Wasim Nasser, PhD, receives Gilmore Award

Since 2002, Wasim Nasser, PhD, has been chasing chemokines.

Night and day, the UNMC assistant professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, has tracked every move of the tiny signaling proteins that are produced by the body to attract immune cells to fight infection.

He’s studied them in petri dishes, under powerful microscopes and researched their structure, their behavior and paid particular attention to how they interact with cancer cells, which secrete their own chemokines that are then used to hijack the immune cells for their survival.

About the Gilmore Award

The Joseph P. and Harriet K. Gilmore Distinguished New Investigator Award will be presented March 30, at 1:30 p.m. via Zoom.

It was originally named for Joseph Gilmore, PhD, who served as professor and chairman of the UNMC Department of Physiology and Biophysics from 1970 to 1987. Dr. Gilmore died in 2007 at age 78.

In 2016, the award was re-named to also honor Dr. Gilmore’s wife, Harriet. Joe and Harriet were lifelong companions who grew up together in Brooklyn, N.Y. Dr. Gilmore elevated the level of cardiovascular and renal research at UNMC to world-class levels and obtained the first NIH training grant at UNMC.

After the Gilmores married, Harriet supported Joe through graduate and postgraduate school while raising four children. She was dedicated to UNMC, opening her home to physiology graduate students, faculty and staff. Harriet was a docent and hospital volunteer for many years. She died in 2015 at age 87. She and Joe were married for 57 years.

Using nanotechnology, Dr. Nasser and his team are utilizing the antagonist of chemokine receptor type four (CXCR4) for targeting nanoparticles encapsulating tiny microRNAs that will attack the cells of small cell lung cancer (SCLC). It is hoped that the formulation will reduce the size of the tumors by inducing the immune system.

“We hope that this also will inhibit cancer metastasis and provide even more answers that will lead to better drug therapies in the fight against lung cancer as well as other cancers,” Dr. Nasser said.

In recognition of his advanced research, Dr. Nasser is the Joseph P. and Harriet K. Gilmore Distinguished New Investigator Award recipient for 2021.

Dr. Nasser will receive the award during a virtual Zoom symposium that will take place on March 30 at 1:30 p.m., during which he will discuss his research in a lecture titled, “Secretory Factors Fuel Cancer Metastasis.”

“It is both surprising and humbling to be recognized and receive this prestigious award,” Dr. Nasser said. “I could not have gotten this far without the support of my mentor and Department Chair, Dr. Surinder Batra, who believes in me and my research vision.”

Dr. Nasser began his journey into cancer research upon receiving his doctorate in 2002 in biotechnology from Hamdard University, New Delhi. That same year, Dr. Nasser moved to the United States for his postdoctoral research training in chemokines and cancer biology at Meharry Medical College at North Carolina Central University. Later, he moved to Ohio State University, where worked as a research scientist investigating the novel role of microRNAs in cancer progression and identified players involved in the tumor microenvironment that promote metastasis.

Dr. Nasser was recruited to UNMC in 2015 and in 2018, he received his first R01 National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute grant on microRNA-based novel approaches to target small cell lung cancer.

The focus of Dr. Nasser’s research program is to investigate how secretory factors such as chemokines and mucins contribute to cancer cell metastasis. His research focus also includes breast cancer and how they metastasize to other organs in the body, in particular the brain.

“While we have successful treatments for breast cancer, once it metastasizes to the brain, those treatments don’t work because of the blood-brain barrier,” Dr. Nasser said. “Part of my research focus is on developing a biomarker to detect brain metastasis.”

Dr. Nasser has been working to discover novel approaches to inhibit brain metastasis, which is highly lethal in patients with lung, breast, and melanoma cancers. His laboratory has recently developed a unique mouse model that mimics breast cancer brain metastasis and demonstrated that a combination of FDA approved drugs targeting specific cell surface receptors attenuates breast cancer brain metastasis.

Dr. Nasser has published his findings in 45 research articles in highly reputed journals and authored 57 abstracts in national and international conferences. In addition, Dr. Nasser has published three book chapters and one encyclopedia article on cancer and inflammation.

He is currently editing two special issues on chemokines and signal transduction pathways in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences (IJMS) and Cancers and serves on the editorial board of IJMS, as well as the journal Frontiers in Oncology.


  1. Satya says:


  2. Abdul Haleem khan says:

    Congratulations Dr Waseem ,we proud on you and best wishes for future too

  3. Dr Faizan Ur Rehman says:

    Congratulations, wish you all the best

  4. jawed siddiqui says:

    Congratulations Dr. Nasser for your achievement.

  5. Manal Siddiqui says:

    Congratulations Mama , so proud of you😊

  6. M. Elizabeth Blackburn says:


  7. Parthasarathy Seshacharyulu says:

    Congratulations Dr. Nasser.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations. Wassem

  9. Ming-Fong Lin says:

    Congratulations! Well deserved.

  10. Sayeem Nasser says:

    Congratulations Uncle

  11. Maneesh Jain says:

    Well Done and well deserved !! Congratulations Wasim!!

  12. Parvez Khan says:

    Many many congratulations !!!

  13. Kashif Hanif says:

    Congratulations. As a Hamdardian, I am really proud of you. Keep it up.

  14. Anis Ahmad says:


  15. Bilal Hafeez says:

    Congratulations!! You truly deserve for it. I am very proud of you. God bless you many more bigger awards in future.

  16. Prof Anwarul Haque Khan says:

    Very Good

  17. Amar Singh says:

    Many congratulations Wasim. A deserving honor.

  18. Gul Ahmad says:

    Many many congratulations. Well deserved Waseem.

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