Picture of Dr. Shyam Sharan

Shyam K. Sharan, Ph.D.

  • Center for Cancer Research
  • National Cancer Institute


Breast cancer is one of most common malignancies in women. Mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 are linked to increased risk of early onset familial breast and ovarian cancers. In an effort to reduce the mortality due to breast cancer through prevention and early diagnosis, sequencing based genetic tests are available to identify BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers. Such tests have led to identification of several hundreds of sequence variants that are of unknown clinical significance. We are using mouse embryonic stem cells as well as humanized and knock-in mouse models to distinguish between neutral or non-pathogenic and deleterious or pathogenic variants. Dr. Sharan is Deputy Director of the Mouse Cancer Genetics Program (MCGP). Dr. Sharan is also Director of the Center for Advanced Preclinical Research (CAPR) and heads the BRCA Variants Analysis Unit. A list of classified variants can be found on this link to the BRCA Variants Analysis Unit.

Areas of Expertise

DNA Repair
Tumor Suppressor
Mouse Models


Selected Key Publications

Degradation of 5hmC-marked stalled replication forks by APE1 causes genomic instability.

Kharat SS, Ding X, Swaminathan D, Suresh A, Singh M, Sengodan SK, Burkett S, Marks H, Pamala C, He Y, Fox SD, Buehler EC, Muegge K, Martin SE, Sharan SK.
Sci Signal. 18;13(645):eaba8091. doi: 10.1126/scisignal.aba8091: 2020. [ Journal Article ]

BRE/BRCC45 regulates CDC25A stability by recruiting USP7 in response to DNA damage

Biswas K, Philip S, Yadav A, Martin BK, Burkett S, Singh V, Babbar A, North SL, Chang S, Sharan SK
Nat Commun. 9(1): 537, 2018. [ Journal Article ]

Synthetic viability by BRCA2 and PARP1/ARTD1 deficiencies

Ding X, Ray Chaudhuri A, Callen E, Pang Y, Biswas K, Klarmann KD, Martin BK, Burkett S, Cleveland L, Stauffer S, Sullivan T, Dewan A, Marks H, Tubbs AT, Wong N, Buehler E, Akagi K, Martin SE, Keller JR, Nussenzweig A, Sharan SK.
Nat Commun. 7: 12425, 2016. [ Journal Article ]

Tumor suppressor BRCA1 epigenetically controls oncogenic microRNA-155

Chang S, Wang RH, Akagi K, Kim KA, Martin BK, Cavallone L; Kathleen Cuningham Foundation Consortium for Research into Familial Breast Cancer (kConFab), Haines DC, Basik M, Mai P, Poggi E, Isaacs C, Looi LM, Mun KS, Greene MH, Byers SW, Teo SH, Deng CX, Sharan SK
Nat Med. 17(10):1275-82. doi: 10.1038/nm.2459: 2011. [ Journal Article ]

Mouse embryonic stem cell-based functional assay to evaluate mutations in BRCA2

Kuznetsov SG, Liu P, Sharan SK
Nat Med. 14(8):875-81. doi: 10.1038/nm.1719: 2008. [ Journal Article ]

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Research Associate I (Contr.)
Mary Albaugh
Postdoctoral Fellow (Visiting)
Suhas Kharat, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow (Visiting)
Arun Prakash Mishra, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow (Visiting)
Sounak Sahu, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow (Visiting)
Satheesh Sengodan, Ph.D.
Biological Laboratory Technician
Teresa Sullivan
Pre-doctoral Fellow
Vaishnavi Peddibhotla
Biological Laboratory Technician
Dylan Caylor
Biological Laboratory Technician (Contr)
Josephine Geh
Postdoctoral Fellow
Swati Priya, Ph.D.


News and Press Releases

Epigenetic marker contributes to PARP inhibitor resistance

August 19, 2020
CCR News

CCR scientists have discovered a way cancer cells can become resistant to PARP inhibitors, targeted therapies that are used to treat some ovarian, breast and prostate cancers. Learn more...

Faulty Repair Systems:  Cancer cells find ways to survive damage they cannot fix

CCR Milestones 2017

Damage to DNA is unavoidable. Chemicals, sunlight and routine cellular activities distort the genetic code by modifying its components and severing DNA strands. Most of the time, such damage has no harmful consequences because cells’ sophisticated DNA repair systems rush to replace the errors and mend the breaks. Learn more...