Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine.
Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Daniel Frigo Ph.D.

Daniel E. Frigo, Ph.D.

Daniel Frigo, Ph.D.

Daniel E. Frigo, Ph.D.

Assistant Affiliate Member 
Genomic Medicine Research Program
The Methodist Hospital Research Institute

Assistant Professor
Center for Nuclear Receptors and Cell Signaling
Department of Biology and Biochemistry
University of Houston

E-mail: frigo@uh.edu
Phone: 832-842-8824


B.S.   University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN (Biochemistry)
Ph.D.   Tulane University, New Orleans, LA (Molecular and Cellular Biology)

Postdoctoral Training

Postdoctoral Fellowship, Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC



Dr. Frigo earned his Ph.D. in molecular and cellular biology from Tulane University, and then was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship and appointed to research scientist in the pharmacology and cancer biology department at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, NC. He was appointed to a faculty position at the University of Houston’s Center for Nuclear Receptors and Cell Signaling in 2010, and became an affiliate member of The Methodist Hospital Research Institute in 2012. Dr. Frigo has also been a member of the Department of Defense Prostate Cancer Research Program study sections, and served on the editorial board of Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases beginning in 2012.

Description of Research

Despite the discovery of nuclear receptors (NRs) more than four decades ago, their regulation and machinsims of action are still not well understood. The objective of the Frigo laboratory is to better understand how NRs function in specific disease states, with a focus on cancer. The long-term goal of Dr. Frigo’s research is to develop novel therapies that target these newly identified NR-mediated mechanisms.

Major Areas of Research

nuclear receptors, signal transduction, metabolism, prostate cancer, autophagy

Recent Publications

Shi Y, Han JJ, Tennakoon JB, Mehta FF, Merchant FA, Burns AR, Howe MK, McDonnell DP, Frigo DE. Androgens Promote Prostate Cancer Cell Growth through Induction of Autophagy. Mol Endocrinol. 2013 Feb;27(2):280-95. PMID: 23250485 

Augello MA, Burd CJ, Birbe R, McNair C, Ertel A, Magee MS, Frigo DE, Wilder-Romans K, Shilkrut M, Han S, Jernigan DL, Dean JL, Fatatis A, McDonnell DP, Visakorpi T, Feng FY, Knudsen KE. Convergence of oncogenic and hormone receptor pathways promotes metastatic phenotypes. J Clin Invest. 2013 Jan 2;123(1):493-508.  PMID: 23257359

Collins-Burow BM, Antoon JW, Frigo DE, Elliott S, Weldon CB, Boue SM, Beckman BS, Curiel TJ, Alam J, McLachlan JA, Burow ME. Antiestrogenic activity of flavonoid phytochemicals mediated via the c-Jun N-terminal protein kinase pathway. Cell-type specific regulation of estrogen receptor alpha. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2012 Oct;132(1-2):186-93. PMID: 22634477

Bratton MR, Frigo DE, Segar HC, Nephew KP, McLachlan JA, Wiese TE, Burow ME. The Organochlorine o,p'-DDT Plays a Role in Coactivator-Mediated MAPK Crosstalk in MCF-7 Breast Cancer Cells. Environ Health Perspect. 2012 Sep;120(9):1291-6. PMID: 22609851

Bratton MR, Antoon JW, Duong BN, Frigo DE, Tilghman S, Collins-Burow BM, Elliott S, Tang Y, Melnik LI, Lai L, Alam J, Beckman BS, Hill SM, Rowan BG, McLachlan JA, Burow ME. Gαo potentiates estrogen receptor α activity via the ERK signaling pathway. J Endocrinol. 2012 Jul;214(1):45-54. PMID: 22562654

Frigo DE, Howe MK, Wittmann BM, Brunner AM, Cushman I, Wang Q, Brown M, Means AR, McDonnell DP. CaM kinase kinase beta-mediated activation of the growth regulatory kinase AMPK is required for androgen-dependent migration of prostate cancer cells. Cancer Res. 2011 Jan 15;71(2):528-37. PMID: 21098087

Frigo DE, Sherk AB, Wittmann BM, Norris JD, Wang Q, Joseph JD, Toner AP, Brown M, McDonnell DP. Induction of Kruppel-like factor 5 expression by androgens results in increased CXCR4-dependent migration of prostate cancer cells in vitro. Mol Endocrinol. 2009 Sep;23(9):1385-96. PMID: 19460858

Wardell SE, Ilkayeva OR, Wieman HL, Frigo DE, Rathmell JC, Newgard CB, McDonnell DP. Glucose metabolism as a target of histone deacetylase inhibitors. Mol Endocrinol. 2009 Mar;23(3):388-401. PMID: 19106193

Bratton MR, Frigo DE, Vigh-Conrad KA, Fan D, Wadsworth S, McLachlan JA, Burow ME. Organochlorine-mediated potentiation of the general coactivator p300 through p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase. Carcinogenesis. 2009 Jan;30(1):106-13. PMID: 18791200

Sherk AB, Frigo DE, Schnackenberg CG, Bray JD, Laping NJ, Trizna W, Hammond M, Patterson JR, Thompson SK, Kazmin D, Norris JD, McDonnell DP. Development of a small-molecule serum- and glucocorticoid-regulated kinase-1 antagonist and its evaluation as a prostate cancer therapeutic. Cancer Res. 2008 Sep 15;68(18):7475-83. PMID: 18794135