Osama Shiraz Shah

  • 5th Year Graduate Student

Dissertation Research

Breast cancer (BC) is most common cancer in women, affecting 270,000 individuals annually in US alone. Broadly, BC are categorized as invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) and invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC). IDC and ILC subtypes differ in cellular morphology, growth patterns, treatment response and disease progression and now are increasingly being recognized as distinct diseases. Although, most BC as classified as IDC or ILC, a unique subset of BCs presents with mix of both ILC and IDC features. These are called mixed ductal and lobular carcinoma (mDLC). Our preliminary investigations shows that mDLC presentation is very heterogenous with varying proportions and spatial organizations of its subcomponents i.e. ductal component (DCo) and lobular component (LCo). Around 16,000 patients are afflicted with mDLC annually in US. Due to limited characterization and understanding, mDLC diagnosis and disease management remains uncertain. My thesis project focuses on characterization of molecular, cellular and spatial features of mDLC and identification of which of these features are unique or shared when compared to IDC and ILC subtypes. Towards these goals, we are curating primary and metastatic mDLC samples from UPMC hospital. We perform various NGS assays using these samples to characterize the bulk and subcomponent specific features of mDLC. These investigations will yield a better understanding of mDLC molecular (with emphasis on epigenome) features and its disease progression as well as reveal its underlying cellular and spatial heterogeneity. We hope that these efforts will aid in improving mDLC classification, clinical options and provide basis for future mDLC investigations. 

Dissertation Mentor

Drs. Adrian Lee and Steffi Oesterreich

Education & Training

  • B.S. Biology-LUMS, Lahore, Pakistan
  • SUR 2016 Summer Intern, UNIL, Lausanne, Switzerland

Research Interests


Breast Cancer


Representative Publications

Nicholas G Smith, Rekha Gyanchandani, Osama S Shah, Grzegorz T Gurda, Peter C Lucas, Ryan J Hartmaier, Adam M Brufsky, Shannon Puhalla, Amir Bahreini, Karthik Kota, Abigail I Wald, Yuri E Nikiforov, Marina N Nikiforova, Steffi Oesterreich, Adrian V Lee. "Targeted mutation detection in breast cancer using MammaSeq™". Breast Cancer Research. Dec. 2019

O.S. Shah, ​M.F.A. Chaudhary, H.A. Awan, F.Fatima, Z. Arshad, A.Bibi, M.Ahmed, H.Hameed, M.Furqan, S. Khalid, A. Faisal, S.U. Chaudhary*." ATLANTIS-Attractor Landscape Analysis Toolbox for Cell Fate Discovery &Reprogramming." Scientific Reports. Feb. 2018.