Dean Sheppard, MD
Professor, Department of Medicine, UCSF
Dean Sheppard is a Professor of Medicine. His research focuses on the in vivo functions of integrins and the molecular mechanisms underlying pulmonary (and other organ) fibrosis. One aim of the research is to identify new therapeutic targets to ultimately improve the treatment of each of these common diseases. The work begins with basic investigation of how cells use members of the integrin family to detect, modify and respond to spatially restricted extracellular clues and how these responses contribute to the development of common lung diseases. Utilizing mice with global or conditional knockouts of the epithelial-restricted integrin, avß6, and the widely expressed integrins, a5ß1, a9ß1, avß5 and avß8, the lab has identified important roles for these integrins in models of each common lung disease and key steps upstream and downstream of the integrins that provide potential therapeutic targets. His lab identified the unique roles that 3 integrins, avß1, avß6 and avß8 play in activation of the growth factor, latent transforming growth factor beta (TGFß) and has identified critical roles for this process in acute lung injury, pulmonary fibrosis, post-natal brain development and immunosuppression in the setting of cancer. The lab has partnered with academic colleagues, biotech and pharmaceutical companies to develop novel antibody and small molecule inhibitors of these integrins that are in various stages of pre-clinical and clinical development. Current work is also using single cell RNA sequencing to understand the heterogeneity of cells that contribute to tissue fibrosis and cancer, and exploring the potential of engineering circulating cells for local delivery of novel therapeutics to fibrotic organs and tumors.
Harvard College, Cambridge, MA, A.B., 1972
SUNY at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY, M.D., 1975, Medicine
Univ of Washington, Seattle, WA, Resident, 1975-78, Internal Medicine
Univ of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, Fellow, 1978-80, Pulmonary