Dr. Alex Shikhman

MD, PhD, CEO & Founder 

Dr. Shikhman is board certified in internal medicine and rheumatology. He is a leading author of numerous scientific publications in peer review journals, including Journal of Immunology, Arthritis and Rheumatism, Annals of Rheumatic Diseases, New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of Gluten Sensitivity and Nature Biotechnology, among others.

He is listed in Who is Who in American Medicine and Healthcare and America’s Top Physicians by Consumer’s Research Council of America. His other awards include a research grant from the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology, an Oklahoma University award in clinical excellence, and a Skaggs scholarship in biomedical research.

Currently, he serves as a member of the editorial board of Future Rheumatology/International Journal of Clinical Rheumatology and is an advisory board member of Simply Gluten Free magazine.

Dr. Shikhman received his MD Cum Laude from the Russian State Medical University (formerly known as 2nd Moscow Medical Institute named after Pirogov) — a preeminent Russian medical center. After graduating from medical school, he spent five years in basic and clinical research in the area of autoimmune diseases driven by infectious agents and received his Ph.D. in Immunology from the Moscow Medical Academy (formerly known as 1st Moscow Medical Institute named after Sechenov).

In 1990 he immigrated to the United States and became a research professor at the Oklahoma University Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, where he conducted pioneering work on mechanisms of molecular mimicry between streptococcus group A and human skin proteins. He served his internship and residency in internal medicine at the Oklahoma University Health Sciences Center and completed his clinical fellowship in rheumatology at Scripps Clinic.

Subsequently, he became a member of Scripps Clinic Division of Rheumatology and a faculty member in the Department of Arthritis Research at the Scripps Research Institute. His additional training included: study of medical acupuncture at UCLA, master classes in musculoskeletal ultrasound, auricolotherapy and auriculodiagnosis, and application of low-level lasers in therapy of arthritis and allied conditions.

Dr. Shikhman was among the first awardees of the National Institute of Complementary and Alternative Medicine to study the molecular mechanisms of glucosamine in arthritis. His research resulted in the discovery of glucose transporting mechanisms in human cartilage tissue and identification of several natural products with promising therapeutic benefits for patients with osteoarthritis.

As a symbiosis of his clinical and basic research activities, he developed a comprehensive approach to treat various arthritic conditions which combines state-of-the-art diagnostic and therapeutic modalities, dietary modifications, nutritional supplements and biomechanical adjustments.


1. Shikhman AR, Brinson DC, Valbracht J, Lotz MK. Differential metabolic effects of glucosamine and N-acetylglucosamine in human articular chondrocytes. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2009 Aug 17(8):1022-8.

2. Lemon S, Imbesi S., Shikhman A.R. Salivary gland imaging in Sjogren’s syndrome. Future Rheumatology, 2007 2(1):83-92.

3. Shikhman A.R. Glucosamine and osteoarthritis. Future Rheumatology, 2006 1(1):67-78.

4. Shikhman A.R., Amiel D., D’Lima D., Hwang S.B., Hu C., Xu A., Hashimoto S., Kobayashi K., Sasho T., Lotz M.K. Chondroprotective activity of N-acetylglucosamine in rabbits with experimental osteoarthritis. Ann Rheum Dis, 2005 Jan;64(1):89-94.

5. Liu J., Numa M.M., Liu H., Huang S.J., Sears P., Shikhman A.R., Wong C.H. Synthesis and high-throughput screening of N-acetyl-beta-hexosaminidase inhibitor libraries targeting osteoarthritis. J Org Chem.Ann Rheum Dis. 2004 Sep 17;69(19):6273-83.

6. Shikhman A.R., Brinson D.C., Lotz M.K. Distinct pathways regulate facilitated glucose transport in human articular chondrocytes during anabolic and catabolic responses. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2004 Jun;286(6):E980-5.

7. Kuhn K., Shikhman A.R., Lotz M. Role of nitric oxide, reactive oxygen species, and p38 MAP kinase in the regulation of human chondrocyte apoptosis. J Cell Physiol. 2003 Dec;197(3):379-87.

8. Komuro H, Olee T, Kuhn K, Quach J, Brinson DC, Shikhman A, Valbracht J, Creighton-Achermann L, Lotz M. The osteoprotegerin/receptor activator of nuclear factor kappaB/receptor activator of nuclear factor kappaB ligand system in cartilage. Arthritis Rheum 2001 Dec;44(12):2768-76.

9. Shikhman A.R., Brinson D., Valbracht J., Lotz M. Cytokine regulation of facilitated glucose transport in human articular chondrocytes. J Immunol 2001 Dec 15;167(12):7001-8.

10. Liu J., Shikhman A.R., Lotz M.K., Wong C. Hexosaminidase inhibitors as new drug candidates for the therapy of osteoarthritis. Chem Biol. 2001 Jul;8(7):701-11.

11. Shikhman A.R., Kuhn K., Alaaeddine N., Brinson D.C., Lotz M. N-acetylglucosamine prevents IL-1beta-mediated activation of human chondrocytes. J Immunol. 2001 Apr 15;166(8):5155-60.

12. Shikhman A.R., Brinson D.C., Lotz M. Profile of glycosaminoglycan-degrading glycosidases and glycoside sulfatases secreted by human articular chondrocytes in homeostasis and inflammation. Arthritis Rheum 2000 Jun; 43(6):1307-14.

13. Greenspan N.S., Pinilla C., Shikhman A.R. Peptide mimicry of streptococcal group A carbohydrate. In: Molecular Mimicry, Microbes, and Autoimmunity. Ed. By M.W. Cunningham and R.S. Fujinami, 2000:83-94.

14. DeMarco P.J., Schulman S., Shikhman A.R. Therapies for ulcers associated with nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs [letter to the editor]. NEJM 1998 July 30; 339(5):350.

15. Adderson E.E., Shikhman A.R., Ward K.E., Cunningham M.W. Molecular analysis of polyreactive monoclonal antibodies from rheumatic carditis: Human anti-N-acetylglucosamine/anti-myosin antibody V region genes. J Immunol 1998 Aug 15;161(4):2020-31.

16. Shikhman A.R., Cunningham M.W. Trick and treat: toward peptide mimic vaccines [news; comment]. Nature Biotechnol 1997 Jun;15(6):512-3.

17. Cherkasov V.L., Briko N.I., Shikhman A.R., Anokhina G.I. Clinical significance of determination of the discrete group A streptococcal antigens and corresponding antibodies in the blood of erysipelas patients. Klin Med (Mosk) 1995;73(4):97-8.

18. Shikhman A.R., Cunningham M.W., Greenspan N.S. Cytokeratin peptide SFGSGFGGGY mimics N-acetyl-beta-D-glucosamine in reaction with antibodies and lectins, and induces in vivo anti-carbohydrate antibody response. J Immunol 1994 Dec 15;153(12):5593-606.

19. Shikhman A.R., Cunningham M.W. Immunological mimicry between N-acetyl-beta-D-glucosamine and cytokeratin peptides. Evidence for a microbially driven anti-keratin antibody response. J Immunol 1994 May 1;152(9):4375-87.

20. Shikhman A.R., Cunningham M.W., Greenspan N.S. A subset of mouse monoclonal antibodies cross-reactive with cytoskeletal proteins and group A streptococcal M proteins recognizes N-acetyl-beta-D-glucosamine. J Immunol 1993 Oct 1;151(7):3902-13.

21. Cooper L.J., Shikhman A.R., Kangisser D., Glass D.D., Cunningham M.W., Greenspan N.S. Role of heavy chain constant domains in antibody-antigen interaction. Apparent specificity differences among streptococcal IgG antibodies expressing identical variable domains. J Immunol 1993 Mar 15;150(6):2231-42.

22. Blinnikova E.I., Shikhman A.R. Biochemical and immunochemical analysis of protein components isolated from group A streptococcal cell walls by a sparing chemical method. Zh Mikrobiol Epidemiol Immunobiol 1992;(11-12):2-5.

23. Molchanova T.O., Dynga L.O., Shikhman A.R. Streptococcal group A cell walls low-molecular-weight protein devoid of serological type-specificity. Zh Mikrobiol Epidemiol Immunobiol 1991 Feb;(2):16-20.

24. Shmakova Z.F., Kuznetsov V.D., Briko N.I., Shikhman A.R. Immunological study of lysates from cell walls of group A Streptococcus. Antibiot Khimioter 1991 Aug;36(8):28-31.

25. Bitko S.A., Dynga L.O., Shikhman A.R. Modification of the cell wall proteins in group A streptococci type M 29 by a spermidine-contained culture medium. Zh Mikrobiol Epidemiol Immunobiol 1991 Feb;(2):4-7.

26. Briko N.I., Zhukov V.V., Dynga L.O., Smirnova M.N., Kondrakova O.A., Serna F.R., Shikhman A.R., Eshchina A.S. Pharyngeal beta-hemolytic streptococcal carrier state among blood donors. Zh Mikrobiol Epidemiol Immunobiol 1991 Jan;(1):24-7.

27. Molchanova T.O., Briko N.I., Shikhman A.R. IgM, IgG, IgA and total antibody levels against low-molecular-weight cell-wall protein of Streptococcus group A without type-specificity in sera from patients with streptococcal infection. Zh Mikrobiol Epidemiol Immunobiol 1990 Nov;(11):21-6.

28. Bitko S.A., Briko N.I., Shmakova Z.F., Shikhman A.R., Dynga L.O. Physicochemical and biochemical characteristics of cell walls from M+ and M- variants of Streptococcus group A type 29. Zh Mikrobiol Epidemiol Immunobiol 1990 Apr;(4):3-7.

29. Shikhman A.R., Briko N.I., Cherniakova A.M. Persistence and biodegradation of group A streptococcal cell walls in the light of immunopathogenesis of nonsuppurative poststreptococcal diseases. Zh Mikrobiol Epidemiol Immunobiol 1990 Feb;(2):74-80.

30. Shikhman A.R., Briko N.I., Shmidt E.I., Cherniakova A.M. Immunoenzymatic assay as a tool for analysis of persistence and biodegradation of group A streptococcal cell wall antigens in patients with rheumatism. Vestn Akad Med Nauk SSSR 1989;(6):46-9.

31. Beliakov V.D., Shikhman A.R., Briko N.I. Clinical and laboratory diagnosis of streptococcal infection. Vestn Akad Med Nauk SSSR 1989;(11):22-8.

32. Beliakov V.D., Shikhman A.R., Bogoiavlenskii S.Yu., Briko N.I. Epidemiologic aspects of the laboratory diagnostics of streptococcal infections. Vestn Akad Med Nauk SSSR 1989;(6):39-46.

33. Briko N.I., Shikhman A.R., Grushchinskaia I.A., Shmidt E.I. Secretory and systemic humoral immune responses to streptococcal group A polysaccharide in patients with rheumatism. Vestn Akad Med Nauk SSSR 1989;(6):37-8.

34. Shikhman A.R., Briko N.I., Cherkasov V.L., Anokhina G.I. ELISA with capture for determination of unmasked antigenic determinants of streptococcal group-specific A polysaccharide within the circulating immune complexes isolated from patients with erysipelas. Lab Delo 1988;(4):64-6.

35. Cherniakova A.M., Briko N.I., Shmakova Z.F., Shikhman A.R. Determination of streptococcal group-specific A-polysaccharide by ELISA: Effect of microbial cell wall degradation on the test results. Lab Delo 1988;(4):18-22.

36. Dubinin A.V., Babin V.N., Shikhman A.R., Kirkin B.V., Raevskii P.M. Nonspecific ulcerative colitis: triggering factors and disease progression. An attempt to establish a theoretical model of the pathologic process. Klin Med (Mosk) 1987 Jul;65(7):140-4.

37. Shikhman A.R., Savel’ev E.P., Kondrakova O.A., Nikolaeva L.V. Immunochemical analysis of epitopes recognized by antibodies to group A streptococcal ribosomes. Zh Mikrobiol Epidemiol Immunobiol 1986 Feb;(2):73-6.

38. Shikhman A.R., Savel’ev E.P., Kondrakova O.A., Vul’fovich Yu.V., Nikolaeva L.V. Anti-myocardial antibodies and anti-immunoglobulins in hyperimmune sera against ribosomes and cell wall surface antigens isolated from microbial variants of Streptococcus group A. Vestn Akad Med Nauk SSSR 1986;(7):35-9.

39. Shikhman A.R., Savel’ev E.P., Nikolaeva L.V., Cherkasov V.L., Anokhina G.I. Determination of antibodies against ribosomes and cell wall components, and detection of circulating antigens of group A Streptococcus in patients with erysipelas. Zh Mikrobiol Epidemiol Immunobiol 1986 Dec;(12):91-5.

40. Shikhman A.R. Utilization of ELISA in the analysis of antigenic determinants recognized by antibodies against group A streptococcal ribosomes. Zh Mikrobiol Epidemiol Immunobiol 1985 Jul;(7):52-5.

41. Shikhman A.R., Blinnikova E.I., Dzantiev B.B., Kondrakova O.A., Nikolaeva L.V. Identification of cell wall antigenic determinants in ribosomal preparations of Streptococcus group A. Zh Mikrobiol Epidemiol Immunobiol 1985 Apr;(4):15-9.

42. Shikhman A.R., Lebedev K.A. Creation of a subcutaneous artificial cavity with a pocket for collecting macrophages. Patol Fiziol Eksp Ter 1981 Sep-Oct;(5):75-6.

43. Shikhman A.R., Dil’man V.M., Lebedev K.A. Inhibiting effect of phenformin (phenethyl biguanide) on the growth of Ehrlich carcinoma. Vopr Onkol 1981;27(2):67-9.