Associate Professor
Vision Statement:

I am interested in studying how the intestinal epithelium (lining) is affected in inflammatory bowel diseases and cancer. By interfering with specific signaling pathways in these conditions, hopefully improved outcomes may be obtained.

Research Interests:

Inflammatory bowel diseases, gastrointestinal cancer, signal transduction, integrin-linked kinase, curcumin

Research Summary:

The lining of our intestines bears the brunt of a variety of insults, which results in commonly occurring short-lived illnesses such as ‘gastroenteritis’. This is estimated to occur in approximately 20% of individuals each year. More serious consequences of bowel disease include the conditions known as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis which affect about 0.5% of the population but cause much morbidity. These conditions may increase the risk of colon cancer development, which is the second commonest cause of cancer-related deaths in western populations. My research has uncovered that a protein involved in communication between these lining cells and the surrounding tissue may have a profound impact on these diseases. By modifying the expression of this protein and its interactions, using drugs such as curcumin (a component of the food spice turmeric), I hope to reduce the development and progression of these diseases.

Recent Publications:
  • Assi K, Patterson S, Dedhar S, Levings MK, Owen D and Salh B. Integrin-linked kinase promotes colitis through regulation of CCL2, fibronectin and T regulatory cell expression. BMC Immunology 2011 Aug 1;12:42.
  • Yoshiyuki Matsui, Kiran Assi, Koji Nishizawa, Osamu Ogawa, Shoukat Dedhar, Martin E. Gleave, B Salh, Alan I. So. The importance of integrin-linked kinase in the regulation of bladder cancer invasion. Int J of Cancer 2011 Feb 23. doi 10.1002/ijc20068.
  • Birinder K. Mangat, Chad Evaschesen, Tim Lee, Eric M. Yoshida and B Salh
  • Ethnic Variation in the Annual Rates of Adult Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Hospitalized Patients in Vancouver, Canada. Can J of Gastroenterol 25:73-77, 2011
  • David F Schaeffer, Kiran Assi, Katie Chan, Andrew K Buczkowski, Charles H Scudamore, Alan Weiss, Bill Salh, David A Owen. Tumor expression of Integrin-linked kinase (ILK) correlates with the expression of the E-cadherin repressor Snail: An immunohistochemical study in ductal pancreatic adenocarcinoma. Virchows Arch 456:261-8, 2010 Jan 21 Epub.
  • K Assi, J Mills, D Owen, C Ong, R St. Arnaud, S Dedhar and B Salh. Integrin –linked kinase regulates cell proliferation and tumor growth in murine colitis-associated carcinogenesis. Gut 57:931-40, 2008.