Zach ShaheenZach Shaheen

Research Interests

Our lab is interested in uncovering cellular processes that mediate dysfunction or destruction of pancreatic β-cells in Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. Environmental triggers (including viral infections) may be involved in autoimmune destruction of β-cells in Type 1 Diabetes, and I am investigating the role of viral-activated signaling pathways and inflammatory responses on β-cell survival.

My long term clinical and research goals are to train in Pediatrics and to study autoinflammatory and autoimmune disease.


PhD, 2016, Medical College of Wisconsin
Area of study: Innate immune responses to viral infection in the context of autoimmune diabetes pathogenesis

BA, 2009, College of Saint Benedict / Saint John’s University (CSB/SJU)
Major: Biochemistry
Minor/Concentrations: Political Science, Pre-Med

Research Experience

MCW Department of Biochemistry 2011-2016
Advisor: Dr. John Corbett
Thesis: Elucidating macrophage and β-cell responses to viral infection: evidence for CCR5-dependent expression of inflammatory genes as a novel anti-viral response

CSB/SJU, 2006-2009
Advisor: Dr. Michael Reagan
Project: Examination of ethylation DNA damage on RNA Polymerase II mediated RNA synthesis in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae

CSB/SJU, 2009
Advisor: Dr. David Mitchell
Project (Literature Review): The Fountain of Youth – A Biochemical Explanation of physiological aging from environmental and endogenous oxidative stressors

Interests & Hobbies

ice hockey, tennis, frisbee golf, canoe camping, fishing, hiking, anything outdoors, cards (poker)
music: play percussion/drum set, guitar, piano, and compose music and lyrics
civic activism