James Clyburn Research Center

El-Shewy Research Lab

Hesham M. El-Shewy, Ph.D.

Hesham El-Shewy, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolic Diseases

Current Research:

The El-Shewy lab is interested in the role of sphingolipids in the pathophysiology of diabetes and diabetic complications. Specifically, the laboratory’s focus is on the sphingosine I phosphate (S1P) signaling pathways and downstream pathogenesis. S1P is a potent bioactive lipid with established roles in various cellular responses including cell proliferation/DNA synthesis, survival, migration and angiogenesis. S1P is produced by phosphorylation of sphingosine by Sphingosine kinase (SK) isoforms. S1P acts in an autocrine/paracrine manner to stimulate G protein-coupled S1P receptors present at the cell surface, and function as an intracellular second messenger to stimulate mitogenesis and Ca2+ mobilization. The El-Shewy lab recently discovered that S1P mediates transmembrane calcium entry via a store-operated calcium channel (SOC), independent of S1P receptors. SOC has been implicated to play a role in the progression of several pathological conditions, including cardiovascular diseases. Hence, their laboratory focuses on analysis of sphingolipid signal transduction pathways at a molecular, cellular and translational level with the goal of understanding how these pathways control physiology and disease. To achieve their goals, they use a wide variety of molecular, biological and biochemical techniques to study how S1P modulates receptor-mediated Ca2+signals through SOC and assess how this modulation relates to alterations in cellular responses. Model systems used in the lab range from cultured and primary cell lines, ex vivo models to in vivo, genetically manipulated mouse models.

Meet the PI:

Dr. El-Shewy first graduated with a degree in Veterinary Medicine, followed by a Master’s then PhD in clinical pathology. This background allowed him to obtain significant training in the use of animal models and achieve expertise in the pathophysiology of disease. 

As a postdoctoral fellow at Duke and later at MUSC, he performed biochemical, molecular and cellular biology studies on G-protein coupled receptors and tyrosine kinase receptor signal transduction.  Since joining the MUSC Division of Endocrinology, Dr. El-Shewy has embarked on a research program that bridges basic signal transduction, in vitro vascular biology, and in vivo animal models. He has consolidated his research program and expanded his studies into the role and regulation of bioactive lipids, particularly S1P signaling pathways in the development and progression of diabetes and diabetic complications.


PubMed Collection