees Kanwal

MS Students:

  1. Humaira Bashir
  2. Noor ul Ain
  3. Sidra Anwar
  4. Huzaifa Tahir
  5. Aleena Haqqi
  6. Fakhru-Nisa
  7. Manal Bint Faiz
  8. Muhammad Irfan

Research Funding

2018: Gold nanoparticles as a targeted drug delivery vehicle in breast cancer therapy, NRPU-HEC, (PKR 3.2 M).

Dr. Maria Shabbir (Cancer Biology Research Group)

Cancer research is based on identification of causes and development of strategies for prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and cure of cancer.

Cancer research ranges from epidemiology, identification of biomarkers, improvement in diagnostics, treatment regimes to decrease systemic damage during chemotherapy and targeted drug delivery. Starting in the mid-1990s, the emphasis in clinical cancer research shifted towards therapies derived from biotechnology research, such as cancer immunotherapy and gene therapy. Cancer research is done in academia, research institutes, and corporate environments, and is largely government funded.

Focus of the Laboratory

The major focus of this laboratory is Prostate, Breast and Colon Cancers. Our research pursues three major lines of investigation:

·      Building an understanding of cancer and identification of new molecular targets for intervention.

·      Chemoprevention of cancer by natural agents.

·      Complementary and alternative approaches for the targeted cancer treatment.

Laboratory Members:

PhD Scholars:

  1. Sumera
  2. Hania Shah
  3. Khushbakt Khan
  4. Sadia Safi

MS students:

  1. Maryam Anwar
  2. Zunaira Badar
  3. Mishiam Khalid

BS Students

  1. Khadija Inam
  2. Atia Batool
  3. Marjan Gull
  4. Saad Farooq

Research Funding:

As PI

·      Down regulation of novel protein; a possible druggable target for Breast Cancer management (NRPU: PKR 3.1 M, January 2019 – December 2020).

As Co-PI

·      Understanding the role of iRhoms in EGFR signaling pathway and its role in Breast and Colorectal Cancer (NRPU: PKR 1.5 M, January 2019 – December 2020).

Dr. Saira Justin (Cancer Biology Research Group)

​Dr. Saria Justin’s research interests are cancer biology, targeted therapy, and integrative medicine. In cancer, abnormal activation/inhibition of certain cellular pathways causes survival and proliferation of tumour cells. Although new and potent agents have been approved to fight this disease, drug resistance inevitably develops, reactivating tumor growth and dissemination. That is where integrative medicine steps in. Dissatisfaction with the conventional treatment has driven many cancer patients to seek “alternative” or “complementary” (CAM) care options to boost the immune system, to actively contribute to tumor therapy, and to lower the risk of cancer relapse. Of the plentiful CAM options, oral use of natural herbs is common. However, although epidemiologic, preclinical, and clinical studies may document chemopreventive properties of particular herbal agents, information on their efficacy to reverse, suppress, or prevent cancer is still limited.

Therefore, the goal is to evaluate if green chemoprevention in its function as a natural inhibitor/activator may influence growth, proliferation, and metastasis of cancer cells alone or in combination with conventional therapy. The aim here is to assist fight against cancer with an integral part of our lifestyle, human diet.

Focus of the Laboratory:

·      Urological tumors

·      Targeted therapy

·      Integrative medicine

Laboratory Members:

BS Students:

  1. Aisha Ali
  2.  Alwisha Lateef
  3. Mischal Waseem
  4. Zuha Waheed

Current Project:

Investigating impact of mutations R248C and S249C of FGFR3 on bladder cancer: a computational approach.

 


Share this story: