Joann B. Powell, PhD


Joann B. Powell, PhD

Position(s): Associate Professor 

Academic Department: Biological Sciences​




Office Location: Thomas Cole Research Center ​​
Office Telephone: 404-880-6794


Postdoc: Emory University School of Medicine-Winship Cancer Institute ​
PhD: Meharry Medical College 


Research Interests:

  • Our lab aims to understand the molecular mechanisms by which cancer cells progress into advanced and malignant phenotypes. In particular, we focus on the role of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) in prostate cancer progression. AhR is widely known for its role in mediating the harmful effects of a number of environmental toxins. However, evidence suggests that it may also play a key role in the progression of prostate cancer from androgen sensitive to castration resistant. Specific goals of our lab are to: ​
    • Determine the role of AhR in the development of castration resistant prostate cancer via interaction with the androgen signaling pathway.  ​
    • Investigate the effects of environmental toxins (AhR agonist) on prostate cancer progression and the ability of naturally occurring ligands to inhibit progression.    ​
    • Establish AhR as a potential therapeutic target in the treatment of castration independent   prostate cancer. 


  • Ghotbaddini M, Moultrie V, and Powell JB. Constitutive Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Signaling in Prostate Cancer Progression. Journal of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis. Volume 2 Issue 5 (2018). PMID: 31328183, PMCID:PMC6641558.    ​
  • Ghotbaddini M, Cisse K, Carey A, Powell JB. Simultaneous inhibition of aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) and Src abolishes androgen receptor signaling. PLoS One. 2017 Jul 3;12(7):e0179844. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0179844. PMID: 28671964. ​
  • Ghotbaddini M and Powell JB. The AhR Ligand, TCDD, Regulates Androgen Receptor Activity Differently in Androgen-Sensitive versus Castration-Resistant Human Prostate Cancer Cells. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health.  2015; 2(7): 7506-18; doi: 10.3390/ijerph120707506. PubMed PMID: 26154658; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4515671. ​
  • Richmond O, Ghotbaddini M, Allen C, Walker A, Zahir S, Powell JB. The aryl hydrocarbon receptor is constitutively active in advanced prostate cancer cells. PLoS One. 2014; 9(4):e95058. PubMed PMID: 24755659; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3995675.