Heather R. Shive, D.V.M., Ph.D.
- Center for Cancer Research
- National Cancer Institute
- Building 37, Room 2014
- Bethesda, MD 20892
Dr. Shive is a research scientist and board-certified veterinary anatomic pathologist who works with the zebrafish model (Danio rerio) in comparative cancer research. Her research applies a variety of in vivo and in vitro approaches to identify and characterize genetic, phenotypic, and microenvironmental factors that promote carcinogenesis, particularly malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor (MPNST). Dr. Shive is also the co-director for the NIH Comparative Biomedical Scientist Training Program, a nationally recognized interdisciplinary University-NIH Graduate Partnership Program that provides an immersive residency and comparative disease research training experience for veterinary clinician scientists leading to the PhD degree.
Areas of Expertise
1) In vivo cancer modeling in zebrafish, 2) intercellular signaling, 3) genomic/genetic cancer profiling, 4) genetic engineering and xenotransplant, 5) investigative pathology, 6) comparative biomedical science graduate education
My research is focused on how heritable mutations alter cell phenotypes and intercellular interactions in normal, precancerous, and cancer cells to better understand how tumor initiation and progression occurs at cellular, tissue, and organismal levels. Our focus has been on the tumor suppressors BRCA2 and TP53, which cause heritable cancer syndromes in both humans and animals. Animal models for heritable cancer syndromes are uniquely suited for identifying cooperating factors that support carcinogenesis because cancers are caused by known genetic mutations and often arise in specific tissues within a predictable time frame. We use the zebrafish model, a powerful in vivo tool for comparative cancer research, in these investigations.
Our studies have identified multiple contributing genetic and microenvironmental factors that modulate cancer risk and progression in animals with inherited cancer predisposition. We have also identified novel and sex-specific effects of BRCA2 and TP53 mutations on gonadal development and meiotic progression beyond their more well-studied roles in carcinogenesis. Using zebrafish and human cell-based systems, we are currently investigating specific signaling events that are candidate mediators of these phenotypes, particularly in the context of cell-microenvironment interactions.
Heather R. Shive, D.V.M., Ph.D.
Dr. Shive is a doctor of veterinary medicine and graduate of North Carolina State University, College of Veterinary Medicine. She performed residency training in veterinary anatomic pathology at Texas A&M University, College of Veterinary Medicine and is board-certified by the American College of Veterinary Pathologists. She received her Ph.D. in veterinary medical sciences through the NIH Comparative Biomedical Scientists Training Program (CBSTP) in partnership with the University of Maryland. Dr. Shive performed her dissertation research on the role for BRCA2 in development and carcinogenesis using novel zebrafish models in the lab of Dr. Dennis Hickstein. Dr. Shive was a faculty member at North Carolina State University and the Ohio State University, Colleges of Veterinary Medicine, where she established an independent research program and received an NIH K01 award to support her work using the zebrafish model to investigate molecular, genetic, and microenvironmental mediators of carcinogenesis. During these faculty appointments, Dr. Shive also provided expertise in diagnostic pathology through necropsy and biopsy services and contributed to veterinary student teaching and anatomic pathology residency training. In August 2022, Dr. Shive moved her research program to the Molecular Pathology Unit, Laboratory of Cancer Biology and Genetics and became the co-director of the NIH CBSTP. This unique training program provides fellowship training for veterinary clinician scientists leading to a Ph.D. and eligibility to certify as a veterinary pathologist. The program is a collaboration among NCI, NIAID, NINDS, NHLBI, and five colleges of veterinary medicine.