• Majd Zayzafoon, MD, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Pathology. He serves as the Director of the UAB-Center for Metabolic Bone Disease (UAB-CMBD), is Co-Director of the NIH P30 UAB Core Center for Basic and Translational Skeletal Research, and is PI of the NIH T32 Comprehensive Training Program in Bone Biology and Disease. Majd Zayzafoon was born in Birmingham and grew up in Norwich, England. He went to medical school at Damascus University, Syria where he obtained his MD degree. After graduation, he completed his residency in Internal Medicine followed by a fellowship in Gastroenterology at Preston Hospital, Tyne & Wear, England. Majd then moved to the United States and joined the Physiology Doctoral Program at Michigan State University, where he earned his Ph.D. degree. In 2002 he moved to UAB as a post-doctoral fellow in the Division of Molecular and Cellular Pathology, Department of Pathology. Since that time Majd has moved rapidly through the ranks, being promoted to Associate Professor in 2009. He is also currently enrolled in the MBA Graduate Program at the UAB School of Business where he is expected to obtain his MBA in 2012.

    Majd has also received the prestigious Harold Frost and John Haddad Young Investigator awards from the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR), and he was recently elected as executive board member of the AIMM/ASBMR. Majd’s clinical background coupled with his in-depth basic and translational research experience provide the expertise necessary to facilitate the translational efforts of the research base of both the NIH P30 UAB Core Center for Basic and Translational Skeletal Research and the Center for Metabolic Bone Disease which he directs. The goal of the CMBD is to provide a broad-based multidisciplinary research, training and service focused on metabolic bone disease; with the mission to help catalyze and integrate educational, clinical and basic research activities. The membership of the CMBD currently includes 93 faculty from 9 schools and 29 departments at UAB.

    In 2009 Majd was elected by the JHS faculty to UAB Faculty Senate, and in 2010 he received a Commendation Award for Outstanding Service to the Senate. He was Chair of the Faculty Senate Curriculum & Research Committee from 2010-2011 and is now Chair of the newly created Faculty Senate Research Committee for 2011-2012. Majd is also Founder and President of Novicure Biotechnology, which is a biotech company focused on drug discovery for prostate cancer bone metastasis.
  • Selected Publications

    Academic Article

    Year Title Altmetric
    2017 Bone metastasis of prostate cancer can be therapeutically targeted at the TBX2-WNT signaling axisCancer Research.  77:1331-1344. 2017
    2016 Correction: Perlecan/HSPG2 and matrilysin/MMP-7 as indices of tissue invasion: Tissue localization and circulating perlecan fragments in a cohort of 288 radical prostatectomy patients [Oncotarget, 7, 9, (2016), (10433-10447) DOI: 10.18632/oncotarget.7197]Oncotarget.  7:60775. 2016
    2016 Perlecan/HSPG2 and matrilysin/MMP-7 as indices of tissue invasion: Tissue localization and circulating perlecan fragments in a cohort of 288 radical prostatectomy patientsOncotarget.  7:10433-10447. 2016
    2015 Role of T-cell reconstitution in HIV-1 antiretroviral therapy-induced bone lossNature Communications.  6. 2015
    2015 The growth and aggressive behavior of human osteosarcoma is regulated by a CaMKII-controlled autocrine VEGF signaling mechanismPLoS ONE.  10. 2015
    2014 Snail promotes epithelial mesenchymal transition in breast cancer cells in part via activation of nuclear ERK2PLoS ONE.  9. 2014
    2014 CTLA-4Ig-induced T cell anergy promotes Wnt-10b production and bone formation in a mouse modelArthritis and Rheumatology.  66:990-999. 2014
    2014 RANK-and c-Met-mediated signal network promotes prostate cancer metastatic colonizationEndocrine-Related Cancer.  21:311-326. 2014
    2013 Inhibition of β2-Microglobulin/Hemochromatosis Enhances Radiation Sensitivity by Induction of Iron Overload in Prostate Cancer CellsPLoS ONE.  8. 2013
    2013 Childhood obesity as a risk factor for bone fracture: A mechanistic studyObesity Research.  21:1459-1466. 2013
    2013 NFAT signaling in osteoblasts regulates the hematopoietic niche in the bone microenvironmentClinical and Developmental Immunology.  2013. 2013
    2013 Alpha-CaMKII plays a critical role in determining the aggressive behavior of human osteosarcomaCell Growth and Differentiation.  11:349-359. 2013
    2012 Central depletion of brain-derived neurotrophic,factorin mice results in high bone mass and metabolic phenotypeEndocrinology.  153:5394-5405. 2012
    2012 Thrombospondin-1 inhibits osteogenic differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells through latent TGF-β activationBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications.  422:488-493. 2012
    2011 LIV-1 promotes prostate cancer epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition and metastasis through HB-EGF shedding and EGFR-mediated ERK signalingPLoS ONE.  6. 2011
    2011 Is there a role for fatty acid synthase in the diagnosis of prostatic adenocarcinoma? A comparison with AMACRAmerican Journal of Clinical Pathology.  136:239-246. 2011
    2011 Human prostate cancer harbors the stem cell properties of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cellsClinical Cancer Research.  17:2159-2169. 2011
    2011 β2-microglobulin induces epithelial to mesenchymal transition and confers cancer lethality and bone metastasis in human cancer cellsCancer Research.  71:2600-2610. 2011
    2011 Ovariectomy disregulates osteoblast and osteoclast formation through the T-cell receptor CD40 ligandProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.  108:768-773. 2011
    2011 Snail-mediated regulation of reactive oxygen species in ARCaP human prostate cancer cellsBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications.  404:34-39. 2011
    2010 Alterations in the immuno-skeletal interface drive bone destruction in HIV-1 transgenic ratsProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.  107:13848-13853. 2010
    2010 Effect of HIP/ribosomal protein L29 deficiency on mineral properties of murine bones and teethBONE.  47:93-101. 2010
    2010 Ex vivo transfer of the Hoxc-8-interacting domain of smad1 by a tropism-modified adenoviral vector results in efficient bone formation in a rabbit model of spinal fusionJournal of Spinal Disorders and Techniques.  23:63-73. 2010
    2009 T Lymphocytes Amplify the Anabolic Activity of Parathyroid Hormone through Wnt10b SignalingCell Metabolism.  10:229-240. 2009
    2009 NFATc1 mediates HDAC-dependent transcriptional repression of osteocalcin expression during osteoblast differentiationBONE.  45:579-589. 2009
    2009 Mecp2 deficiency decreases bone formation and reduces bone volume in a rodent model of Rett syndromeBONE.  45:346-356. 2009
    2009 Mitochondrial DNA mutation stimulates prostate cancer growth in bone stromal environmentProstate.  69:1-11. 2009
    2008 Immunohistochemistry in the evaluation of neovascularization in tumor xenograftsStain technology.  83:179-189. 2008
    2008 BKM1740, an acyl-tyrosine bisphosphonate amide derivative, inhibits the bone metastatic growth of human prostate cancer cells by inducing apoptosisClinical Cancer Research.  14:6198-6206. 2008
    2008 Receptor activator of NF-κB Ligand (RANKL) expression is associated with epithelial to mesenchymal transition in human prostate cancer cellsCell Research.  18:858-870. 2008
    2007 Conditional disruption of calcineurin B1 in osteoblasts increases bone formation and reduces bone resorptionJournal of Biological Chemistry.  282:35318-35327. 2007
    2007 α-CaMKII controls the growth of human osteosarcoma by regulating cell cycle progressionLaboratory Investigation.  87:938-950. 2007
    2007 Cyclosporin A elicits dose-dependent biphasic effects on osteoblast differentiation and bone formationBONE.  40:1502-1516. 2007
    2007 Toll like receptor-9 agonists stimulate prostate cancer invasion in vitroProstate.  67:774-781. 2007
    2007 Honokiol, a natural plant product, inhibits the bone metastatic growth of human prostate cancer cellsCancer.  109:1279-1289. 2007
    2006 β2-microglobulin promotes the growth of human renal cell carcinoma through the activation of the protein kinase A, cyclic AMP-responsive element-binding protein, and vascular endothelial growth factor axisClinical Cancer Research.  12:7294-7305. 2006
    2006 β2-microglobulin is a signaling and growth-promoting factor for human prostate cancer bone metastasisCancer Research.  66:9108-9116. 2006
    2006 Calcium/calmodulin signaling controls osteoblast growth and differentiationJournal of Cellular Biochemistry.  97:56-70. 2006
    2006 NFATc1: A novel anabolic therapeutic target for osteoporosisAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences.  1068:564-567. 2006
    2005 RANKL regulates Fas expression and Fas-mediated apoptosis in osteoclastsJournal of Bone and Mineral Research.  20:107-116. 2005
    2005 Inhibition of NFAT increases osteoblast differentiation by increasing Fra-2 expressionThe Journal of Musculoskeletal and Neuronal Interactions.  5:347. 2005
    2005 RhoA and cytoskeletal disruption mediate reduced osteoblastogenesis and enhanced adipogenesis of human mesenchymal stem cells in modeled microgravityJournal of Bone and Mineral Research.  20:1858-1866. 2005
    2005 Calmodulin and calmodulin-dependent kinase IIα regulate osteoblast differentiation by controlling c-fos expressionJournal of Biological Chemistry.  280:7049-7059. 2005
    2005 Microgravity: The immune response and boneImmunological Reviews.  208:267-280. 2005
    2005 RANKL regulates Fas expression and Fas-mediated apoptosis in osteoclasts.Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.  20:107-116. 2005
    2004 Modeled microgravity disrupts collagen I/integrin signaling during osteoblastic differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cellsJournal of Cellular Biochemistry.  93:697-707. 2004
    2004 Modeled microgravity inhibits osteogenic differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells and increases adipogenesisEndocrinology.  145:2421-2432. 2004
    2004 Notch Signaling and ERK Activation Are Important for the Osteomimetic Properties of Prostate Cancer Bone Metastatic Cell LinesJournal of Biological Chemistry.  279:3662-3670. 2004
    2002 p38 and activating transcription factor-2 involvement in osteoblast osmotic response to elevated extracellular glucoseJournal of Biological Chemistry.  277:37212-37218. 2002
    2000 Extracellular glucose influences osteoblast differentiation and c-jun expressionJournal of Cellular Biochemistry.  79:301-310. 2000

    Research Overview

  • The long-term goal of Dr. Zayzafoon’s laboratory is to develop novel therapeutic approaches for building and retaining bone mass in humans. His research activities include understanding the transcriptional regulation of osteoblast differentiation and the role of calcium signaling in this process. He is particularly interested in the effects of high fat diet and obesity on osteoblast proliferation and differentiation, and the roles of calmodulin dependent protein kinase II and the nuclear factor of activated T-cells in this process. He also studies the mechanisms involved in the development and growth of bone tumors such as osteosarcoma or bone metastasis from other tumors such as prostate cancer. Specifically, his research examines how progressive changes in prostate cancer bone metastasis are acquired through tumor-stroma interaction in the bone and prostate microenvironment. The outcome of his work will not only increase our understanding of the regulation of osteoblast differentiation and bone formation, but also play a key role in the development of new targets for drug design and therapies for osteoporosis and other bone diseases. Dr. Zayzafoon is also involved in many activities of the UAB Bone Center with my interest and commitment in bone research. With his clinical and basic science experiences, he functions in the capacity of Director of the UAB Comprehensive Center for Metabolic Bone Disease (CMBD) to oversee the activities of the University-wide center, and Associate Director for Translational Research and Enrichment Program to oversee the translational research aspects and the enrichment programs of the CCBTSR. In addition, he also assists the Histomorphometry and Molecular Analyses Core as an Associate Director of the Core. His commitment and interests to the growth of bone research at UAB is deeply rooted within the interest and successful functioning of the CMBD.
  • Education And Training

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Medical Physiology, Michigan State University 2001
  • Doctor of Medicine, 1987
  • Full Name

  • Majd Zayzafoon