School of Medicine

Wayne State University School of Medicine

Fazlul H. Sarkar






Fazlul H. Sarkar, Ph.D.
4100 John R. 
Hudson Webber CRC, 740
Detroit, MI 48201
Assistant: Jacqui 313-576-8325 
Research Interests:
• NF-κB
• Natural chemopreventive agents
• Sensitization of cancer cells to therapeutics
• microRNAs (miRNAs)
• cell signaling and cancer stem cells or EMT phenotypic cells

Research Description:
Research in the Sarkar laboratory is focused on understanding the role of a “master” transcription factor, NF-κB and the regulation of its upstream and downstream signaling molecules in solid tumors. Other studies are directed toward elucidating the molecular mechanisms of action of “natural agents” and synthetic small molecules for cancer prevention and therapy. His work has led to the discovery of the role of chemopreventive agents in sensitization of cancer cells (reversal of drug-resistance) to conventional therapeutics (chemo-radio-therapy). Finally studies are focused on cancer stem cells, epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT), drug resistance and miRNAs.

Selected Publications:

Kong D, Sethi S, Li Y, Chen W, Sakr WA, Heath E, Sarkar FH. Androgen receptor splice variants contribute to prostate cancer aggressiveness through induction of EMT and expression of stem cell marker genes. Prostate. 2014 Oct 13. [Epub ahead of print]

Xia J, Li Y, Yang Q, Mei C, Chen Z, Bao B, Ahmad A, Miele L, Sarkar FH, Wang Z. Xia, J.; et al., Arsenic Trioxide Inhibits Cell Growth and Induces Apoptosis through Inactivation of Notch Signaling Pathway in Breast Cancer. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13, 9627-9641. Int J Mol Sci. 2014;15:14907-8.

Ahmad A, Sethi S, Chen W, Ali-Fehmi R, Mittal S, Sarkar FH. Up-regulation of microRNA-10b is associated with the development of breast cancer brain metastasis. Am J Transl Res. 2014;6:384-90.

Ali S, Ahmad A, Aboukameel A, Ahmed A, Bao B, Banerjee S, Philip PA, Sarkar FH. Deregulation of miR-146a expression in a mouse model of pancreatic cancer affecting EGFR signaling. Cancer Lett. 2014;351:134-42.

Ginnebaugh KR, Ahmad A, Sarkar FH. The therapeutic potential of targeting the epithelial-mesenchymal transition in cancer. Expert Opin Ther Targets. 2014;18:731-45.

Bao B, Ali S, Ahmad A, Li Y, Banerjee S, Kong D, Aboukameel A, Mohammad R, Van Buren E, Azmi AS, Sarkar FH. Differentially expressed miRNAs in cancer-stem-like cells: markers for tumor cell aggressiveness of pancreatic cancer. Stem Cells Dev. 2014;23:1947-58.

Bao B, Azmi AS, Aboukameel A, Ahmad A, Bolling-Fischer A, Sethi S, Ali S, Li Y, Kong D, Banerjee S, Back J, Sarkar FH. Pancreatic cancer stem-like cells display aggressive behavior mediated via activation of FoxQ1. J Biol Chem. 2014;289:14520-33.

Tang J, Ahmad A, Sarkar FH. MicroRNAs in Breast Cancer Therapy. Curr Pharm Des. 2014;20:5268-74.

Sahin K, Orhan C, Tuzcu M, Muqbil I, Sahin N, Gencoglu H, Guler O, Padhye SB, Sarkar FH, Mohammad RM. Comparative in vivo evaluations of curcumin and its analog difluorinated curcumin against cisplatin-induced nephrotoxicity. Biol Trace Elem Res. 2014;157:156-63.

Li Y, Ahmad A, Kong D, Bao B, Sarkar FH. Recent progress on nutraceutical research in prostate cancer.Cancer Metastasis Rev. 2014;33:629-40.

Ahmad A, Li Y, Bao B, Kong D, Sarkar FH. Epigenetic regulation of miRNA-cancer stem cells nexus by nutraceuticals. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2014;58:79-86.

Khan HY, Zubair H, Faisal M, Ullah MF, Farhan M, Sarkar FH, Ahmad A, Hadi SM. Plant polyphenol induced cell death in human cancer cells involves mobilization of intracellular copper ions and reactive oxygen species generation: a mechanism for cancer chemopreventive action. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2014;58:437-46.

Education and Training:
BSc in Physics (1971): Chemistry, and Math: Calcutta University, India (Distinction)
MSc in Biochemistry (1974): Aligarh Muslim University, India (First Class)
PhD in Biochemistry (1978): Banaras Hindu University, India