Shafiq Khan, Ph.D.

Cellular Biology of Cancer
Clark Atlanta University
Recruited: 2004

Khan’s research focuses on gonadal cell proliferation and differentiation in both normal and disease states. The primary objective is to identify endocrine, paracrine and autocrine regulators of testicular and ovarian cell proliferation and differentiation and function.
His team investigates the expression, regulation, biological effects and mechanism of action of these factors during testicular development and during folliculogenesis. We are also investigating the intracellular mechanisms involved in the effects of growth factors (especially transforming growth factors) on proliferation of prostate cancer cells. The mechanisms by which environmental endocrine disruptors cause disease states (such as diminished fertility and testicular/prostate cancer) are also being investigated in his laboratory.
Another major project addresses the molecular characterization, regulation and mechanism of action of a novel gonadal protein, named steroidogenesis-inducing protein (SIP). SIP was isolated from human ovarian follicular fluid and belongs to a novel family of human proteins. SIP stimulates steroidogenesis in testicular, ovarian and adrenal cells and is a potent mitogen for several gonadal cell types including the ovarian epithelial cancer cells. We propose that SIP not only plays a significant physiological role during the normal ovarian cycle but may also be involved in development and/or maintenance of ovarian epithelial cancers.


  • Regulation of gonadal cell proliferation and differentiation
  • Signal transduction pathways involved in the effects of growth factors on ovarian and prostate cancer cells
  • Effects of environmental factors on male fertility and development of reproductive tract tumors

Straight from the Scholar

Three factors made Georgia an excellent choice for me: The commitment of Georgia to higher education and research; the vision and support of Clark Atlanta University to develop a center of excellence in cancer research; and the resources and a unique model provided by GRA to support research.