Dean G. Tang, Ph.D.
Dean was trained as a pathologist and is currently a professor in the Department of Molecular Carcinogenesis at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. He is also an adjunct professor in the College of Pharmacy, University of Texas at Austin. His master of science thesis research (1986 – 1989), conducted in Dr. Hong-shen Tian’s laboratory in Wuhan University School of Medicine, focused on establishing lung cancer metastasis models. To continue his research on metastasis, Dean joined Dr. Ken Honn’s lab at Wayne State University (WSU) in 1989 to study the role of integrin receptors in mediating tumor cell – extracellular matrix interactions, tumor cell invasion, and tumor cell extravasation. Dean obtained his Ph.D. in cancer biology in 1994 and stayed at WSU for a few years to explore apoptosis-based anti-prostate cancer therapeutics. Bored with the “traditional” cancer biology approaches, Dean decided to study developmental biology. In 1998, he was awarded a Burroughs-Wellcome Hitchings-Elion post-doctoral Fellowship to study oligodendrocyte precursor cell (OPC) development in Dr. Martin Raff’s lab in Medical Research Council (MRC) Laboratory for Molecular & Cellular Biology (LMCB) of University College London (UCL, UK). Dean returned to the U.S. in June 2000 to join the MD Anderson Cancer Center Department of Molecular Carcinogenesis. Since 2002, Dean and his colleagues have been studying cancer stem cells with a focus on prostate cancer.