The VICC.ORG Investigator Directory

Anil Shanker, M.S., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Cancer Biology, Meharry Medical College
VICC Member

Contact Information:

School of Medicine, Meharry Medical College
2005 Harold D. West Basic Sciences Bldg.
1005 Dr. DB Todd Jr. Blvd
Nashville, TN 37208
Fax: 615-327-6442


Anil Shanker leads the Laboratory of Lymphocyte Function in the Department of Biochemistry and Cancer Biology at Meharry Medical College. He participates in the Host-Tumor Interactions and Thoracic/Head and Neck Cancer Research Programs. His laboratory focuses on understanding functional cooperativity and signaling mechanisms in immune effector cells. His efforts are directed at dissecting the molecular cross-talk between the tumor-specific T cells and natural killer cells by elucidating cytokine-mediated cellular communication and the engagement of receptor signalosomes. In addition, using various mouse models of cancer, he is investigating the efficacy of combinatorial regimens of tumor cell-death sensitizing and immunostimulatory agents in adoptive immunotherapy settings. Of particular interest are his studies attempting pharmacological activation of Notch 1 signaling to enhance lymphocyte functions and overcome tumor-associated immunosuppression. These studies could provide insights for designing novel therapeutic strategies against cancer and other diseases that normally defy immune defense.


He received his undergraduate and master's degrees in Zoology with a specialization in cell biology from the University of Delhi, India. In 1999, he earned his PhD from the School of Biotechnology at Banaras Hindu University, where he studied the mechanisms of thymocyte depletion and the perturbation of T cell functions in a murine T cell lymphoma model. He continued his postdoctoral studies in lymphocyte selection and function using mouse tumor models at the CNRS/INSERM Centre d'Immunologie de Marseille-Luminy, France, and the National Cancer Institute, NIH, Maryland. His work received Fellows Award for Research Excellence twice at the NIH. He worked as Scientist I with SAIC-Frederick at the National Cancer Institute, before joining Meharry Medical College with a membership at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center.

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