Hasan Zaki, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pathology. Dr. Zaki studies molecular mechanism of inflammatory disorders including inflammatory bowel disease, colorectal cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma, obesity, fatty liver disease, and metabolic syndrome.

Dr. Zaki  earned his doctoral degree from Kumamoto University, Japan where he investigated the role of nitric oxide in host defense against bacterial infection and discovered that nitro-cyclic GMP, a nitrated nucleotide derivative,  acts as  a potential signal transduction molecule. For postdoctoral training, he moved to Dr. Thirumala-devi Kanneganti's laboratory at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, TN. His postdoctoral studies were focused on understanding the role of NOD-like receptors (NLR), a group of cytosolic pathogen recognition receptor, in intestinal inflammatory disorders.

Research in Dr. Zaki’s lab aims to dissect signaling pathways regulated by NLRs and other pathogen sensors. He showed that NLRP3 and AIM2 are critical inflammasome activating sensors involved in maintaining intestinal homeostasis and healthy gut microbiota composition. He also demonstrated that several NLRs including NOD2 and NLRP12 play central roles in suppressing intestinal inflamamtion and colorectal cancer via downregualtion of inflammatory signaling pathways, such as NF-kB and MAPK. His laboratory also made seminal discovery that higher intake of dietary sugars predisposes and enhances pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease via modulaiton of gut microbiota composiiton. Ongoing studies in his laboratory is focused on understanding the complex interplay between  innate iimmunity, diet, and gut microbiota in regulating intestinal homeostasis and inflammatory disorders including cancer. 



Graduate School
Kumamoto University - Japan (2007), Microbiology

Research Interest

  • Cell Signaling
  • Diet and Metabolic Disorders
  • Gastrointestinal Inflammation and Cancer
  • Gut Microbiome
  • Host Pathogen Interaction
  • NOD-Like Receptors


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Crosstalk between NLRP12 and JNK during Hepatocellular Carcinoma.
Khan S, Zaki H, Int J Mol Sci 2020 Jan 21 2
Cytosolic Nucleic Acid Sensors in Inflammatory and Autoimmune Disorders.
Khan S, Godfrey V, Zaki MH Int Rev Cell Mol Biol 2019 344 215-253
LncRNA HOTAIR regulates lipopolysaccharide-induced cytokine expression and inflammatory response in macrophages.
Obaid M, Udden SMN, Deb P, Shihabeddin N, Zaki MH, Mandal SS Sci Rep 2018 Oct 8 1 15670
Inflammatory Proteomic Network Analysis of Statin-treated and Lipopolysaccharide-activated Macrophages
Kamal AHM, Chakrabarty JK, Udden SMN, Zaki MH, Chowdhury SM Scientific Reports 2018 164 8
The Inflammasome: Regulation of Nitric Oxide and Antimicrobial Host Defense
Rajalakshmi A. Ramachandran, Christopher Lupfer and Hasan Zaki Advances in Microbial Physiology 2018 In press
Changes in the Dielectric Spectra of Murine Colon During Neoplastic Progression
Ahmet C. Sabuncu, Jeanne Shen, Md. Hasan Zaki, Ali Beskok Biomed. Phys. Eng. Express 2018
The Ex Vivo Colon Organ Culture and Its Use in Antimicrobial Host Defense Studies
Udden, S. M., Waliullah, S., Harris, M., Zaki, H. J. Vis. Exp. 2017 120
The NLRP12 Sensor Negatively Regulates Autoinflammatory Disease by Modulating Interleukin-4 Production in T Cells.
Lukens JR, Gurung P, Shaw PJ, Barr MJ, Zaki MH, Brown SA, Vogel P, Chi H, Kanneganti TD. Immunity 2015
Drak2 is not required for tumor surveillance and suppression.
Edwards BA, Harris TL, Floersh H, Lukens JR, Zaki MH, Vogel P, Kanneganti TD, Bui JD, McGargill MA. 2015

Honors & Awards

  • Career Development Award, Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America (2012)
  • MEXT Scholarship (2002)
  • Trainee Award, American Association for Immunologists (2011)
  • Travel Award, Keystone Meeting (2012)

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • American Association for Advancement of Schience (2012)
  • American Association of Immunologists (2012)
  • Chron's and Colitis Foundation of America (2012)