Principal Investigator, Tumor Suppressor Biology, Autophagy and Metabolism Program
Rm. 400 Brodie, Department of Pathology
Max Rady Faculty of Medicine
727 McDermot Avenue
Winnipeg, MB, R3E 3P5
Dr. Tanveer Sharif is a Pharmacist turned researcher, he received his BSc in Pharmacy and MSc in Pharmacology. Dr. Sharif completed his PhD at the University of Strasbourg in France before moving to Canada in 2013 to pursue his postdoctoral fellowship at Dalhousie University, where he trained under the supervision of Dr. Patrick W.K. Lee prior to his retirement. At Dalhousie, Dr. Sharif studied the role of tumor suppressors and metabolism in embryonal carcinoma stem cells and patient-derived brain tumor-initiating cells. In 2019, Dr. Sharif joined the University of Manitoba as a Principal Investigator to lead a new Tumor Suppressor Biology, Autophagy and Metabolism program in the Department of Pathology.
One of the difficulties in obtaining effective treatment outcomes from cancer therapies is the complex genetic heterogeneity of tumors. Tumor masses consist of several distinct populations of cancer cells that vary in their degree of differentiation and susceptibility to chemotherapies. Within the heterogenous tumor mass there exists small populations of poorly differentiated cells that possess stem-like properties such as the ability to self-renew and undergo multi-lineage differentiation. These poorly differentiated cancer cells are often more resistant to cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation. Because of their self-renewal capacity and differentiation potential, these stem-like cancer cells can survive chemotherapeutic assault and re-initiate tumor formation at very low cell numbers, hence they are often referred to as tumor-initiating cells (TICs). As such, TICs are considered the major culprits behind cancer recurrence and relapse. Therefore, it is important to understand the differences between heterogenous cell populations within tumors that dictate chemotherapy resistance.
Dr. Sharif is actively engaged in research focused on understanding the role of mechanistic metabolic rewiring and autophagy in the biology of TICs and extending synthetic lethality approaches to exploit metabolic vulnerabilities within heterogeneous tumor populations. The major areas of research focus within the Tumor Suppressor Biology, Autophagy and Metabolism Lab include:
Key Research Infrastructure and Platforms
In the Tumor Suppressor Biology, Autophagy and Metabolism Lab, Dr. Sharif utilizes cutting-edge molecular biology techniques to study unique metabolic and genetic characteristics within heterogenous tumor populations. The lab is equipped with:
Additionally, the lab is supported by the central flow cytometry core facility and multi-omics mass spectrometry platform.
Prospective students: Currently looking to recruit Undergraduate, summer, Honors and Graduate students. Interested students can contact directly.