Zachary Shaheen, MD, PhD

Pediatric Rheumatology Fellow, Department of Pediatrics

Pediatric Rheumatology Fellow, Department of Pediatrics

MD, Medical College of Wisconsin,Milwaukee, WI, 2018

PhD, Biochemistry & Translational Sciences,Department of Biochemistry, Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW), Mentor: John A. Corbett, Ph.D., 2016

BA, Biochemistry, minor in Political Science, College of Saint Benedict / Saint John’s University (CSB/SJU),Saint Joseph & Collegeville, MN, 2009


Zach completed his bachelor of arts degree (BA) in Biochemistry and Political Science at the College of Saint Benedict / Saint John's University in 2009. Zach then moved to the Medical College of Wisconsin, where he received his PhD in Biochemistry & Translational Sciences in 2016 and MD in 2018 as part of MCW's MSTP (MD/PhD program). While at MCW, his work in the lab of Dr. John Corbett focused on elucidating the mechanisms by which our innate immune system responds to viral infection, and how these responses influence the induction of autoimmune diabetes.

His long-term goals are to be a physician scientist whose clinical and scientific work focuses on autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. Broadly, he plans to subspecialize as a Pediatric Rheumatologist and to study the biochemical and cellular mechanisms by which peripheral immune tolerance is broken leading to autoimmunity and how environmental factors, such as viral infections, can influence the immune system’s ability to either appropriately or aberrantly discriminate self (our tissues) from non-self (foreign molecules and pathogens). He is joining Dr. Brian Fife’s laboratory to further study mechanisms of peripheral tolerance in the context of autoimmune diabetes. 

Awards & Recognition

2018 Recipient of MCW Department of Biochemistry’s Armand J. Quick award (05/24/2018)

2018 Recipient of Wisconsin Medical Society Foundation’s Houghton Award (04/13/2018)

2017Recipient of MCW Doctor of Philosophy Outstanding Dissertation Award (05/19/2017)

2014-2018 Awarded 4-year F30 NIH fellowship grant through the NIDDK (08/21/2014)



1.Shaheen, Z.R., Christmann, B.S., Stafford, J.D., Moran, J.M., Buller, R.M.L., Corbett, J.A. (2019) CCR5 is a required signaling receptor for macrophage expression of inflammatory genes in response to viral double-stranded RNA. American Physiological Society Regulatory, Integrative & Comparative Physiology 316(5): R525-R534.

2.Kapke, J.T., Shaheen, Z.R., Kilari, D., Knudson, P., Wong, S.J. (2017) Immune checkpoint inhibitor associated type 1 diabetes mellitus: case series, review of the literature and optimal management. Case Reports in Oncology 10(3): 897-909

3.Shaheen, Z.R., Naatz, A., Corbett, J.A. (2015) CCR5-dependent activation of mTORC1 regulates translation of inducible NO Synthase and COX-2 during Encephalomyocarditis virus infection. Journal of Immunology 195: 4406-4414.

4.Shaheen, Z.R., Corbett, J.A. (2015) Macrophage expression of inflammatory genes in response to EMCV infection. Biomolecules 5(3):1938-1954

5.Wang, Y., Shaked, I., Stanford, S.M., Zhou, W., Curtsinger, J.M., Mikulski, Z., Shaheen, Z.R., Cheng, G., Sawatzke, K., Campbell, A.M., Auger, J.L., Bilgic, H., Shoyama, F.M., Schmeling, D.O., Balfour Jr., H.H., Hasegawa, K., Chan, A.C., Corbett, J.A., Binstadt, B.A., Mescher, M.F., Ley, K., Bottini, N., Peterson, E. (2013) The autoimmunity-associated gene Ptpn22 potentiates Toll-like receptor-driven, type 1 interferon-dependent immunity. Immunity 39(1), 111-122