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Kathy Shair, PhD

Dr. Kathy Shair


Fax: 412-623-7715
1.8 Hillman Cancer Center
5117 Center Avenue


PhD in Virology, University of Cambridge (UK)

BSc in Biochemistry (Honors), Imperial College of Science, Technology & Medicine (UK)

Academic Affiliation(s)

Assistant Professor, Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics

Member, UPCI Cancer Virology Program

Member, Molecular Virology and Microbiology Graduate Program


The Shair lab studies the human tumor virus “Epstein-Barr virus”, and how virus-host interactions contribute to cancer mechanisms.  Our aim is to understand molecular determinants of EBV oncogenesis and to evaluate how EBV can communicate with the tumor microenvironment.  A major focus will be to translate these molecular studies to animal models using newly improved transgenic mice.  The goals are 1) to study the combined effects of the viral proteins, latent membrane proteins (LMP) 1 and LMP2A in epithelial cell oncogenesis by investigating dysregulated signaling pathways and, 2) to generate a new line of LMP1 and LMP2A transgenic mice to model B cell lymphomas and nasopharyngeal carcinoma.  These studies follow from our findings that LMP1 complements LMP2A function by increasing progression to carcinomas and in transgenic B cells leads to unique gene expression signatures enriched in cancer and inflammatory pathways.  LMP1 and LMP2A are co-expressed in EBV- associated tumors.  Studying their intra- and inter-cellular effects will expand our understanding of how latent viruses become tumorigenic and this knowledge can be used to improve therapeutic strategies to treat virally-associated cancers.

Lab Personnel

Sean Khadem, BS – Technician
Divya Mudam, M.Sc – Volunteer
Laura Wasil, Ph.D - Postdoc


Shair K. H, and Raab-Traub N. Transcriptome changes induced by Epstein-Barr virus LMP1 and LMP2A in transgenic lymphocytes and lymphoma. MBio. 3: pii: e00288-12. doi: 10.1128/mBio.00288-12. |  View Abstract

Shair K. H, Bendt K. M, Edwards R. H, Nielsen J. N, Moore D. T, and Raab-Traub N. Epstein-Barr virus-encoded latent membrane protein 1 (LMP1) and LMP2A function cooperatively to promote carcinoma development in a mouse carcinogenesis model. J Virol. 86: 5352-5365. |  View Abstract

Meckes D. G, Jr., Shair K. H, Marquitz A. R, Kung C. P, Edwards R. H, and Raab-Traub N. Human tumor virus utilizes exosomes for intercellular communication. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 107: 20370-20375. |  View Abstract

Shair K. H, Schnegg C. I, and Raab-Traub N. Epstein-Barr virus latent membrane protein-1 effects on junctional plakoglobin and induction of a cadherin switch. Cancer Res. 69: 5734-5742. |  View Abstract

Shair K. H, Schnegg C. I, and Raab-Traub N. EBV latent membrane protein 1 effects on plakoglobin, cell growth, and migration. Cancer Res. 68: 6997-7005. |  View Abstract

Shair K. H, Bendt K. M, Edwards R. H, Bedford E. C, Nielsen J. N, and Raab-Traub N. EBV latent membrane protein 1 activates Akt, NFkappaB, and Stat3 in B cell lymphomas. PLoS Pathog. 3: e166. |  View Abstract

Thornburg N. J, Kulwichit W, Edwards R. H, Shair K. H, Bendt K. M, and Raab-Traub N. LMP1 signaling and activation of NF-kappaB in LMP1 transgenic mice. Oncogene. 25: 288-297. |  View Abstract