Luke H. Hoeppner, Ph.D
Assistant Professor
Molecular Biology and Translational Cancer Research


Luke H. Hoeppner is an Assistant Professor at The Hormel Institute and leader of the Molecular Biology and Translational Cancer Research section at The Hormel Institute. Dr. Hoeppner received his B.S. from University of Wisconsin-Madison and identified several novel prostate cancer antigens working with Dr. Douglas McNeel.  He then received a Ph.D. from University of Minnesota studying with Dr. Jennifer Westendorf to elucidate the β-catenin-dependent regulation and role of an alternative Lef1 transcript in osteoblast maturation.  Luke’s doctoral studies provided him with a strong foundation in molecular biology, biochemistry and cancer biology.  In his postdoctoral work, Dr. Hoeppner gained expertise working with genetic animal models. He developed a zebrafish VEGF-inducible model of vascular permeability amenable to non-invasive real-time fluorescent imaging as well as a human cancer metastasis xenograft model in zebrafish. Combining preclinical mouse cancer models and human translational studies, Luke developed an orthotopic lung cancer model and used it to demonstrate that FDA approved cabergoline and other dopamine D2 receptor agonists reduce lung tumor growth and angiogenesis. He is currently investigating the contribution of downstream dopamine signaling effectors to drug resistance and lung cancer progression with the goal of developing new therapies.


B.S.                 University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI             Genetics

Ph.D.               University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN                  Cancer Biology

Postdoc           Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN                                       Vascular & Cancer Biology

Research Interests:

·        Role of dopamine signaling in lung cancer progression and drug resistance

·        Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF)-induced vascular permeability in zebrafish

·        Cancer metastasis, tumor microenvironment, vascular biology, and angiogenesis

·        Zebrafish model of human cancer cell extravasation/metastasis

·        Skin biology and melanoma

Publications (from most recent):

1.     Hoeppner LH, Sinha S, Wang Y, Bhattacharya R, Dutta S, Gong X, Bedell VM, Suresh S, Chun C, Ramchandran R, Ekker SC, Mukhopadhyay D. RhoC maintains vascular homeostasis by regulating VEGF-induced signaling in endothelial cells. J Cell Sci. 2015 PMID: 26136364

2.     Wang Y, Cao Y, Yamada S, Thirunavukkarasu M, Nin V, Joshi M, Rishi MT, Bhattacharya S, Camacho-Pereira J, Sharma AK, Shameer K, Kocher JP, Sanchez JA, Wang E, Hoeppner LH, Dutta SK, Leof EB, Shah V, Claffey KP, Chini E, Simons M, Terzic A, Maulik N, Mukhopadhyay D. Cardiomyopathy and Worsened Ischemic Heart Failure in SM22-α Cre-Mediated Neuropilin-1 Null Mice: Dysregulation of PGC1α and Mitochondrial Homeostasis. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 35(6):1401-12; 2015 PMID: 25882068

3.     Thakur R, Yadav V, Kumar A, Singh A, Pal K, Hoeppner LH, Saha D, Purohit G, Basundra R, Kar A, Halder R, Kumar P, Baral, A, Kumar J, Baldi A, Vincenzi B, Lorenzon L, Banerjee R, Kumar P, Shridhar V, Mukhopadhyay D, Chowdhury S. Non-metastatic 2 (NME2)-mediated suppression of lung cancer metastasis involves transcriptional regulation of key cell adhesion factor vinculin. Nucleic Acids Res. 42(18):11589-600; 2014 PMID: 25249619

4.     Hoeppner LH, Wang Y, Sharma A, Javeed N, Van Keulen VP, Wang E, Yang P, Roden AC, Peikert T, Molina JR, Mukhopadhyay D. Dopamine D2 receptor agonists inhibit lung cancer progression by reducing angiogenesis and tumor infiltrating myeloid derived suppressor cells. Molecular Oncology. 9:270-81; 2015 PMID: 25226814

Cao Y, Hoeppner LH, Bach S, E G, Guo Y, Wang E, Wu J, Cowley MJ, Chang DK, Waddell N, Grimmond SM, Biankin AV, Daly RJ, Zheng X, Mukhopadhyay D. Neuropilin-2 promotes extravasation and metastasis by interacting with endothelial α5 integrin. Cancer Res. 73(14):4579-4590; 2013. PMID: 23689123
6.     Hoeppner LH, Phoenix KN, Clark KJ, Bhattacharya R, Gong X, Sciuto TE, Vohra P, Suresh S, Bhattacharya S, Dvorak AM, Ekker SC, Dvorak HF, Claffey KP, Mukhopadhyay D.  Revealing the role of phospholipase Cβ3 in the regulation of VEGF-induced vascular permeability.  Blood. 120(11):2167-73; 2012. PMID: 2267480

7.     Vohra PK, Hoeppner LH, Sagar G, Dutta SK, Misra S, Hubmayr RD, Mukhopadhyay D.  Dopamine inhibits pulmonary edema through the VEGF-VEGFR2 axis in a murine model of acute lung injury.  Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 302(2):L185-92; 2012.  PMID: 22003095

8.     Hoeppner LH, Secreto FJ, Razidlo DF, Whitney TJ, Westendorf JJ.  Lef1{Delta}N binds {beta}-catenin and increases osteoblast activity and trabecular bone mass.  J Biol Chem.  286(13):10950-9; 2011.  PMID: 21270130

9.     Hoeppner LH, Secreto F, Jensen ED, Li X, Kahler RA, Westendorf JJ.  Runx2 and bone morphogenic protein 2 regulate the expression of an alternative Lef1 transcript during osteoblast maturation.  J Cell Physiol. 221(2):480-9; 2009.  PMID: 19650108

10.  Hoeppner LH, Secreto FJ, Westendorf JJ.  Wnt signaling as a therapeutic target for bone diseases. Expert Opin Ther Targets. 13(4):485-96; 2009.  PMID: 19335070.

11.  Secreto FJ, Hoeppner LH, Westendorf JJ.  Wnt signaling during fracture repair. Current Osteoporosis Reports. 7(2):64-9; 2009.  PMCID: 19631031.

12.  Li X, Hoeppner LH, Jensen ED, Gopalakrishnan R, Westendorf JJ.  Co-activator activator (CoAA) prevents the transcriptional activity of Runt domain transcription factors.  J Cell Biochem. 108(2):378-87; 2009.  PMID: 19585539.

13.  Kahler RA, Yingst SM, Hoeppner LH, Jensen ED, Krawczak D, Oxford JT, Westendorf JJ.  Collagen 11a1 is Indirectly Activated by Lymphocyte Enhancer-binding Factor 1 (Lef1) and Negatively Regulates Osteoblast Maturation.  Matrix Biology. 27:330-338; 2008.  PMID: 2431459.

14.  Hoeppner LH, Dubovsky JA, Dunphy EJ, McNeel DG.  Humoral immune responses to testis antigens in sera from patients with prostate cancer.  Cancer Immun.  6:1; 2006.  PMID: 16401063.