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Yiqun Shellman, Ph.D.

Dr. Yiqun Shellman

Associate Professor
Department of Dermatology
Phone: 303-724-4034
Fax: 303-724-4048


B.S. Wuhan University, P.R. China
Ph.D. University of Colorado HSC, Denver, CO
​Postdoctoral Fellowship University of Colorado HSC, Denver, CO


Research interests:

Ultra Violet radiation on melanocyte biology, and skin pigmentation, melanocyte development and regeneration, regulation of melanocyte and melanoma stem cell, Inherited pigmentation disorders, melanoma treatment, Bcl-2 family members, miRNAs, RAS, MAPK, PI3K signaling pathways, melanoma progression and resistance to therapy, development of melanoma treatment.

Overview of Ongoing Research:

Dr. Shellman’s Lab is interested in melanocyte biology, skin pigmentation, and photo-aging. This includes normal and abnormal melanocyte development, differentiation and regeneration, melanoma, as well as inherited and acquired pigmentation disorders. Her team aims to understand the functions of a not well characterized human pigmentation gene in skin, using a combination of models including zebrafish, 3D skin equivalent, human induced Pluripotent Stem cells, and a photographic UV model of human skin.
Dr. Shellman’s lab also attempts to develop strategies for overcoming melanoma resistance to treatment. This includes designing rationale combinations targeting Bcl-2 anti-apoptotic family members, searching for new combination partners with BRAF inhibitors with a synthetic lethal screen, and exploring the therapeutic potential of miRNAs.
Selected Publications:
  1. Shellman YG., Chapman JT, Fujita M, Norris DA, and Maxwell IH: Expression of activated N-ras in a primary human melanoma cell line counteracts growth inhibition by TGF-B J Invest Dermatol (2000) 114: 1200-1204. PubMed PMID: 10844567.
  2. Shellman YG, Park YL, Marr DG, Casper K, Xu Y, Fujita M, Swerlick R, Norris DA. Release of VEGF from Human Melanoma Cell Lines is Induced by Hypoxia but Not Ultraviolet Radiation, and Is Potentiated by Activated Ras Mutation. J. Invest. Dermatol. (2003) 121: 910-917. PubMed PMID: 14632212.
  3. Shellman, YG, Ribble D, Miller L, Gendall J, Vanbuskirk K, Kelly D, Norris DA, Dellavalle RP. Lovastatin-induced apoptosis in human melanoma cell lines. Melanoma research (2005) 15(2):83-89. PubMed PMID: 15846140.
  4. Ribble D, Goldstein NB, Norris DA, Shellman YG. A simple technique for quantifying apoptosis in 96-well plates. BMC Biotechnology (2005), 5:12. PubMed PMID: 15885144; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC1142306. Highly Accessed.
  5. Shellman YG, Makela M, and Norris DA. Induction of MMP-9 in human melanoma cells by extracellular matrix proteins and cytokines. Melanoma research (2006) 16(3):207-11. PubMed PMID: 16718267.
  6. Ruth MC, Xu Y, Maxwell IH, Ahn NG, Norris DA, Shellman YG. RhoC promotes human melanoma invasion in a PI3K/Akt dependent pathway. J Invest Dermatol. (2006) 126(4):862-8. PubMed PMID: 16470169.
  7. Shellman YG, Howe WR, Miller LA, Goldstein NB, Pacheco TR, Mahajan RL, Larue SM, Norris DA. Hyperthermia induces endoplasmic reticulum mediated apoptosis in melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer cells. J Invest Dermatol. (2008) Apr;128(4):949-56. PubMed PMID: 17989736.
  8. Bemis LT, Chen R, Amato CM, Classen EH, Robinson SE, Coffey DG, Erickson PF, Shellman YG, Robinson WA. MicroRNA-137 targets microphthalmia-associated transcription factor in melanoma cell lines. Cancer Res. (2008) Mar 1;68(5):1362-8. PubMed PMID: 18316599.
  9. Goldstein NB, Johannes WU, Gadeliya AV, Green M, Fujita M, Norris DA, and Shellman YG. Active Nras and Braf inhibit anoikis by down-regulating Bim expression in melanocytic cells. J Invest Dermatol. 2009 Feb;129(2):432-7. PubMed PMID: 18668139.
  10. Miller LA, Goldstein NB, Johannes WU, Walton C, Fujita M, Norris DA, and Shellman YG. BH3 mimetic ABT-737 synergistically kills melanoma cells with a proteasome inhibitor. J Invest Dermatol. 2009 Apr; 129(4):964-71. PubMed PMID: 18987671.
  11. Reuland SN, Goldstein NB, Partyka KA, Cooper DA, Fujita M, Norris DA, Shellman YG. The Combination of BH3-Mimetic ABT-737 with the Alkylating Agent Temozolomide Induces Strong Synergistic Killing of Melanoma Cells Independent of p53. PLoS One. 2011;6(8):e24294. Epub 2011 Aug 29. PMID:21897876
  12. Smith SM, Wunder MB, Norris DA, Shellman YG. A simple protocol for using a LDH-based cytotoxicity assay to assess the effects of death and growth inhibition at the same time. PLoS One. 2011;6(11):e26908. Epub 2011 Nov 17. PMID: 22125603
  13. Steven N. Reuland, Nathaniel B. Goldstein, Katie A. Partyka, Shilo Smith, Yuchun Luo, Mayumi Fujita, Rene Gonzalez, Karl Lewis, David A. Norris and Yiqun G. Shellman. ABT-737 synergizes with Bortezomib to kill melanoma cells. Biology Open 2012 1:92-100; doi:10.1242/bio.2011035
  14. Reuland SN, Smith S, Bemis L, Goldstein NB, Almeida A, Partyka KA, Marquez VE, Zhang Q, Norris DA, Shellman YG. MicroRNA-26a is Strongly Down-regulated in Melanoma and Induces Cell Death through Repression of Silencer of Death Domains (SODD). J Invest Dermatol. 2013 PMID: 23190898.
  15. Bennett PE, Bemis L, Norris DA, and Shellman YG. miR in Melanoma Development: MiRNAs and Acquired Hallmarks of Cancer in Melanoma. Physiological Genomics 2013 Nov 15;45(22):1049-59. doi: 10.1152/physiolgenomics.00116.2013. Epub 2013 Sep 17. PMID: 24046283.