Dr. Shah is a Research Associate in the Section on Genetics and Epidemiology, and in the Section on Vascular Cell Biology at Joslin Diabetes Center. She is also an Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Shah received her medical degree from Manipal University, India, and her Master of Public Health in Epidemiology from Boston University School of Public Health. Prior to being appointed as a junior faculty member at Joslin, Dr. Shah completed her post-doctoral research training under the mentorship of Professor Alessandro Doria at Joslin Diabetes Center. Dr. Shah is currently a member of the ACCORD Genetic Study Group, and is the lead Epidemiologist of the Joslin 50-year Medalist Study.
Dr. Shah’s post-doctoral research focus was on leveraging the power of genetics to prevent diabetic complications. She is well-versed in using complex genetic tools to conduct genome-wide association studies and has developed models to study gene-environment interactions for a wide range of diabetes complications including cardiovascular disease, nephropathy, retinopathy, and neuropathy. She discovered two genetic markers that can help identify individuals with type 2 diabetes that would experience cardiovascular benefits of an intensive glycemic therapeutic regimen (Diabetes Care, 2016). Her work also led to the discovery of the potential role of the GLP-1 pathway underlying the modifying effects of one these genetic markers (Diabetes Care, 2018). These genetic markers could be used in personalized medicine algorithms to optimize the use of resources by treating those who would most benefit and receive the least harm from therapies.
Over the past three years as faculty at Joslin, Dr. Shah has been the lead Epidemiologist of the Joslin 50-year Medalist Study, a cohort of individuals with 50+ years of type 1 diabetes that was founded by Professor George King. Along with Dr. King and the Medalist study team, Dr. Shah strives to search for protective factors against complications in this cohort. They recently published on Pyruvate Kinase M2 (PKM2) as a potential protective factor against diabetic nephropathy (Diabetes Care, 2019). Furthermore, they reported on the possible presence of monogenic variants underlying residual beta-cell function in this cohort, with the potential clinical implication of recommending screening of type 1 populations for monogenic diabetes (Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2019).
Dr. Shah’s research interests also extend to metabolomics and proteomics studies of diabetic complications. These studies could provide early biomarkers of such complications, or provide new insights into their pathogenesis to inform better drug targets. For instance, she was part of Dr. Monika Niewczas’ team that discovered a signature of inflammatory proteins for end-stage renal disease in diabetes (Nature Medicine, 2019).
Fellowship Joslin Diabetes Center Medical School MBBS, 2005,
Manipal University (India) M.P.H., 2010, Boston University School of Public Health
M.P.H., 2010, Boston University School of Public Health