Fokhrul Hossain, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor-Research

Department of Genetics
533 Bolivar Street, CSRB 623F
New Orleans, LA 70112
Phone: 504-568-6153
Email: fhossa@lsuhsc.edu


BS in Microbiology
University of Dhaka, Bangladesh

MS in Biotechnology
Stephen F. Austin State University, Texas

Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
LSU Health Sciences Center (LSUHSC), Louisiana


Since the BS degree, Dr. Hossain was involved in multiple research projects in Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Adult Stem Cell Biology, Cell metabolism and Cancer Biology. As a part of Ph.D. dissertation in cancer Immunology, he studied the metabolism of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC) as a new therapeutic target for cancer treatment. As a postdoctoral researcher, Dr. Hossain studied the role of Notch signaling in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC). Recently, Dr. Hossain received the ‘Health Disparities Scholar’ award (2020) from the Health Disparities Research Education program (HDREP), University of Alabama, Birmingham (UAB).

Research Interests

Cancer Stem cells: Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are responsible for cancer initiation, progression, therapy resistance, and metastasis. However, targeting one or two signaling pathways is not successful because of the heterogeneity nature of CSCs. Metabolic plasticity is a hallmark of cancer cells adaptation, where cancer cells primarily utilize glycolytic metabolism while CSCs mainly rely on oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) as their source of energy. Interestingly, CSCs can switch between OXPHOS and glycolysis depending on the microenvironments signals to establish therapy resistance. Our current research focuses on the signaling molecules involved in CSCs metabolism. 

TNBC Health Disparities: Triple Negative Breast Cancers (TNBC) are molecularly and immunologically heterogeneous, and TNBC patients suffer from higher rates of recurrence and mortality. The incidence of both obesity and TNBC in Louisiana (LA) is among the highest in the nation, particularly among African American (AA/Black) women. Using Louisiana Tumor Registry (LTR) data, we reported that neighborhood concentrated disadvantage index (CDI) was associated with more advanced stages of TNBC at diagnosis and poorer stage-specific survival. Although TNBC incidence was higher in AAs, the CDI did not fully explain the disparities in incidence, suggesting a role of biological differences. Our current research focuses on understanding the role of obesity in TNBC health disparities.

Biology of Adult Stem Cells: In collaboration, we studied the anti-inflammatory properties of human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in lipopolysaccharide induced acute lung injury (ALI) rodent model. Our results revealed that administration of human MSCs significantly reduced the pulmonary edema by decreasing the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines. We also studied mouse hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) response in long-term cigarette smoke exposure as well as differential potential of MSCs. In collaboration, we also studied the role of obesity-altered adipose stem cells (ASCs) in TNBC progression. Currently in collaboration, we are investigating the therapeutic potential of lean and obese ASCs.

The ‘Louisiana Clinical and Translational Science (LACaTs)’ Roadmap Scholar Grant and University of Alabama, Birmingham (UAB) Obesity Health Disparities Research Center (OHDRC) pilot grant support Dr. Hossain’s current research projects.

Teaching Activities

Lecturer, INTER 141, Introduction to Genetics, Interdisciplinary Program, School of Graduate Studies

Lecturer, GENET 234, Epigenetics, Department of Genetics

Lecturer, GENET245/BIOCH260, Cancer Molecular Genetics and Applications, Department of Genetics and Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Lecturer, GENET 258, Advanced Genomics, Department of Genetics

Selected Publications

Prakash, O., Hossain, F., Danos, D., Lassak, A., Scribner, R., and Miele, L. (2020) Racial Disparities in Triple Negative Breast Cancer: A Review of the Role of Biologic and Non-biologic Factors. Front. Public Health8, 576964.

Sabol, R. A., Villela, V. A., Denys, A., Freeman, B. T., Hartono, A. B., Wise, R. M., Harrison, M. A. A., Sandler, M. B., Hossain, F., Miele, L., and Bunnell, B. A. (2020) Obesity-Altered Adipose Stem Cells Promote Radiation Resistance of Estrogen Receptor Positive Breast Cancer through Paracrine Signaling. Int J Mol Sci21, 2722

Hoang, V.T.,  Matossian, M.D., Ucar, D., Elliott, S.,  La, J.,  Wright, M., Burks, H., Perles, A.,  Hossain, F., Tuohy King, C.,  Browning, V.,  Bursavich, J., Fang, F.,  Del Valle, L.,  Bhatt, A.,  Cavanaugh, J.,  Flaherty, P.,  Anbalagan, M., Rowan, B.,  Bratton, M., Nephew, K., Miele, L., Collins-Burow, B.,   Martin, E.,  and Burow, M. (2020). ERK5 is required for tumor growth and maintenance through regulation of the extracellular matrix in triple negative breast cancer. Front. Oncol10,1164 

Hossain, F., Danos, D., Prakash, O., Gilliland, A., Ferguson, T. F., Simonsen, N., Leonardi, C., Yu, Q., Wu, X. C., Miele, L., and Scribner, R. (2019) Neighborhood Social Determinants of Triple Negative Breast Cancer. Front Public Health7, 18

Sorrentino, C., Hossain, F., Rodriguez, P. C., Sierra, R. A., Pannuti, A., Osborne, B. A., Minter, L. M., Miele, L., and Morello, S. (2019) Adenosine A2A Receptor Stimulation Inhibits TCR-Induced Notch1 Activation in CD8+T-Cells. Front Immunol10, 162

Alam, M. A., Shahjaman, M., Rahman, M. F., Hossain, F., and Deng, H. W. (2019) Gene shaving using a sensitivity analysis of kernel based machine learning approach, with applications to cancer data. PLoS One14, e0217027

Sabol, R. A., Bowles, A. C., Cote, A., Wise, R., O'Donnell, B., Matossian, M. D., Hossain, F. M., Burks, H. E., Del Valle, L., Miele, L., Collins-Burow, B. M., Burow, M. E., and Bunnell, B. A. (2019) Leptin produced by obesity-altered adipose stem cells promotes metastasis but not tumorigenesis of triple-negative breast cancer in orthotopic xenograft and patient-derived xenograft models. Breast Cancer Res21, 67

Hossain, F., Sorrentino, C., Ucar, D. A., Peng, Y., Matossian, M., Wyczechowska, D., Crabtree, J., Zabaleta, J., Morello, S., Del Valle, L., Burow, M., Collins-Burow, B., Pannuti, A., Minter, L. M., Golde, T. E., Osborne, B. A., and Miele, L. (2018) Notch Signaling Regulates Mitochondrial Metabolism and NF-kappaB Activity in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Cells via IKKalpha-Dependent Non-canonical Pathways. Front Oncol8, 575

Hossain, F., Majumder, S., Ucar, D. A., Rodriguez, P. C., Golde, T. E., Minter, L. M., Osborne, B. A., and Miele, L. (2018) Notch Signaling in Myeloid Cells as a Regulator of Tumor Immune Responses. Front Immunol9, 1288

Matossian, M. D., Burks, H. E., Bowles, A. C., Elliott, S., Hoang, V. T., Sabol, R. A., Pashos, N. C., O'Donnell, B., Miller, K. S., Wahba, B. M., Bunnell, B. A., Moroz, K., Zea, A. H., Jones, S. D., Ochoa, A. C., Al-Khami, A. A., Hossain, F., Riker, A. I., Rhodes, L. V., Martin, E. C., Miele, L., Burow, M. E., and Collins-Burow, B. M. (2018) A novel patient-derived xenograft model for claudin-low triple-negative breast cancer. Breast Cancer Res Treat169, 381-390

Ran, Y., Hossain, F., Pannuti, A., Lessard, C. B., Ladd, G. Z., Jung, J. I., Minter, L. M., Osborne, B. A., Miele, L., and Golde, T. E. (2017) gamma-Secretase inhibitors in cancer clinical trials are pharmacologically and functionally distinct. EMBO Mol Med9, 950-966

Al-Khami, A. A., Zheng, L., Del Valle, L., Hossain, F., Wyczechowska, D., Zabaleta, J., Sanchez, M. D., Dean, M. J., Rodriguez, P. C., and Ochoa, A. C. (2017) Exogenous lipid uptake induces metabolic and functional reprogramming of tumor-associated myeloid-derived suppressor cells. Oncoimmunology6, e1344804

Hossain, F., Al-Khami, A. A., Wyczechowska, D., Hernandez, C., Zheng, L., Reiss, K., Valle, L. D., Trillo-Tinoco, J., Maj, T., Zou, W., Rodriguez, P. C., and Ochoa, A. C. (2015) Inhibition of Fatty Acid Oxidation Modulates Immunosuppressive Functions of Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells and Enhances Cancer Therapies. Cancer Immunol Res3, 1236-1247