Wei Sha

Sha, Wei
Research Associate Professor
NC Research Campus

Degree Institution: Virginia Tech, 2006
Degree: Ph.D. Genetics, Bioinformatics and Computational Biology

Dr. Wei Sha is a research associate professor in the Department of Bioinformatics and Genomics at UNC Charlotte. She received a Bachelor of Medicine in Pediatrics from Capital Medical University, Beijing, China in 1998. She then received an M.S. in Biology in 2002 and a Ph.D. in Genetics, Bioinformatics and Computational Biology in 2006, both from Virginia Tech. 

Her expertise is in biostatistics. She analyzes data generated from genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics and microbiomics studies. She also analyzes clinical trial data, survival data and survey data. She has served as a biostatistician on more than 80 collaborative research projects. Most of these projects were supported by research grants or service contracts. Dr. Sha provides experimental design, performs power and sample size estimation, develops randomization schemes, and outlines appropriate data analysis strategies for collaborative research proposals. She conducts statistical analysis by using methods such as parametric and nonparametric tests, mixed linear model, logistic regression, generalized estimating equation, Cox regression, correlation analysis, discriminant analysis, principal component analysis, random forest, factor analysis, etc. Besides collaborative research, Dr. Sha is also interested in developing novel methods for omics data analysis.


  1. Trujillo-Gonzalez I, Friday WB, Munson CA, Bachleda A, Weiss ER, Alam NM, Sha W, Zeisel SH, Surzenko N.  (2019). Low availability of choline disrupts development and function of the retina. FASEB Journal  (Epub ahead of print)
  2. Nieman DC, Gillitt, ND, Sha W. (2018) Identification of a select metabolite panel for measuring metabolic perturbation in response to heavy exertion. Metabolomics 14: 147
  3. Brunner Huber LR, Smith K, Sha W, Vick T (2018) Interbirth interval and pregnancy complications and outcomes: findings from the pregnancy risk assessment monitoring system. Journal of Midwifery & Women's Health 63(4): 436-445 
  4. Nieman DC, Gillitt ND, Sha W, Esposito D, Ramamoorthy S (2018) Metabolic recovery from heavy exertion following banana compared to sugar beverage or water only ingestion: A randomized, crossover trial. PLOS One 13 (3), e0194843
  5. Brunner Huber LR, Smith K, Sha W, Zhao L, Vick T (2018) Factors associated with pregnancy intention among women who have experienced a short birth interval: findings from the 2009 to 2011 Mississippi and 2009 Tennessee Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System. Annals of Epidemiology, S1047-2797(17)30817-7
  6. Winglee K, Howard AG, ShaW, Gharaibeh RZ, Liu J, Jin D, Fodor AA, Gordon-Larsen P. (2017) Recent urbanization in China is correlated with a Westernized microbiome encoding increased virulence and antibiotic resistance genes. Microbiome, 5:121
  7. Nieman DC, Sha W, Pappan KL (2017) IL-6 linkage to exercise-induced shifts in lipid-related metabolites: a metabolomics-based analysis. Journal of Proteome Research, 16(2): 970-977
  8. Zhu Y, Wang P, Sha W, Sang S (2016) Biomarkers of whole grain wheat intake identified by non-targeted and targeted metabolomics approaches. Scientific Reports, 6, 36278.
  9. Cialdella-Kam L, Nieman DC, Knab AM, Shanely RA, Meaney MP, Jin F, Sha W, Ghosh S. (2016) A mixed flavonoid-fish oil supplement induces immune-enhancing and anti-inflammatory transcriptomic changes in adult obese and overweight women – a randomized controlled trial. Nutrients, 8(5): 277.
  10. Nieman DC, Gillitt ND, Sha W, Meaney MP, John C, Pappan K, Kinchen JM. (2015) Metabolomics-based analysis of banana and pear ingestion on exercise performance and recovery. Journal of Proteome Research. 14(12):5367-77.
  11. Muhlebach MS and Sha W. (2015) Lessons learned from metabolomics in cystic fibrosis. Molecular and Cellular Pediatrics. 2:9.
  12. Nieman DC, Scherr J, Luo B, Meaney MP, Dreau D, Sha W, Dew DA, Henson DA, Pappan KL (2014) Influence of pistachios on performance and exercise-induced inflammation, oxidative stress, immune dysfunction, and metabolite shifts in cyclists: a randomized, crossover trial. PLOS One. 9(11):e113725.
  13. Gruber HE, Sha W, Brouwer CR, Steuerwald N, Hoelscher GL, and Hanley Jr. EN (2014) A Novel Catechol-O-Methyltransferase Variant Associated with Human Disc Degeneration. The International Journal of Medical Sciences 11(7):748-53
  14. Knab AM, Nieman DC, Gillitt ND, Shanely RA, Cialdella-Kam L, Henson DA, Sha W, Meaney MP. (2014) Effects of a freeze dried juice blend powder on exercise induced inflammation, oxidative stress, and immune function in cyclists. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism 39 (3) 381-385.
  15. Shanely RA, Nieman DC, Knab AM, Gillitt ND, Meaney MP, Jin F, Sha W, Cialdella-Kam L. (2014) Influence of vitamin D mushroom powder on exercise-induced muscle damage in vitamin D insufficient high school athletes. Journal of Sports Sciences 32 (7) 670-679.
  16. Joseloff E, Sha W, Bell SC, Wetmore DR, Lawton KA, Milburn MV, Ryals JA, Guo L, Muhlebach MS. (2014) Serum metabolomics indicate altered cellular energy metabolism in children with cystic fibrosis. Pediatric Pulmonology 49: 463-472.
  17. McCafferty J, Muhlbauer M, Gharaibeh RZ, Arthur JC, Perez-Chanona E, Sha W, Jobin C, Fodor AA. (2013) Stochastic changes over time and not founder effects drive cage effects in microbial community assembly in a mouse model. The ISME Journal 7(11): 2116-2125
  18. Nieman DC, Shanely RA, Luo B, Dew D, Meaney MP, Sha W. (2013) A commercialized dietary supplement alleviates joint pain in community adults: a double-blind, placebo-controlled community trial. The Nutrition Journal 12:154
  19. Arthur JC, Gharaibeh RZ, Perez-Chanona E, Sha W, Tomkovich S, Mühlbauer M, Fodor AA, Jobin C. (2013) VSL#3 probiotic modifies mucosal microbial composition but does not reduce colitis-associated colorectal cancer. Scientific Reports 3:2868.
  20. Sha W, Martins A, Laubenbacher R, Mendes P, Shulaev V. (2013) The genome-wide early temporal response of Saccharomyces cerevisiae to oxidative stress induced by cumene hydroperoxide. PLOS One 8(9): e74939.
  21. Cialdella-Kam L, Nieman DC, Sha W, Meaney MP, Knab AM, Shanley RA. (2013) Dose-Response to three-month quercetin-containing supplements on metabolite and quercetin conjugate profile in adults. British Journal of Nutrition 109(11): 1923-1933.
  22. Shanely RA, Nieman DC, Jin F, Henson DA, Knab AM, Sha W. (2013) Inflammation and oxidative stress are lower in physically fit and active adults. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports. 23(2): 215-223.
  23. Corbin KD, Abdelmalek MF, Spencer MD, daCosta K, Galanko JA, Sha W, Pan YP, Suzuki A, Guy CD, Cardona DM, Torquati A, Diehl AM, Zeisel SH. (2013) Genetic signatures in choline and 1-carbon metabolism are associated with the severity of hepatic steatosis. The FASEB Journal, 27(4): 1674-1689.
  24. Knab AM, Nieman DC, Gillitt ND, Shanely RA, Cialdella-Kam L, Henson DA, Sha W. (2013) Effects of a flavonoid-rich juice on inflammation, oxidative stress, and immunity in elite swimmers: a metabolomics based approach. International Journal of Sport Nutrition & Exercise Metabolism. 23, 150-160
  25. Nieman DC, Gillit N, Henson DA, Sha W, Shanely RA, Knab AM, Kam L, Jin F. (2012) Bananas as an energy source during exercise: a metabolomics approach. PLOS One. 7(5), e37479.
  26. Jin F, Nieman D, Sha W, Xie G, Qiu Y, Jia W. (2012) Supplementation of Milled Chia Seeds Increases Plasma ALA and EPA in Post-Menopausal Women. Plant Foods for Human Nutrition. 67(2): 105-110.
  27. Knab AM, Nieman DC, Sha W, Broman-Fulks JJ, Canu WH. (2012) Exercise frequency is related to psychopathology but not neurocognitive function. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 44(7): 1395-1400.
  28. Knab AM, Shanely RA, Corbin KD, Jin F, Sha W, Nieman DC (2011) A 45-minute vigorous exercise bout increases metabolic rate for 14 hours. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 43 (9), 1643-1648.
  29. Nieman DC, Henson DA, Austin MD, Sha W (2011) Upper respiratory tract infection is reduced in physically fit and active adults. British Journal of Sports Medicine. 45, 987-92.
  30. Knab AM, Shanely RA, Jin F, Austin MD, Sha W, Nieman DC (2011) Quercetin with vitamin C and niacin does not affect body mass or composition. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism. 36, 331-338.
  31. Cortes DF, Sha W, Hower V, Blekherman G, Laubenbacher R, Akman S, Torti SV and Shulaev V (2011) Differential gene expression in normal and transformed human mammary epithelial cells in response to oxidative stress. Free Radical Biology and Medicine. 50, 1565-1574.
  32. Nieman DC, Henson DA, Sha W (2011) Ingestion of micronutrient nutrient fortified breakfast cereal has no influence on immune function in healthy children: a randomized controlled trial. Nutrition Journal. 10:36.
  33. Fischer LM, daCosta K, Galanko J, Sha W, Stephenson B, Vick J, and Zeisel SH. (2010) Dietary choline intake and genetic polymorphisms influence choline metabolite concentrations in human breast milk and plasma. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 92, 336-346.
  34. Sha W, daCosta K, Fischer LM, Milburn M, Lawton K, Jia W and Zeisel SH. (2010) Metabolomic profiling can predict which humans will develop liver dysfunction when deprived of dietary choline. The FASEB Journal. 24, 2962-2975.
  35. Jin F, Nieman DC, Shanely RA, Knab AM, Austin MD and Sha W. (2010) The variable plasma quercetin response to 12-weeks supplementation in humans. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 64, 692–697.
  36. Tripathi AK, Sha W, Shulaev V, Stins MF and Sullivan Jr. DJ (2009) Plasmodium falciparum Infected Erythrocytes Induce NF-kB Regulated Inflammatory Pathways in Human Cerebral Endothelium. Blood. 114, 4243-4252.
  37. Koussevitzky S, Suzuki N, Huntington S, Armijo L, Sha W, Cortes D, Shulaev V and Mittler R (2008) Ascorbate peroxidase 1 plays a key role in the response of Arabidopsis thaliana to stress combination. J. Biol. Chem. 283, 34197-34203.
  38. Martins AM, Sha W, Evans C, Martino-Catt S, Mendes P, and Shulaev V (2007) Comparison of sampling techniques for parallel analysis of transcript and metabolite levels in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Yeast. 24, 181-188.
  39. Sioson AA, Mane SP, Li P, Sha W, Heath LS, Bohnert HJ and Grene R (2006) The statistics of identifying differentially expressed genes in Expresso and TM4: a comparison. BMC Bioinformatics. 7: 215
  40. Martins AM, Camacho D, Shuman J, Sha W, Mendes P and Shulaev V. (2004) A systems biology study of two distinct growth phases of Saccharomyces cerevisiae cultures. Current Genomics. 5, 649-663.
  41. Mendes P, Sha W and Ye K. (2003) Artificial gene networks for objective comparison of analysis algorithms. Bioinformatics. 19, ii122-ii129.
  42. Sha W, Moore J, Chen K, Lassaletta AD, Yi CS, Tyson JJ and Sible JC. (2003) Hysteresis drives cell-cycle transitions in Xenopus laevis egg extracts. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 100, 975-980. (featured on the cover of this PNAS issue)

Current Projects:

  1. A nutrimetabolomics approach to identify the biomarkers of whole grain intake (R01DK112737). PI: Sang, Funding agency: NIH/USDA. 07/01/2018 - 06/30/2023. Role: Subcontract PI.
  2. Leveraging multi-omics approaches to examine metabolic challenges of obesity in relation to cardiovascular disease (R01HL143885). PI: Gordon-Larsen, Funding agency: NIH. 04/01/2019-03/31/2023. Role: Subcontract PI
  3. Developing a biomarker panel to assess choline nutritional status (R01DK115380). PI: Zeisel, Funding agency: NIH. 12/08/2017 - 11/30/2021. Role: Subcontract PI.
  4. Protein markers to islet autoimmunity and type 1 diabetes progression (R01DK114345). PI: Zhang, Funding agency: NIH. 07/01/2017 - 06/30/2022. Role: Subcontract PI.
  5. Gut microbiome markers of cardiometabolic disease in transition to a Western diet (R01DK104371). PI: Gordon-Larsen, Funding agency: NIH. 09/17/2015-06/30/2019. Role: co-Investigator.

Last updated: June 12, 2019

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