Fazlul H Sarkar
Professor Departments of Pathology and Oncology
Wayne State University
Dr. Sarkar is currently a Distinguished Professor, Departments of Pathology and Oncology at Karmanos Cancer Institute, Wayne State University School of Medicine. Dr. Sarkar’s early research, which still continues, is focused on understanding the role of a “master” transcription factor and the regulation of its upstream and downstream signaling molecules in solid tumors, and focusing on tumor microenvironment. Moreover, his research has been directed toward elucidating the molecular mechanism(s) of action of “natural agents”, their synthetic analogues, and other synthetic small molecule inhibitors of Bcl-2 and MDM2 for cancer prevention and therapy. The discoveries from in vitro and in vivo preclinical studies led to the design and execution of multiple Phase I/II clinical trials in breast, pancreas and prostate cancer for assessing the effects of several “natural agents” in the alterations of biomarkers as well as some early clinical efficacy testing. Dr. Sarkar’s research led to the concept of chemo-sensitization of cancer cells by reversing their drug-resistance phenotype to conventional therapeutics (chemo-radio-therapy), and all of which has been focused on tumor microenvironment, which led to clinical trials conducted at the Karmanos Cancer Institute. The innovation of his basic science research has attracted clinicians to collaborate with him, which clearly documents his leadership in translational research. Dr. Sarkar’s collaborations with basic scientists and physician scientists at MD Anderson Cancer Center led him to become a project leader for the Pancreas Cancer SPORE grant of MD Anderson Cancer Center under the leadership of Dr. James Abbruzzese, and Dr. Sarkar also served as a co-investigator for the University of Michigan Head and Neck Cancer SPORE grant.
Dr. Sarkar’s expertise in the field of cancer biology , cancer drug discovery, experimental therapeutics, medicinal chemistry, molecular mechanism of tumor aggressiveness with the tumor microenvironment, pre-clinical model research and conducting clinical trials. In addition, his experience is worth noticing in leading basic and clinical scientists to translate discoveries to early phase investigator-initiated clinical trials. Lastly, Dr. Sarkar’s activities clearly document his leadership expertise, and he really earned his well-deserved national and international stature in cancer research and drug discovery specifically focusing on conditioning the tumor microenvironment.