Dean Tang, PhD

Professor of Oncology
Chair, Department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics
Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center
Special Interests: 
Stem cell development
Cancer stem cells
Cancer cell heterogeneity
Prostate cancer
Non-coding RNAs and Epigenetics
Experimental therapeutics


Dean Tang, PhD, was trained as a Pathologist and is currently Professor & Chair in Department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. 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, Dr. Tang 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.

Dr. Tang obtained his PhD 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, Dr. Tang 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). Dr. Tang returned to America in June of 2000 to join the MD Anderson Cancer Center Department of Epigenetics and Molecular Carcinogenesis till May of 2016.

Since 2002, Dr. Tang and his colleagues have been studying cancer stem cells and cancer cell heterogeneity with a focus on prostate cancer. His career goals are to identify novel therapeutics and therapeutic combinations for personalized cancer treatment.


Education and Training: 
1994 - PhD - Cancer Biology - Wayne State University Medical School, Detroit, MI
1989 - MS - Cancer Biology - Wuhan University School of Medicine, Wuhan, China
Oncological Pathology - Wuhan, China
2000 – Postdoctoral Fellow – MRC Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology, London