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Portrait of James Shelhamer
James Shelhamer, MD

Special Volunteer


Critical Care Medicine


BA, Baylor University, Waco, Texas
MD, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas


Email: jshelhamer@cc.nih.gov
Phone: 301-402-4846

Portrait of James Shelhamer
James Shelhamer, MD

Special Volunteer


Critical Care Medicine


BA, Baylor University, Waco, Texas
MD, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas


Email: jshelhamer@cc.nih.gov
Phone: 301-402-4846


Dr. James Shelhamer has been a special volunteer at the NIH Clinical Center's Critical Care Medicine Department since 2014. He served as the deputy chief of the department from 1990 to 2014.


Dr. Shelhamer became a senior investigator in the Clinical Center's Critical Care Medicine Department in 1981 and then served as deputy chief from 1990 to 2014.

He obtained a BA from Baylor University and an MD from Baylor College of Medicine. He completed an internship and residency in internal medicine at Baylor Affiliated Hospitals in Houston, Texas. He was chief resident of medicine there as well.

He came to NIH for a fellowship at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Afterward, he completed a fellowship in pulmonary medicine at Johns Hopkins Hospital and returned to NIAID as a senior staff fellow. In addition to serving as an attending physician in the Medical ICU, he was co-director of the Pulmonary Consult Service for the Clinical Center.

Dr. Shelhamer is nationally known for his work on the basic science of lung inflammation. His research interests include mechanisms of lung cellular responses to inflammation and respiratory disease in the immunosuppressed host. He directed a laboratory research program that focuses on lung inflammation at the cellular and molecular level.

Recent studies have included determination of gene structure and expression of cysteinyl leukotriene receptors I and II and leukotriene receptor signaling pathways. Current studies include the role of microRNAs on lung epithelial cell differentiation, lipid mediator generation in lung epithelial cells and macrophages, lipid mediator modulation of cellular inflammatory responses including inflammasome activation and induction of autophagy.

Dr. Shelhamer's stature and productivity in investigating pulmonary inflammation are important assets for critical care medicine which, as a field, needs to increase its basic science foundation. His laboratory produced three fellows who have been inducted into ASCI, four division heads and two department chairmen. His trainees hold academic positions at the University of California Irvine, University of Maryland, University of Pittsburgh, University of Iowa and NHLBI.

Books and Book Chapters

Sneller MC, Fontana JR and Shelhamer JH. Immunologic Non-asthmatic Diseases of the Lung. In Middleton’s Allergy, 8th Edition. Adkinson NF, Bochner BS, Burks W, Busse W, , Holgate ST, Lemanske R and O’Hehir RE, eds. Elsevier. London. 2012. In press.

Journal Articles

Qi H-Y, Daniels MP, Liu Y, Chen L-Y, Alsaaty S, Levine SJ, Shelhamer JH. A cytosolic phospholipase A2 (cPLA2)-Initiated Lipid Mediator Pathway Induces Autophagy in Macrophages. J. Immunol. 2011;187:5286-92.

Chen LY, Eberlein M, Alsaaty S, Martinez-Anton M, Barb J, Munson PJ, Danner RL, Liu Y, Logun C, Shelhamer JH, Woszczek G. Cooperative and redundant signaling of leukotriene B4 and leukotriene D4 in human monocytes. Allergy. 2011;66:1304-11.

Woszczek G, Chen LY, Alsaaty S, Nagineni S, Shelhamer JH. Concentration-dependent noncysteinyl leukotriene type 1 receptor-mediated inhibitory activity of leukotriene receptor antagonists. J Immunol. 2010 Feb 15;184(4):2219-25. Epub 2010 Jan 18.

Cytosolic phospholipase A2 activation induced by S1P is mediated by the S1P3 receptor in lung epithelial cells. Chen LY, Woszczek G, Nagineni S, Logun C, Shelhamer JH. Am J. Physiol. 2008; 295:L326-35.

Woszczek G, Chen L-Y, Nagineni S, Shelhamer JH. IL-10 Inhibits Cysteinyl Leukotriene-Induced Activation of Human Monocytes and Monocyte-Derived Dendritic Cells. J. Immunol. 2008; 180: 7597-7603.

Woszczek G, Chen L, Nagineni S, Kern S, Barb J, Munson P, Logun C, Danner R, Shelhamer J. Leukotriene D4 induces gene expression in human monocytes through cysteinyl leukotriene type I receptor. J. Allergy Clin. Immunol. 2008; 121:215-21.

Woszczek G, Chen L-Y, Nagineni S, Alsaaty S, Harry A, Logun C, Pawliczak R, Shelhamer JH. Interferon gamma (IFN-γ) induces cysteinyl leukotriene receptor 2 (CYSLTR2) expression and enhances the responsiveness of human endothelial cells to cysteinyl leukotrienes. J. Immunol. 2007; 178:5262-5270.

Cowan MJ, Coll T, Shelhamer JH. Polyamine-mediated reduction in human airway epithelial migration in response to wounding is PGE2-dependent through decreases in COX-2 and cPLA2 protein levels. J. Appl. Physiol. 2006;101:1127-35.

Talwar S, Munson PJ, Barb J, Fiuza C, Cintron AP, Logun C, Tropea M, Khan S, Reda D, Shelhamer JH, Danner RL, and Suffredini AF. Gene expression profiles of peripheral blood leukocytes after endotoxin challenge in humans. Physiological Genomics. 2006; 25:203-15.

Qi H, Shelhamer JH. Toll-like receptor 4 signaling regulates cytosolic phospholipase A2 activation and lipid generation in LPS-stimulated macrophages. J. Biol. Chem. 2005; 280:38969-38975.

Wozczek G, Pawliczak R, Qi H-Y, Nagineni S, Alsaaty S, Logun C, Shelhamer JH. Functional characterization of human cysteinyl leukotriene 1 recptor (cysLT1R) gene structure. J. Immunol. 2005;175:5152-5159.

Pawliczak R, Logun C, Madara P, Barb J, Suffredini A, Munson P, Danner R and Shelhamer JH. The Influence of Interferon Gamma (IFN-g) on gene expression in normal human bronchial epithelial cells: Modulation of IFN-g effects by dexamethasone. Physiological Genomics. 2005; 23:28-45.

Cowan MJ, Yao X-L, Pawliczak R, Huang X-L, Logun C, Madara P, Alsaaty S, Wu T, Shelhamer JH. The role of TFIID, the initiator element and a novel 5' TFIID binding site in the transcriptional control of the TATA-less human cytosolic phospholipase A2-a promoter. Biochim. Biophys. ACTA. 2004; 1680:145-157.

Pawliczak R, Logun C, Madara P, Lawrence M, Woszczek G, Ptasinska A, Kowalski ML, Wu T and Shelhamer JH. Cytosolic phospholipase A2 Group IVa but not secreted phospholipase A2, Group IIA, V or X induces interleukin-8 and cyclooxygenase-2 gene and protein expression through PPAR-g 1 and 2 in human lung cells. J. Biol. Chem. 2004;277:48551-48561.

Han C, Demetris AJ, Liu Y, Shelhamer JH, Wu T. TGF-b activates cPLA2a-mediated PGE2/EP1 and PPAR-g/SMAD signaling pathways in human liver cancer cells: A novel mechanism for subversion of TGF-b-induced mitoinhibition. J. Biol. Chem. 2004;279:44344-44354.


  • NIH Director's Award, 2009
  • NIH Clinical Center Director's Award, 2006
  • NIH Clinical Center Director's Award, 2002
  • NIH Director's Award, 1998
  • NIH Clinical Center Director's Award, 1996
  • Public Health Service Unit Commendation, 1991
  • Public Health Service Outstanding Service Medal, 1990
  • NIH Clinical Center Distinguished Clinical Educator Award, 1989
  • Public Health Service Commendation Medal, 1985
  • American Society for Clinical Investigation
  • Association of American Physicians

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This page last updated on 03/14/2019

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