Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences
Associate Vice President, Office of the Vice President of Research

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Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences


Post-doctoral fellow , University of North Carolina 2004

Ph.D. Biochemistry, University of Virginia 2000

B.S. Biochemistry, Clemson University 1996

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Hooks serves as Associate Vice President in the Office of Research, where she directs the Offices of Internal Grants and Awards and Research Personnel.

Research Interests

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, we study G-protein signaling cascades and their dynamic regulation by activating receptors and deactivating RGS proteins (Regulator of G-protein Signaling proteins).  We 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.   We are also exploring the ability of RGS proteins to attenuate these effects and impact disease progression. Research from the our 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. Our recent studies have focused on the RGS protein RGS10, and we 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. Our 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.

Selected Publications

Alqinyah M., Hooks S.B.* (2017) Regulating the regulators: Epigenetic, transcriptional, and post-translational regulation of RGS proteins. Cell Signal. 42:77-87. doi: 10.1016/j.cellsig.2017.10.007. PMID: 29042285. (Impact factor: 3.937, review)

Alqinyah, M., Maganti, N., Ali, M.W., Yadav, R., Gao, M., Weng, H-R., Greer, S.F., Hooks, S.B.* (2017) Regulator of G-protein Signaling 10 (Rgs10) expression is transcriptionally silenced in activated microglia by histone deacetylase activity. Molecular Pharmacology, 91(3) 197-207. DOI: (Impact factor: 3.9, research article)

Callihan P., Alqinyah, M., Hooks, S.B.* S1P Signaling in Human Neural Progenitors. Sphingosine 1-Phosphate Signaling: Methods and Protocols. Ed: Turksen, K., Pebay, A. Humana Press, 2017. (book chapter)

Alqinyah, M., Maganti, N., Ali, M.W., Yadav, R., Gao, M., Weng, H-R., Greer, S.F., Hooks, S.B.* (2016) Regulator of G-protein Signaling 10 (Rgs10) expression is transcriptionally silenced in activated microglia by histone deacetylase activity. Molecular Pharmacology, mol.116.106963; DOI:

Maixner, D.W., Yan, X., Hooks, S.B., Weng, H.-R.* (2016) AMPKα1 knockout enhances nociceptive behaviors and spinal glutamatergic synaptic activities via production of reactive oxygen species in the spinal dorsal horn. Neuroscience, 326 (21): 158-169.

Hooks, S. B., & Murph, M. M.* (2015). Cellular deficiency in the RGS10 protein facilitates chemoresistant ovarian cancer. Future Medicinal Chemistry, 7(12), 1483-1489.

Hung S.W., Marrache S., Cummins S., Bhutia Y.D., Mody H., Hooks S.B., Dhar S., Govindarajan R. (2015) Defective hCNT1 transport contributes to gemcitabine chemoresistance in ovarian cancer subtypes: Overcoming transport defects using a nanoparticle approach. Cancer Letters, 359(2):233-40.

Tuggle, K., Ali, M.W., Salazar, H., Hooks, S.B. (2014) Regulator of G-protein Signaling (RGS) transcript expression in human neural progenitor differentiation: R7 subfamily regulation by DNA methylation. NeuroSignals, 22(43-51).

Calihan, C.P., Ali, M., Salazar, H., Quach, N. Wu, X., Stice, S.L., Hooks, S.B. (2014) Convergent regulation of neuronal differentiation and Erk and Akt kinases in human neural progenitor cells by Lysophosphatidic Acid, Sphingosine 1-phosphate, and LIF: specific roles for the LPA1 receptor. ASN Neuro, 6(6): 1759091414558416.

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.

Hurst, J.H., and Hooks, S.B.* (2009) Regulator of G-protein Signaling (RGS) proteins in Cancer Biology. Biochemical Pharmacology, 78 (10):1289-97.

Hurst, J.H., Machacek, D., Stice, S.L. and Hooks, S.B.* (2008) Human neural progenitors express functional lysophospholipid receptors that regulate cell growth and morphology.BMC Neuroscience, 11(9): 118.

Hurst, J.H., Henkel, P.A., Brown, A.L., Hooks, S.B.* (2008) Endogenous RGS Proteins Attenuate Galpha(i)-mediated Lysophosphatidic Acid Signaling Pathways in Ovarian Cancer Cells, Cellular Signaling, 20(2), 381-9.

Grant Support

National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute

National Multiple Sclerosis Society

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