January 25, 2021

Welcome Dr. Miah

Sayem Miah, Ph.D. is a new Assistant Professor in the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department.

Research statement

My research vision is to understand how cells perceive signals that vary in healthy and cancer cells and how this perception regulates tumorigenesis and metastasis. My lab will undertake a “systemwide” interrogation of signaling networks using innovative proteomic, biochemical, and genomic techniques – to uncover how the cell decodes information within complex and combinatorial signals. We will apply these approaches to quantitatively understand healthy and cancer cell signaling in cellular decisions. For example, a long-standing biological paradox is that TGFβ signaling, which is thought to be anti-metastatic, can switch to promoting metastasis. But how the anti-metastatic function of TGFβ/SMAD signaling switches to a metastasis promoting factor is poorly understood.

Recently, we reported that breast tumor kinase (BRK), a non-receptor tyrosine kinase (nRTK), which is an oncogene and highly expressed in ~85% of human invasive ductal carcinomas, promotes metastatic potential by phosphorylating SMAD4 in mammary epithelial cells. Another family member of nRTKs, Src phosphorylates TGFβ type II receptor to promote tumor growth and metastasis. Additionally, PEAK1, induces EMT and metastasis in breast cancer cells via TGFβ/SMAD signaling.

This makes nRTKs a viable and promising target for tackling metastatic cancer—if only we knew which specific kinases needed to be targeted in order to block metastatic progression.

Opportunities for collaboration

I am highly collaborative in nature. I want to see your science and mine flourish. Please reach out if I can contribute in your science, or you in mine.

Fun fact about yourself

I never say no to coffee.

Favorite place you’ve lived

I spent first 12 years of my life in a rural village in Bangladesh. It was a full of life and close to nature.

Favorite food

Any Mediterranean food

What you like to do for fun

I love to play Ping-Pong and Soccer.