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  • Dr. David Hoskin, PhD


Professor, Departments of Pathology, Microbiology & Immunology and Surgery
Affiliated Scientist, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Capital Health
Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation-Atlantic Region Endowed Chair in Breast Cancer Research


Dalhousie University Faculty of Medicine, Capital Health

Research Interests:

Anti-cancer potential of natural-source compounds, including cationic antimicrobial peptides and phytochemicals found in common spices; manipulation of T lymphocyte signal transduction for cancer control

Exploring the cancer-fighting potential of food and spice derivatives

Dr. David Hoskin has found that a fragment of milk protein known as lactoferricin triggers the death of cancer cells obtained from a wide range of human malignancies, including breast, colon and ovarian tumours and various leukemias and lymphomas. He is working on methods to deliver lactoferricin and other anti-cancer peptides directly to cancer cells. Dr. Hoskin is also investigating the anti-cancer activity of molecules found in common spices like turmeric and black pepper.

Involvement with BHCRI to date:

Dr. Hoskin is a BHCRI Senior Scientist, has served on the BHCRI Working Group, BHCRI Development Board, CRTP Management Committee, BHCRI Training Committee and has been a supervisor for CRTP trainees.


(902) 494-6509



Sir Charles Tupper Medical Building, Dalhousie University Faculty of Medicine, 5850 College Street, P.O. Box 15000, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada B3H 4R2


Douglas S, Hoskin DW, and Hilchie A. 2014. Assessment of antimicrobial (host defense) peptides as anti-cancer agents. Methods Mol Biology 1078: 159-170.

Hilchie AL, Conrad DM, Zemlak TS, Doucette CD, Liwski RS, and Hoskin DW. 2013. Pleurocidin-family cationic antimicrobial peptides mediate lysis of multiple myeloma cells and impair the growth of multiple myeloma xenografts. Leuk Lymphoma 54: 2255-2262.

Hilchie AL, Vale R, Zemlak T, and Hoskin DW. 2013. Generation of a hematologic malignancy-selective membranolytic peptide from the antimicrobial core (RRWQWR) of bovine lactoferricin. Exp Mol Pathol. 95:192-198.

Doucette CD, Hilchie A, Liwski R, and Hoskin DW. 2013. Piperine, a dietary phytochemical, inhibits angiogenesis. J Nutr Biochem 24:231-239.

Yaffe P, Doucette CD, Walsh M, and Hoskin DW. 2013. Piperine impairs cell cycle progression and causes reactive oxygen species-dependent apoptosis in HRT-18 rectal cancer cells. Exp Mol Pathol 94: 109-114.

Hilchie AL, Power Coombs MR, and Hoskin DW. 2012. Obstacles and solutions to the use of cationic antimicrobial peptides in the treatment of cancer. In Small Wonders: Peptides for Disease Control (K. Rajasekaran, J.W. Cary, J.M. Jaynes, E. Montesinos, Eds.), pp. 61-78. ACS Publications, Washington, DC.

Sutton K, Doucette CD, and Hoskin DW. 2012. NADPH quinine oxidoreductase 1 mediates breast cancer cell resistance to thymoquinone-induced apoptosis. Biochem Biophys Res Comm 426:421-426.

Hilchie A, Doucette CD, Pinto D, Patrzykat A, Douglas S, and Hoskin DW. 2011. Pleurocidin-family cationic antimicrobial peptides are cytolytic for breast carcinoma cells and prevent growth of tumor xenografts. Breast Cancer Res 13: R102.

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