Medical Scientist Training Program

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Zach Shaheen

1st Year Graduate Student
3rd Year MSTP

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.


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

Research Experience

  • 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
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