Frank Simmen

Dr. Frank Simmen

Frank A. Simmen, Ph.D.

Professor and Graduate Program Director

Ph.D., University of Hawaii

Office: (501) 686-8128;

Our laboratory is interested in the physiological drivers of colon, breast and uterine cancers. Current work in the laboratory and via our collaborations includes: 1) elucidating the role of Krüppel-like factor 9 (KLF9) in uterine and intestinal biology and cancer suppression; 2) understanding how the hormonal milieu (focus on insulin and thyroid hormone) regulates colon tumor cell growth; 3) determining how dietary factors (soy protein isolate is the paradigm) inhibit colon and breast cancers; and 4) elucidating the potential therapeutic applications of metformin in human colorectal and uterine cancers. Projects use a combination of in vitro and in vivo approaches, mouse models, pilot clinical trials, and are translational and highly collaborative.

Member, Editorial Boards:

Journal of Nutrition


World Journal of Gastrointestinal Pathophysiology

Current Grant Support

NIH R01 CA136493 (PI) “Dietary Factors in Colon Cancer Prevention” 12/15/2009-11/30/2014

NIH T32 BM 106999 (Training Faculty) “Systems Pharmacology and Toxicology Training Program” 7/1/2013-6/30/18

NIH F31 CA 165665 (Sponsor) “Colorectal Cancer Prevention through Thyroid Hormone Targets” 2012-2015

Representative Recent Publications:

Simmen, F.A. and Simmen, R.C.M.  The maternal womb: a novel target for cancer prevention in the era of the obesity pandemic? Eur. J. Cancer Prev., Vol. 20, 2011, pp. 539-548.

Pabona, J.M.P., Simmen, F.A., Nikiforov, M.A., Zhuang, D., Shankar, K., Velarde, M.C., Zelenko, Z., Guidice, L.C. and Simmen, R.C.M.  Krüppel-like factor 9 and progesterone receptor co-regulation of decidualizing endometrial stromal cells: implications for the pathogenesis of endometriosis.  J. Clin. Endo. Metab., Vol. 97, 2012, pp. E376-92.

Hakkak, R., Al-Dwairi, A., Fuchs, G.J., Korourian, S. and Simmen, F.A.  Dietary soy protein induces hepatic lipogenic enzyme gene expression while suppressing hepatosteatosis in obese female Zucker rats bearing DMBA-initiated mammary tumors.  Genes & Nutrition, Vol. 7, 2012, pp. 549-558.

Al-Dwairi, A., Pabona, J.M.P., Simmen, R.C.M. and Simmen, F.A.  Cytosolic Malic Enzyme 1 (ME1) mediates high fat diet-induced adiposity, endocrine profile, and gastrointestinal tract proliferation-associated biomarkers in male mice.  PLoS ONE 7(10): e46716. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0046716, 2012.

Rahal, O.M., Pabona, J.M.P., Kelly, T., Huang, Y., Hennings, L.J., Prior, R.L., Al-Dwairi, A., Simmen, F.A. and Simmen, R.C.M.  Suppression of Wnt1-induced mammary tumor growth and lower serum insulin in offspring exposed to maternal blueberry diet suggest early dietary influence on developmental programming.  Carcinogenesis, Vol. 34, 2013, pp.464-474.

Brown, A.R., Simmen, R.C.M. and Simmen, F.A.  The role of thyroid hormone signaling in the prevention of digestive system cancers.  Int. J. Mol. Sci., Vol. 14, 2013, pp. 16240-16257.

Link to Dr. Simmen at Pub-Med