Dr. Najafi-Shoushtari’s research interests focus on gene regulation by non-coding RNAs. His efforts have been dedicated to understanding the role of microRNAs in cholesterol/lipid homeostasis with an emphasis on defining new mechanisms of major human diseases associated with obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disorders. His discovery of the role and function of miR-33 in regulating plasma HDL levels has led more recently to the development of novel potential therapeutic strategies for the treatment of abnormal lipid levels. He combines genetics, biochemistry, genomics, and computational tools to map critical points for metabolic control by microRNAs and to explore how these molecules involved are connected and orchestrated at the systems-level with emphasis on clinical relevance and implications in cardiometabolic disease.
- Rottiers V, Obad S, Petri A, McGarrah R, Lindholm MW, Black JC, Sinha S, Goody RJ, Lawrence MS, deLemos AS, Hansen HF, Whittaker S, Henry S, Brookes R, Najafi-Shoushtari SH, Chung RT, Whetstine JR, Gerszten RE, Kauppinen S, Näär AM. Pharmacological inhibition of a microRNA family in nonhuman primates by a seed-targeting 8-mer antimiR. Sci Transl Med. 2013 Nov 20;5(212):212ra162.
- Rottiers V, Najafi-Shoushtari SH, Kristo F, Gurumurthy S, Zhong L, Li Y, Cohen DE, Gerszten RE, Bardeesy N, Mostoslavsky R, Näär AM. MicroRNAs in Metabolism and Metabolic Diseases. Cold Spring Harb Symp Quant Biol. 2011 Dec 12.
- Najafi-Shoushtari SH. MicroRNAs in cardiometabolic disease. Current Atherosclerosis Reports. 2011;13(3):202-7.
- Walker AK, Yang F, Jiang K, Ji JY, Watts JL, Purushotham A, Boss O, Hirsch ML, Ribich S, Smith JJ, Israelian K, Westphal CH, Rodgers JT, Shioda T, Elson SL, Mulligan P, Najafi-Shoushtari H, Black JC, Thakur JK, Kadyk LC, Whetstine JR, Mostoslavsky R, Puigserver P, Li X, Dyson NJ, Hart AC, Näär AM. Conserved role of SIRT1 orthologs in fasting-dependent inhibition of the lipid/cholesterol regulator SREBP. Genes and Development. 2010;24(13):1403-17.
- Najafi-Shoushtari SH, Kristo F, Li Y, Shioda T, Cohen DE, Gerszten RE, Näär AM. MicroRNA-33 and the SREBP host genes cooperate to control cholesterol homeostasis. Science. 2010;328(5985):1566-9.