Shah Alam


Postdoctoral Research Associate


Shah joined Zhang's lab in June 2023 as a postdoctoral research scientist. Prior to joining Columbia, he gained experience working as a postdoc at the LIMES Institute, University of Bonn, Germany, for over a year. He also completed his PhD at the same institute. During his PhD, he unraveled the signaling of sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) in primary neurons, microglia, and astrocytes of a neurodegenerative disease mouse model called neural-cell specific S1P-lyase (SGPL1) deficient mice. He earned his master's degree in molecular biotechnology from the University of Bonn and his bachelor's degree in biotechnology from VIT University, India. Shah's current research plans involve delving into the regulatory mechanisms and lineage-specific alternatively splicing events and their functional impacts on brain development and developmental disorders. Moreover, he is also interested in developing experimental systems that will strategically map and compare RBP binding sites and RBP-dependent splicing regulation in neurons. 

Education History

2021 Ph.D., Molecular Biomedicine, University of Bonn, Germany

2016 M.Sc, Molecular biotechnology, University of Bonn, Germany

2014 B.Tech, Biotechnology, VIT University, India


(*similar contribution)

Alam, S., Afsar, S.Y., van Echten-Deckert, G. S1P Lyase Deficiency in the Brain Promotes Astrogliosis and NLRP3 Inflammasome Activation via Purinergic Signalling (2023) .

Alam, S., Afsar, S.Y., van Echten-Deckert, G. S1P released by SGPL1-deficient astrocytes enhances astrocytic ATP production via S1PR 2/4 thus keeping autophagy in check. Potential consequences for brain health (2023)

Afsar, S. Y., Alam, S., Fernandez Gonzalez, C., & van Echten-Deckert, G. Sphingosine-1- phosphate-lyase deficiency affects glucose metabolism in a way that abets oncogenesis. Molecular oncology, 16(20), 3642–3653 (2022).

Alam, S.; Piazzesi, A.; Abd El Fatah, M.; Raucamp, M.; van Echten-Deckert, G. Neurodegeneration Caused by S1PLyase Deficiency Involves Calcium-Dependent Tau Pathology and Abnormal Histone Acetylation. Cells, 9, 2189 (2020).

Hagen-Euteneuer, N., Alam, S., Rindsfuesser, H., Meyer zu Heringdorf, D., van Echten- Deckert, G. S1P-lyase deficiency uncouples ganglioside formation - Potential contribution to tumorigenic capacity. BBAMolecular and Cell Biology of Lipids 1865:158708 (2020).

Karunakaran, I*., Alam, S.*, et. al. Neural sphingosine 1-phosphate accumulation activates microglia and links impaired autophagy and inflammation. GLIA,67:1859-1872 (2019). 

Van Echten-Deckert, G., Alam, S. Sphingolipid metabolism - an ambiguous regulator of autophagy in the brain. Biol Chem 399(8): 837 - 850 (2018). PubMed