Mien-Chie Hung, Ph.D.

Molecular & Cellular Oncology
University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
1515 Holcombe Blvd. Unit 0079, Y8.6015
Houston, TX 77030
United States of America
(713) 792-3668 office
(713) 404-1213 pager

Mien-Chie Hung, Ph.D. is the Ruth Leggett Jones Distinguished Chair, Distinguished Teaching Professor, and Professor and Chair of the Department of Molecular and Cellular Oncology. He received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the National Taiwan University in Taiwan and his Ph.D. from Brandeis University in Massachusetts. He was also trained as a postdoctoral fellow in Whitehead Institute/MIT. Dr. Hung is a basic scientist with a translational vision. Since he became an independent researcher in 1986, his laboratory has been well funded by extramural funding agencies including NIH and DOD. Currently, he is a Principal Investigator for 1 PO1, 1RO1 and 1 DOD BCRP. In addition, Dr. Hung is a Project Leader for two MDACC Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPOREs) in Breast (also a Co-PI), and Ovarian Cancer and Program Leader for MDACC CCSG “Cell Biology and Signal Transduction” program. In 2008 (till present), he was appointed as the Director of Center for Biological Pathways at the MDACC to coordinate biological pathway studies in cancers through entire institution (the Center for Biological Pathways has amassed more than 130 faculty members from 42 departments). Dr. Hung is internationally recognized for his work on signaling transduction pathways of tyrosine kinase growth factor receptors, such as epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and HER-2/neu, and molecular mechanisms of oncogenes, including transformation and tumorigenesis. His group made a critical breakthrough in showing that the transmembrane tyrosine kinase receptor EGFR can translocate into the nucleus from the cell surface to stimulate cell proliferation and to induce resistance to anti-cancer therapy. This paradigm-shift concept revolutionizes cell biology of receptor tyrosine kinase and paves a novel avenue for designing next generation of anti-cancer therapy. Most recently, Dr. Hung’s group revealed a novel mechanism that could link inflammation, obesity, diabetes and cancer, which provides a new way to develop obesity-induced cancer and diabetes. Dr. Hung’s laboratory has had a long commitment to developing effective gene therapy for breast, ovarian and pancreatic cancers, by identifying genes suitable for cancer therapy (E1A and BIKDD), developing gene delivery systems (cationic and neutral liposomes) and designing cancer-specific expression vectors, which enhance therapeutic efficacy and reduce any potential side effect during commonly used therapies. Dr. Hung was the first to show that the adenovirus type 5 E1A gene has antitumor activity in HER2/neu-overexpressing cancer cells in 1992, contrary to the originally and widely held belief that it was an oncogene.  Studies on E1A as an anti-cancer gene have received national and international acclaim. In 1996, Dr. Hung collaborated with Dr. Hortoabgyi to bring the E1A gene into the first ever gene therapy trial for breast and ovarian cancer.  Since then, multiple trials for E1A gene therapy in breast, ovarian and head and neck cancers have been completed (Clin Cancer Res 10:2986, 2004, Head Neck 24:661, 2002, Human Gene Ther 12:1591, 2001, Clin Cancer Res 7:1237, 2001 and J Clin Oncol 19:3422, 2001). He also developed a pancreatic cancer-specific expression vector to drive a potent mutant Bik gene, which is in process of moving into human clinical trials soon with his clinical colleagues.