Shelley Hooks, Ph.D.

CDD Interim Director, Associate Professor

Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences

Office: Pharmacy South, Rm Rm. 338   
Voice: 706-542-2189
: shooks@uga.edu


Ph.D. Biochemistry, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 2000

B.S. Biochemistry, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 1996

Research Interests

Chemical Biology
Molecular and Biochemical Pharmacology

The Hooks laboratory studies the molecular mechanisms by which cellular signaling regulates cell function, and how these signaling mechanisms go awry in cancer and central nervous system disorders. Specifically, they study G-protein signaling cascades and their dynamic regulation by activating receptors and deactivating RGS proteins (Regulator of G-protein Signaling proteins). They have a long-standing interest in a family of receptors activated by Lysophosphatidic Acid (LPA) and Sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P), which are important bioactive lipid growth factors that play important roles in normal physiology and in the development of cancer and inflammatory/immune diseases. They are also exploring the ability of RGS proteins to attenuate these effects and impact disease progression. Research from the lab has demonstrated that RGS proteins inhibit oncogenic LPA signaling in ovarian cancer cells, blunting LPA-stimulated kinase signaling cascades and growth, migration and survival responses. Their recent studies have focused on the RGS protein RGS10, and they have recently demonstrated that RGS10 is epigenetically silenced in cancer cells, which contributes to the development of chemoresistance. In addition to its role in cancer, RGS10 has been shown to play a critical role in neuroinflammation, a major feature of multiple neural diseases including Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, and neuropathic pain. Their current focus is on defining the function and regulation of RGS proteins in cancer and neuroinflammatory disease using a combination of cellular, molecular, and genetic approaches.

Of Note

Post-doctoral Experience
Postdoctoral Fellow, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, 2001-2004
Honors and Awards
Awarded individual postdoctoral F32 NRSA grant (NIGMS), 2002
Founded and organized UNC Women in Science and Research, 2001-2004
Won oral communication award at the Western Pharmacology Society conference, 1999
Awarded individual predoctoral F31 NRSA grant from NIH (NIDA), 1999
Appointed to Cell and Molecular Biology training grant, 1997
Awarded Clemson Scholars scholarship, 1992-1996

Selected Publications

Cacan, E., Ali, M.A., Boyd, N.H., Hooks, S.B., Greer, S.F. (2014) Inhibition of HDAC1 and DNMT1 modulate RGS10 expression and decrease ovarian cancer chemoresistance. PLOS One, 9 (1): e87455. PMID: 24475290.

Ali, M.W., Cacan, E., Liu, Y., Pierce, J.Y., Creasman, W.T., Murph, M.M., Govindarajan, R., Eblen, S.T., Greer, S.F, and Hooks, S.B.* (2013) Transcriptional suppression, DNA methylation, and histone deacetylation of the Regulator of G-protein Signaling 10 (RGS10) gene in ovarian cancer cells. PLOS One, 8 (3) e60185. PMID: 23533674.

Callihan, C. P., Zitomer, N.C., Stoeling, M.V., Kennedy, P.C., Lynch, K.R., Riley, R.T., Hooks, S.B. (2011) Distinct generation, pharmacology, and distribution of sphingosine 1-phosphate and dihydro-sphingosine 1-phosphate in human neural progenitor cells. Neuropharmacology, 62 (2):988-96.

Callihan, C.P., Mumaw, J., Machacek, D.W., Stice, S.L., Hooks, S.B.* (2010) Regulation of stem cell pluripotency and differentiation by G-protein coupled receptors. Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 129 (3):290-306.

Hooks, S.B.*, Callihan, C.P., Altman, M., Ali, M., Hurst, J.H., Murph, M.M. (2010) Regulators of G-protein Signaling RGS10 and RGS17 regulate chemoresistance in ovarian cancer cells. Molecular Cancer, 9:289.