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Faculty

Junjie Chen, Ph.D. (Chairman)

Research interests:

  • New components involved in DNA damage pathways
  • Molecular mechanisms of genomic instability and tumorigenesis
  • Tumor-suppressing qualities of the mitotic checkpoint protein Chfr
  • The role of the protein deacetylase SIRT1 in aging and tumorigenesis

Boyi Gan, Ph.D.

Research Interests: 

  • Metabolic signaling in cancer development, aging and stem cell maintenance
  • Developing effective therapies targeting metabolic pathways in cancer treatment
  • The role of FoxO/TSC/LKB1 tumor suppressor network in cancer metabolism, aging and stem cell biology
  • Use of sophisticated genetically engineered mouse models

Zihua Gong, Ph.D.

Research Interests: 

  • Identification of new protein complexes involved in DNA damage response using a proteomic approach
  • Increased understanding of the DNA damage protein TopBP1 in the replication checkpoint pathway
  • Study the role of tyrosine kinases in the cancer development

Jingsong Yuan, Ph.D.

Research Interests:

  • The MRN (MRE11-RAD50-NBS1) complex, implicated in the detection of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs), DNA ends resection, recombination, and S or G2/M checkpoint control
  • CtIP (also known as RBBP8) which functions together with the MRN complex to promote DSB resection and the generation of single-stranded DNA
  • Understanding the newly identified human SWI5-MEI5 (C9orf119-C10orf78) complex
  • RPA-associated proteins such as HARP (also known as SMARCAL1), which are responsible for Schimke immunoosseous dysplasia (SIOD)


Khandan Keyomarsi, Ph.D.

Said Akli, Ph.D.

Research Interests: 

  • The role of cyclin E in breast and salivary tumorigenesis
  • Generating transgenic mice to determine the requirement of LMW cyclin E for tumor maintenance and recurrence
  • Identifying potential LMW-E/CDK2 substrates on a proteome-wide scale that could serve as targets for treatment of triple negative breast cancer
  • Identifying the salivary gland-specific cyclin E-associated kinase that drives cyclin E-induced salivary gland cancer

Lei Li, Ph.D. 

Research Interests: 

  • Molecular mechanisms of DNA damage repair and cell cycle checkpoint mechanisms
  • how DNA damage is sensed and transduced into checkpoint signals
  • Interaction of chromatin remodeling mechanisms with DNA repair and damage checkpoint pathways
  • Repair of DNA interstrand cross-links, as many chemotherapy agents are bifunctional DNA cross-linkers
  • Molecular mechanisms of Fanconi anemia

Li Ma, Ph.D. 

Research Interests:

  • Understand regulation of tumor invasion, metastasis, and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) by non-coding RNAs
  • Dissecting the role of miR-10b in malignant progression using genetically engineered mouse models.
  • Identifying the functional targets of metastasis-promoting miRNAs
  • Identifying and characterizing new epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT)-regulating miRNA
  • Identifying lncRNAs that regulate EMT and metastasis

Kathy Mason, M.Sc. 

Research Interests: 

  • in vitro and in vivo investigations on chemoradiotherapy, particularly taxanes
  • Combining molecular targeting agents with radiotherapy to treat cancers of the upper aerodigestive tract and head and neck
  • Discovery of new agents that can protect, mitigate, or treat radiation injuries from clinical exposure, accidents, or radiation terrorism

Marvin L. Meistrich, Ph.D.

Research Interests: 

  • The effects of radiation and chemotherapy on male germ cells

Gunapala Shetty, Ph.D.  

Research Interests: 

  • Effects of radiation on male reproduction and testicular cancer
  • Hormonal manipulations to minimize the sterilizing effects of cancer agents
  • The mechanism of the radiation induction of testicular cancer during fetal life

Wei Zhou, Ph.D.

Research Interests:

  • Investigate the molecular mechanisms of hormones, including testosterone and estradiol, in the block and recovery of spermatogenesis after irradiation
  • Development of clinical treatments to help regain fertility and treat dysregulated hormone functions in men
  • Investigating the roles of orphan nuclear receptor ERRβ in cancer chemoprevention

Raymond E. Meyn, Ph.D.

Research Interests:

  • Molecular targeted agents combined with radiotherapy
  • The role of the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in governing tumor cell response to radiation

Luka Milas, M.D., Ph.D.

Research Interests: 

  • Understanding the biologic processes that govern tumor response to radiation and other cytotoxic agents
  • Exploring new approaches to improving radio (chemo) therapy by enhancing tumor radio (chemo) response or by decreasing normal tissue toxicity

Jae-il Park, Ph.D. 

Research Interests: 

  • Studying Wnt pathways in cancer cells, embryonic stem cells, frog embryogenesis, mouse intestine and skin. 
  • Regulation of telomerase in regeneration and disease

Elizabeth L. Travis, Ph.D.

Research Interests:

  • Normal tissue complications of cancer treatments
  • The genetic basis of radiation induced pulmonary fibrosis
  • Mechanisms of radiation-induced alveolitis
  • Protection and mitigation of radiation injury in normal tissues.

Li Wang, M.D., Ph.D.

Research Interests: 

  • Mechanisms of radiation-induced lung fibrosis in mice with a focus on the role of transforming growth factor beta (TGF β) and its signaling pathway in development of fibrosis
  • Therapeutic efficacy of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) receptor, poly-ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP), and integrin inhibitors on radiosensitivity of head and neck, lung and breast cancer cells
  • The radiosensitization effects and mechanisms of cardiac glycosides

Uma Raju, Ph.D.

Research Interests:

  • Test the hypothesis that targeting of molecules whose functions are well-regulated in normal cells but deregulated in cancer cells may improve tumor response
  • Preclinical evaluation of several molecularly targeted agents
  • Identification of cellular proteins and/pathways in DNA repair that are responsible for the resistant phenotype of cancer cells
  • Characterization of cancer stem cell markers involved in resistance, recurrence and metastatic spread

© 2014 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center