Dr. Andrew Shepherd conducts preclinical research investigating the mechanisms that link inflammation to the pain induced by various forms of injury, including joint damage and chemotherapy-induced neuropathy, with a particular emphasis on signaling related to the renin-angiotensin system. The ultimate goal of the Shepherd Lab in the Department of Symptom Research is to identify interventions that can mitigate or prevent the development of pain associated with these chronic disease states.
Dr. Shepherd earned his bachelor's degree in molecular cell biology in 2003 and a doctoral degree in neuroimmunomodulation in 2006, both from the University of Manchester in Great Britain. His training and expertise focus on rodent models of pain, behavioral readouts of pain sensitivity, and assays of primary rodent and human sensory-neuron function.
Dr. Shepherd co-chairs MD Anderson's Pain Research Consortium, a unique platform that brings together clinical and basic science pain experts for interdisciplinary discussion, innovative problem-solving, and shaping the future of pain management.
Current Lab Members
Angela Casaril, Ph.D.
Senior Research Scientist
Dr. Casaril has been a Senior Research Scientist in the Shepherd Lab since May 2022. She works primarily on planning, execution, and data analysis for the lab's projects on (1) tumor-induced neuropathic pain and (2) the role of immunometabolism in inflammation-induced depression.
Md Areeful Haque, Ph.D.
Dr. Haque joined the Shepherd Lab in June 2022. He primarily works on the PI16 (fibroblasts in chronic pain) project.
James Nichols, D.V.M., Ph.D.
Dr. Nichols joined the lab in August 2019. He works primarily on the NiMA (diabetic neuropathy therapeutics) and RESTORE (neuromuscular polytrauma) projects.
Caitlyn Gaffney, M.S.
Senior Research Assistant
Caitlyn joined the Shepherd Lab in April 2021. She has primarily worked on the RESTORE (neuromuscular polytrauma), TTI-101 (STAT3 inhibitor) and MC38 (tumor-induced neuropathy) projects.
Rachelle Garrity, B.S.
Senior Research Assistant
Rachelle has been a member of the Shepherd Lab since February 2022. She has primarily worked on the PI16 (fibroblasts in chronic pain) project.
Hoang Vu Pham, M.S.
Research Assistant II
Hoang joined the lab in August 2019. He works primarily on the NiMA (diabetic neuropathy therapeutics) and RESTORE (neuromuscular polytrauma) projects.
Elizabeth Kolb, B.S.
Research Assistant I
Elizabeth joined the Shepherd Lab in July 2023. She works on the MC38 (tumor-induced neuropathy) and TTI-101 (STAT3 inhibitor) projects.
Undergraduate Research Volunteer
Mariam joined the Shepherd Lab in March 2023. She works primarily on the PI16 (fibroblasts in chronic pain) project.
Clarissa was a Research Assistant II in the Shepherd Lab. She is now in graduate school at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Mihály Balogh, Ph.D.
Dr. Balogh was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Shepherd Lab from 2020-2022. He is now an assistant professor at the University of Groningen Research Institute of Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Analysis Group, The Netherlands.
Ibdanelo Cortez, Ph.D.
Dr. Cortez was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Shepherd Lab. He is now an adjunct professor at St. Thomas University in Houston, Texas.
Neha was an Undergraduate Research Volunteer in the Shepherd Lab while earning a degree in biochemistry and cell biology at Rice University. She is now pursuing her M.D. degree at UT Southwestern Medical School.
Syed Mehdi, B.S.
Syed was a Research Assistant I in the Shepherd Lab. He is now in graduate school at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas.
Nicholas Nguyen, B.S.
Nicholas was a Research Assistant I in the Shepherd Lab. He is now in graduate school at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas.
The Phong (Ronnie) Trinh, B.S.
Ronnie was a Research Assistant II in the Shepherd Lab. He remained at MD Anderson after leaving the lab and is now an Institute Associate Scientist III in the Neurodegeneration Consortium.