Frank Simmen

FAS.Fall.2015Frank A. Simmen, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Physiology and Biophysics

Faculty Member, The Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute (GI Cancers)

Director, Cellular Physiology and Molecular Biophysics Graduate Program  (

Track Leader, Cell Biology and Physiology Track of the GPIBS, UAMS  (

Co-Director, GI and Nutrition Teaching Module, College of Medicine, UAMS

Ph.D., University of Hawaii (Biochemistry); Postdoctoral Fellow, Baylor College of Medicine (Cell Biology)

 Office: (501) 686-8128;

My laboratory has worked in the areas of molecular endocrinology, molecular nutrition, gut development, and animal models of disease (reproductive and cancer). Work in the laboratory over the last ten years and continuing through the present has focused on 1) molecular mechanism(s) of action of select dietary factors and obesity in colon and breast cancers 2) molecular physiology of Malic Enzyme 1 (ME1), and 3) characterization of Krüppel-Like Factors (KLFs) in normo- and patho-physiology. Current projects use a combination of in vitro and in vivo approaches, mouse models, and human clinical specimens and are translational and collaborative. While research has been a focus of my (and my mentees) career development, I remain an active contributor to graduate and medical education and mentoring.

Current Member, Editorial Boards:

Journal of Nutrition


Representative Recent Publications:

  1. Al-Dwairi A, Pabona JM, Simmen RC, Simmen FA. Cytosolic malic enzyme 1 (ME1) mediates high fat diet-induced adiposity, endocrine profile, and gastrointestinal tract proliferation-associated biomarkers in male mice. PLoS One. 2012;7(10):e46716. PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3464285.
  2. Al-Dwairi A, Brown AR, Pabona JM, Van TH, Hamdan H, Mercado CP, Quick CM, Wight PA, Simmen RC, Simmen FA. Enhanced gastrointestinal expression of cytosolic malic enzyme (ME1) induces intestinal and liver lipogenic gene expression and intestinal cell proliferation in mice. PLoS One. 2014;9(11):e113058. PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4234650.
  3. Brown AR, Simmen RC, Raj VR, Van TT, MacLeod SL, Simmen FA. Krüppel-like factor 9 (KLF9) prevents colorectal cancer through inhibition of interferon-related signaling. Carcinogenesis. 2015 Sep;36(9):946-55. PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4573661.
  4. Montales MT, Simmen RC, Ferreira ES, Neves VA, Simmen FA. Metformin and soybean-derived bioactive molecules attenuate the expansion of stem cell-like epithelial subpopulation and confer apoptotic sensitivity in human colon cancer cells. Genes Nutr. 2015 Nov;10(6):49. PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4623856.
  5. Pabona JM, Zhang D, Ginsburg DS, Simmen FA, Simmen RC. Prolonged pregnancy in women is associated with attenuated myometrial expression of progesterone receptor co-regulator Krüppel-like Factor 9. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2015 Jan;100(1):166-74. PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4283014.
  6. Heard ME, Simmons CD, Simmen FA, Simmen RC. Krüppel-like factor 9 deficiency in uterine endometrial cells promotes ectopic lesion establishment associated with activated notch and hedgehog signaling in a mouse model of endometriosis. Endocrinology. 2014 Apr;155(4):1532-46. PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3959595.


Link to Dr. Frank A. Simmen at Pub-Med:

Link to Dr. Frank A. Simmen at ResearchGate: