College of Pharmacy

7 Greenhouse Road Kingston, RI 02881 – Office: 401.874.2761 Fax: 401.874.2181

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Zahir Shaikh, Ph.D.

  • Director of INBRE and Professor
  • Office: 495F Lab: 480
  • Phone: 401.874.5036
  • Email:
  • Mailing Address: 7 Greenhouse Road, Kingston, RI 02881


Dr. Shaikh’s long standing research interest has been in the area of metal toxicology, with special emphasis on the mechanisms of nephrotoxicity. In addition to basic studies in this field, his laboratory has investigated biomarkers of renal dysfunction in both occupationally- as well as environmentally-exposed populations in the United States and Japan. A more recent area of research is studying the xenoestrogenic effects of cadmium in breast cancer progression.

Dr. Shaikh has a long history of administrative appointments in the academic environment. He chaired the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology and later the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Rhode Island’s (URI) College of Pharmacy for 18 years. He is currently Director of the Center for Molecular Toxicology and RI-INBRE Program at URI. He has directed this statewide multi-institutional Program since its inception and has fostered the recruitment and research career development of junior faculty, promoted collaborative biomedical and behavioral research among the junior and senior faculty from the University of Rhode Island, Brown University and primarily undergraduate institutions in the state.

He is a member of the Executive Committee of the Northeast Cyberinfrastructure Consortium which is responsible for coordinating the ongoing INBRE and EPSCoR collaboration for providing high-speed fiber optic connectivity between URI’s Kingston and other campuses, and with the other academic institutions and health centers in Rhode Island and throughout the northeastern states. This fiber network and associated data storage facilities will facilitate sharing large volumes of data such as those generated by genomic and proteomic studies.


Toxicity of metals; nephrotoxicity and hepatotoxicity; breast cancer


Postdoctoral Fellow, Toxicology, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY, 1973-74

Postdoctoral Fellow, Environmental Health, University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, OK, 1972-73

Ph.D., Biochemistry, Dalhousie University, Canada, 1972

M.Sc., Biochemistry, University of Karachi, Pakistan, 1967

B.Sc., Biological Sciences, University of Karachi, Pakistan, 1965


Nakajima, M, Kobayashi, E, Suwazono, Y, Uetani, M, Oishi, M, Inaba, T, Kido, T, Shaikh, ZA, and Nogawa, K. Excretion of urinary cadmium, copper, and zinc in cadmium-exposed and nonexposed subjects, with special reference to urinary excretion of beta2-microglobulin and metallothionein. Biol. Trace Elem. Res. 108:17-31 (2005).

Xie, J, Shaikh, ZA. Cadmium-induced apoptosis in rat kidney epithelial cells involves decrease in nuclear factor-kappa B activity. Toxicol. Sci. 91:299-308 (2006).

Tang, W, Xie, J, Shaikh, ZA. Protection of renal tubular cells against the cytotoxicity of cadmium by glycine. Toxicology, 223, 202-208 (2006).

Xie, J, Shaikh, ZA. Cadmium induces cell cycle arrest in rat kidney epithelial cells in G2M phase. Toxicology 224: 56-65 (2006).

Liu, Z, Yu, X, Shaikh, ZA. Rapid activation of ERK1/2 and AKT in human breast cancer cells by cadmium. Toxicol. Appl. Pharmacol. 228: 286-294 (2008).

Chen, J, Shaikh, ZA. Activation of Nrf2 by cadmium and its role in protection against cadmium-induced apoptosis in rat kidney cells. Toxicol. Appl. Pharmacol. 241: 81-89 (2009).

Yu, X, Filardo, EJ, Shaikh, ZA. The membrane estrogen receptor GPR30 mediates cadmium-induced proliferation of breast cancer cells. Toxicol. Appl. Pharmacol. 245: 83-90 (2010).

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