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Faculty Detail    
Associate Professor, School of Dentistry
Campus Address SDB 707 Zip 0007
Phone  205-975-3020
Other websites

Graduate  Indian Institute of Chemical Biology    1996  PhD (Parasite Gene Expression) 
Fellowship  University of Massachusetts Medical School    2004  Post doctorate 

Faculty Appointment(s)
Appointment Type Department Division Rank
Primary  Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery  Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Associate Professor
Secondary  Cell, Developmntl, & Integrative Biology  Cell, Developmntl, & Integrative Biology Assistant Professor
Secondary  Pathology   Molecular & Cellular Pathology Assistant Professor
Secondary  Otolaryngology   Otolaryngology Chair Office Assistant Professor
Center  Comp Arthritis, MSK, Bone & Autoimmunity Ctr  Comp Arthritis, MSK, Bone & Autoimmunity Ctr Associate Professor
Center  GL Ctr for Craniofacial, Oral, & Dental Disorders  GL Ctr for Craniofacial, Oral, & Dental Disorders Associate Professor

Graduate Biomedical Sciences Affiliations
Biochemistry and Structural Biology 
Biochemistry and Structural Biology 
Cell, Molecular, & Developmental Biology 
Genetics, Genomics and Bioinformatics 
Molecular and Cellular Pathology Program 

Biographical Sketch 
I graduated from the Indian Institute of Chemical Biology in 1996 and continued there as a faculty member for 3 years. To obtain postdoctoral experience, I moved to the U.S. in 2001 and joined the University of Massachusetts Medical School. I was promoted to Instructor there in 2004 and to Assistant Professor in 2010. In 2011, I moved to the University of Alabama at Birmingham to start my own laboratory as an Assistant Professor. Research efforts in my laboratory are focused on the following aspects of microRNA biology: 1) The effects of in vivo miR-23a cluster loss-of-function in bone and craniofacial tissue formation; 2) MiR-665-mediated regulation of dentinogenesis; and 3) The microRNA-Wnt signaling regulatory network in the pathology of osteoarthritis. Previously, I discovered several key mechanisms of miRNA function, including endogenous miRNA targets, in studies of osteoblast growth and differentiation. These studies included determining the roles of miRNA in osteoblast growth and differentiation (PNAS, 2010; JBC, 2009 and 2012, Nat Rev Endocrinol, 2012), the role of miRNAs in bone morphogenic protein (BMP) signaling (PNAS, 2008, J Cell Biochem, 2014), Wnt-beta catenin signaling (JBC, 2012), and an analysis of in vivo miR-target interactions within the RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC) (J Cell Biochem, 2010). I have several years of expertise in the field of gene regulation mediated by the homeobox (HOX) family of transcription factors during osteogenesis (MCB, 2004 and 2007; JBC, 2006 and 2008). Since 2001, I have mentored 15 graduate students and postdoctoral scholars, who have published numerous manuscripts, including Nature, 2007; PNAS, 2007 and 2008, J Cell Physiol, 2014, JBC, 2009 and 2012 and J Cell Biochem, 2014 and J Cell Sci. 2008. Thus, the next logical step in my research is to begin characterizing the in vivo function of miRNAs in skeletogenesis using animal models such as the miR-23a cluster-deficient mice developed in my laboratory.

Research/Clinical Interest
MicroRNA and Epigenetic Regulation of Bone and Tooth Formation
1. Studies to understand the contributions of miR-23a, 27a and miR-24-2 in the physio-pathology of craniofacial abnormalities and post natal bone formation. We already generated the mouse model for global knockout and conditional anti-miR mouse to study miR-23a~27a~24-2 function. 2. Studies to understand the microRNA regulations in the pathology of cartilage degradation. Studies on the regulation of microRNA-665 during dentinogenesis. Recently we discovered miR-665 a novel miRNA and critical for odontoblast growth and differentiation. 3. Genome wide screen of MicroRNA biomarkers for Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMD). In the process to build up a pilot study with Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, School of Dentistry, UAB. 4. Studies on molecular mechanisms involved in Treacher Collins Syndrome (TCOF1-Runx2 interaction). Our research in 2007 (Nature, 2007) established a key mechanism of Runx2-UBF interaction in the control of rRNA transcription during osteoblast growth. Our laboratory is engaged to address the role of TCOf1 in this regulation as a possible mechanism of Treacher Collins Syndrome pathology.

Selected Publications 
Publication PUBMEDID
Hassan MQ, Javed A, Morasso MI, Karlin J, Montecino M, van Wijnen AJ, Stein GS, Stein JL, and Lian JB. 2004. Dlx3 transcriptional regulation of osteoblast differentiation: temporal recruitment of Msx2, Dlx3, and Dlx5 homeodomain proteins to chromatin of the osteocalcin gene. Mol Cell Biol. 24:9248-9261.  15456894 
Hassan MQ, Tare RS, Lee S, Mandeville M, Morasso MI, Javed A, van Wijnen AJ, Stein JL, Stein GS, Lian JB. 2006. BMP2 commitment to the osteogenic lineage involves activation of Runx2 by Dlx3 and a homeodomain transcriptional network. J Biol Chem. I281:40515-26.  17060321 
Young DW*, Hassan MQ*, (*Equal Authorship) Pratap J, Galindo M, Zaidi, SK, Lee SH, Yang X, Xie R, Javed A, Underwood JM, Furcinitti P, Imbalzano AN, Penman S, Nickerson JA, Montecino MA, Lian JB, Stein JL, van Wijnen AJ, Stein GS. 2007. Mitotic occupancy and lineage-specific transcriptional control of rRNA genes by Runx2. Nature, 445:442-446.  17251981 
Hassan MQ, Tare R, Lee SH, Mandeville M, Weiner B, Montecino M, van Wijnen AJ, Stein JL, Stein GS, Lian JB. 2007. HOXA10 controls osteoblastogenesis by directly activating bone regulatory and phenotypic genes. Mol Cell Biol, 27:3337-3352   17325044 
Young DW, Hassan M, Yang X-Q, Galindo M, Javed A, Zaidi SK, Furcinitti P, Lapointe D, Montecino M, Lian JB, Stein JL, van Wijnen AJ, and Stein GS. 2007. Mitotic retention of gene expression patterns by the cell fate determining transcription factor Runx2. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 104:3189-94.   17360627 
Li Z, Hassan MQ, Jafferji M, Garzon R, Croce CM, van Wijnen AJ, Stein JL, Stein GS, Lian JB. 2009. Biological functions of miR-29b contribute to positive regulation of osteoblast differentiation. J Biol Chem. 284(23):15676-84.   19342382 
Duverger O, Lee D, Hassan MQ, Chen SX, Jaisser F, Lian JB, Morasso MI. 2008. Molecular consequences of a frameshifted Dlx3 mutant leading to Tricho-Dento-Osseous syndrome, J Biol Chem 283(29):20198-208   18492670  
Gordon JA, Hassan MQ, Saini S, Montecino M, van Wijnen AJ, Stein GS, Stein JL, Lian JB. 2010. Pbx1 represses osteoblastogenesis by blocking Hoxa10-mediated recruitment of chromatin remodeling factors. Mol Cell Biol. 2010 Jul;30(14):3531-41.  20439491 
Hassan MQ, Saini S, Gordon JAR, van Wijnen AJ, Montecino M, Stein JL, Stein GS, Lian JB. 2009. Molecular switches involving homeodomain proteins, HOXA10 and RUNX2 regulate osteoblastogenesis. Cells Tissues Organs, 189(1-4):122-125.   18701816 
Hassan MQ, Gordon JA, Lian JB, van Wijnen AJ, Stein JL, Stein GS. 2010. Ribonucleoprotein immunoprecipitation (RNP-IP): a direct in vivo analysis of microRNA-targets. J Cell Biochem. 2010 Jul 1; 110(4):817-22.  20564179 
Li Z, Hassan MQ, Volinia S, van Wijnen AJ, Stein JL, Croce CM, Lian JB, Stein GS. 2008. A microRNA signature for a BMP2-induced lineage commitment program. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 105(37):13906-11.   18784367 
Hassan MQ, Gordon JA, Beloti MM, Croce CM, van Wijnen AJ, Stein JL, Stein GS, Lian JB. 2010. A network connecting Runx2, SATB2, and the miR-23a~27a~24-2 cluster regulates the osteoblast differentiation program. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Nov 16; 107(46):19879-84.   20980664 
Lian JB, Stein GS, van Wijnen AJ, Stein JL, Hassan MQ, Gaur T, Zhang Y. MicroRNA control of bone formation and homeostasis. 2012. Nat Rev Endocrinol. 2012 Jan 31; 8(4):212-27. 10.1038/nrendo.2011.234.  22290358 
Hassan MQ, Maeda Y, Taipaleenmaki, H, Zhang W, Jaffarji M, Gordon JA, Li Z, Croce CM, van Wijnen AJ, Stein JL, Stein GS, Lian JB. 2010. miR-218 Directs a Wnt Signaling Circuit to Promote Differentiation of Osteoblasts and Osteomimicry of Metastatic Cancer Cells. 2012. J Biol Chem. 2012 Dec 7; 287(50):42084-92. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M112.377515. Epub 2012 Oct 11.  23060446 
Rosa A, Kato R, Castro Raucci L, Teixeira L, de Oliveira F, Bellesini L, de Oliveira P, Hassan MQ, Beloti M. 2013. Nanotopography drives stem cell fate toward osteoblast differentiation through α1β1 integrin signaling pathway. J Cell Biochem. 2013 Oct 5. doi: 10.1002/jcb.24688. [Epub ahead of print]
Kato RB, Roy B, De Oliveira FS, Ferraz EP, De Oliveira PT, Kemper AG, Hassan MQ (Joint senior author), Rosa AL, Beloti MM Nanotopography Directs Mesenchymal Stem Cells to Osteoblast Lineage Through Regulation of microRNA-SMAD-BMP-2 Circuit. J Cell Physiol. 2014 Mar 12. doi: 10.1002/jcp.24614. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 24619927   24619927 
MicroRNA 665 Regulates Dentinogenesis through MicroRNA-Mediated Silencing and Epigenetic Mechanisms.
Heair HM, Kemper AG, Roy B, Lopes HB, Rashid H, Clarke JC, Afreen LK, Ferraz EP, Kim E, Javed A, Beloti MM, MacDougall M, Hassan MQ.
Mol Cell Biol. 2015 Sep;35(18):3116-30. doi: 10.1128/MCB.00093-15. Epub 2015 Jun 29. 
PMID: 26124283 
Non-coding RNAs: Epigenetic regulators of bone development and homeostasis.
Hassan MQ, Tye CE, Stein GS, Lian JB.
Bone. 2015 Dec;81:746-56. doi: 10.1016/j.bone.2015.05.026. Epub 2015 May 31. Review. 
PMID: 26039869 
Titanium with Nanotopography Induces Osteoblast Differentiation by Regulating Endogenous Bone Morphogenetic Protein Expression and Signaling Pathway. Castro-Raucci L, Francischini MS, Teixeira LN, Ferraz EP, Lopes HB, de Oliveira PT, Hassan MQ, Rosa AL, Beloti MM.
J Cell Biochem. 2015 Dec 17. doi: 10.1002/jcb.25469. [Epub ahead of print] 
PMID: 26681207 

MicroRNA, Epigenetics, Bone, Tooth, Osteoblast Gene Expression, Odontoblast Gene Regulation