Professor, Ph.D., University of Hawaii
Postdoctoral Work: Baylor College of Medicine
Research in my laboratory is focused on the regulation of gene expression in the mammary gland and uterus that are essential for these tissues’ proper function and development. We seek to understand how steroid hormones, steroid receptor-interacting proteins (most specifically, the Krüppel-like factors) and extra-cellular factors including growth factors and dietary components regulate the normal and abnormal (as in cancer) development of these tissues and to characterize the key gene products and signaling pathways that mediate these events. We use a variety of in vivo and in vitro models in our studies. We also use diverse cellular and molecular techniques including gene arrays for gene discovery, cell lines for analyses of signaling pathways, and mouse models of diseases for elucidation of physiological function. Recent investigations focus on the biology of adult stem cells and the regulation of this specialized epithelial population in the development of pathology and to address therapy.
Invited Symposia Speaker, ‘Putting the Brakes on Breast Cancer’, The Endocrine Society Annual Meeting, Houston, TX (2012)
Invited Symposia Speaker, FASEB Conference on Krüppel-Like Factors Biology and Pathobiology, Snowmass Village, CO (2012, 2010)
Senior Editor, Journal of Endocrinology (2011-2015)
Senior Editor, Journal of Molecular Endocrinology (2012-2016)
Excellence in Mentoring Award (UAMS) (2010)
Visiting Professor, Yeungnam University, School of Biotechnology, Republic of South Korea (2009)
Editorial Board, Endocrinology (2008-2011)
Current Grant Support
NIH R01 CA136493 (Co-I) “Dietary Factors in Colon Cancer Prevention” 12/15/2009-11/30/2014
Arkansas Breast Cancer Research Program, (PI) “Biomarkers of Metabolic History in Breast Cancer” (9/1/2013-8/30/2014)
- Rahal OM, Pabona JMP, Kelly T, Huang Y, Hennings LJ, Prior RL, Al-Dwairi A, Simmen FA, Simmen RCM. 2013. 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 34: 464-474.
- Montales MTE, Rahal OM, Nakatani H, Matsuda T, Simmen RCM. 2013. Repression of mammary adipogenesis by genistein limits mammosphere formation of MCF-7 cells. J Endocrinol 218: 135-149.
- Pabona JMP, Simmen FA, Nikiforov MA, Zhuang D, Shankar K, Velarde MC, Zelenco Z, Guidice LC, Simmen RCM. 2012. Krüppel-like factor 9 and progesterone receptor co-regulation of decidualizing stromal cells: implications for the pathogenesis of endometriosis. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 97: 376-392.
- Heard ME, Pabona JMP, Clayberger C, Krensky AM, Simmen FA, Simmen RCM. 2012. The reproductive phenotype of mice null for transcription factor Krüppel-like factor 13 suggests compensatory function of family member Krüppel-like factor 9 in the peri-implantation uterus. Biol Reprod 87: 378-385
- Montales MT, Rahal O, Kang J, Rogers T, Prior RL, Wu X, Simmen RCM. 2012. Repression of mammosphere formation of human breast cancer cells by soy isoflavone genistein and blueberry polyphenolic acids suggest diet-mediated targeting of cancer stem-cell like/progenitor cells. Carcinogenesis 33: 652-660.
- Rahal O, Simmen RCM. 2011. Paracrine-acting adiponectin promotes mammary epithelial differentiation and synergizes with genistein to enhance transcriptional response to estrogen receptor β signaling. Endocrinology 152: 3409-3421.
- Simmons CD, Pabona JM, Heard ME, Friedman TM, Spataro MT, Godley AL, Simmen FA, Burnett AF, Simmen RCM. 2011. Krüppel-like factor 9 loss-of-expression in human endometrial carcinoma links altered expression of growth-regulatory genes with aberrant proliferative response to estrogen. Biol Reprod 85: 378-385.
- Pabona JMP, Zeng Z, Simmen FA, Simmen RCM. 2010. Functional differentiation of uterine stromal cells involves cross-regulation between bone morphogenetic protein 2 and Krüppel-like factor (KLF) family members KLF9 and KLF13. Endocrinology 151(7): 3396-3406.