Roswell Park's Dean Tang, PhD, led a team that has identified a new prostate cancer suppressor protein. Dean Tang, PhD

Dean Tang

PhD

Special Interests:

Stem cell development Cancer stem cells Cancer cell heterogeneity Prostate cancer Non-coding RNAs and Epigenetics Experimental therapeutics

About Dean Tang

Biography:

Dean Tang, PhD, was trained as a Pathologist and is currently Professor & Chair in Department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. He also acts as a Co-Leader of the CCSG Developmental Therapeutics (DT) Program and Director of the Experimental Therapeutics (ET) Graduate Program.  Dean’s Master of Science 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 cancer metastasis, Dean joined Dr. Ken Honn’s lab at Wayne State University (WSU, Detroit, MI, USA) in 1989 to study the roles of integrin receptors and eicosanoids in mediating and regulating tumor cell-extracellular matrix interactions, and tumor cell invasion and dissemination. He obtained his PhD in Cancer Biology in 1994.

In 1998, Dean 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). Dr. Tang returned to the States in June of 2000 to join as a faculty in Department of Epigenetics and Molecular Carcinogenesis at the University of Texas M.D Anderson Cancer Center (MDACC) till end of May in 2016, when he moved to Roswell Park.

Since 2002, Dean and his colleagues have been applying normal stem cell biology knowledge to elucidate the fundamental biological principles that govern the generation of tumor cell heterogeneity via cancer stem cells (CSCs) and epigenetic mechanisms. By focusing on prostate cancer (PCa), the lab has characterized the biological, molecular, and tumorigenic properties of prostate CSCs (PCSCs). Their recent work has shown that PCa cell heterogeneity, especially heterogeneity in AR expression and status, has a great impact on PCa cell responses to clinical therapies. One line of the lab research has been translated into a phase I/IIb clinical trial (NCT03751436) that treats mCRPC patients with a combination of enzalutamide and the only FDA-approved BCL-2 specific inhibitor Venetoclax.

Positions

Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Professor of Oncology
  • Chair, Department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics

Background

Education and Training:

  • 1994 - PhD - Cancer Biology - Wayne State University Medical School, Detroit, MI
  • 1986-1989 - MS - Cancer Biology - Wuhan University School of Medicine, Wuhan, China

Residency:

  • Oncological Pathology - Wuhan, China

Fellowship:

  • 1998-2000 – Postdoctoral Fellow – MRC Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology, London

Professional Experience:

  • 2000-2016 - Department of Epigenetics and Molecular Carcinogenesis, University of Texas M.D Anderson Cancer Center

Research

Research Overview:

Our lab research aims to elucidate the fundamental biological principles that govern the generation of tumor cell heterogeneity via cancer stem cells (CSCs) and epigenetic mechanisms, and to take our newly gained knowledge to translate to the clinic. By focusing on prostate cancer (PCa), we have characterized the biological, molecular, and tumorigenic properties, of prostate CSCs (PCSCs). We have recently shown that PCa cell heterogeneity, especially heterogeneity in AR expression, has a great impact on PCa cell responses to clinical therapies. One line of our research has been translated into a phase I/IIb clinical trial (NCT03751436) that treats mCRPC patients with a combination of enzalutamide and the only FDA-approved BCL-2 specific inhibitor venetoclax. The lab has several inter-connected research projects encompassing:

  1. Elucidating normal prostate cell heterogeneity and hierarchy and investigating cell-of-origin of PCa subtypes
  2. Dissecting PCa cell heterogeneity and plasticity and linking them to therapy response and tumor recurrence
  3. Uncovering novel molecular regulators of PCSCs
  4. Developing novel therapeutics and therapeutic combinations to tackle PCa cell heterogeneity and plasticity

Publications

Full Publications list on PubMed

Representative Publications: