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Dr. Mien-Chie Hung Appointed Chairman for New Department of Molecular and Cellular Oncolo

Dr. Mien-Chie Hung Appointed Chairman for New Department of Molecular and CellularOncology
M. D. Anderson News Release 03/29/00

Dr. Mien-Chie Hung, who has earned an international reputation for research involving the molecular biology of cancer, has been appointed chairman of the new Department of Molecular and Cellular Oncology at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.

In his new position, Dr. Hung will lead a department that emphasizes molecular and cellular approaches to understanding the causes of cancer. The goal will be to use state-of-the-art science to elucidate molecular mechanisms that cause cancer and help develop more novel and effective strategies for cancer diagnosis and therapy.

"We are delighted to be able to recognize the accomplishments and leadership potential of one of our finest translational researchers by means of this appointment. We look forward to working with Dr. Hung as he implements his vision for this new department," said Dr. Margaret Kripke, senior vice president and chief academic officer.

Holder of the Ruth Legett Jones Chair, Dr. Hung will continue his role as director of the Breast Cancer Basic Research Program.

"Many of the faculty members who make up the new department have an interest in breast cancer research, so that is an area in which we will focus some of our attention," Dr. Hung said.

Since joining the M. D. Anderson faculty in 1986, Dr. Hung has primarily concentrated his research on the role of the HER-2/neu oncogene in breast, ovarian, lung and other cancers. He was the first to isolate and delineate the regulatory region of the HER-2/neu oncogene. He also discovered how multiple molecular mechanisms cause an over-expression of this oncogene and clarified how altered HER-2/neu oncogenes enhance the metastatic potential of cancer cells.

Dr. Hung has been a leader in identifying the tumor suppressor function of the adenovirus E1A gene, showing that E1A can restrain transformation by the HER-2/neu oncogene. His experimental animal research has led to novel clinical trials that use the liposome delivery system for genetic therapy.

Because of Dr. Hung's laboratory research, clinicians now are beginning to correlate the over-expression of the HER-2/neu oncogene with poor survival of patients with breast and other cancers treated with particular chemotherapeutic agents.

Dr. Hung, who earned his Ph.D. in biochemistry at Brandeis University, is widely respected as a teacher. He holds a joint appointment at The University of Texas-Houston Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, where he is the only faculty member to receive the John P. McGovern Outstanding Teacher Award three times.

Dr. Hung also has twice been honored with M. D. Anderson Faculty Achievement Awards, in 1993 for teaching excellence and in 1998 for his basic research contributions.


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