Hai Wang

Molecular and Cellular Biology

Research Interests:

Bone metastasis Cancer metabolism Breast cancer Prostate cancer Microenvironment

About Hai Wang


The major objective of my lab is to decipher the molecular mechanisms underlying the progression of bone metastasis in breast and prostate cancer. I discovered that bone micro-metastasis predominantly resides in the microenvironment termed “osteogenic niche”. The heterotypic adherent junctions and gap junctions between cancer cells and osteogenic cells promote bone colonization through activating mTOR pathway and calcium signaling in cancer cells (Cancer Cell, 2015 & 2018). Additionally, I am the major founder of two delicate techniques, namely Intra-iliac artery (IIA) injection and Bone-in-culture array (BICA), to model bone metastasis in vivo and ex vivo (Nat. Commun. 2017). Although my early studies primarily focused on breast cancer, currently I have extended my expertise to prostate cancer research. My recent publication made a thorough investigation on prostate cancer bone metastases and revealed important commonalities underlying pre-osteolytic bone colonization of breast cancer and osteoblastic progression of prostate cancer. My current research interest focuses on the metabolic reprogramming of bone metastases, which gives rise to three ongoing projects. In Project 1, I aim to characterize the metabolic symbiosis in osteoblastic metastasis of prostate cancer. In Project 2, I aim to investigate the dynamic alteration of metabolism in different stages of breast cancer bone metastasis. In Project 3, I pursue to decode the metabolic dichotomy in the bone metastases between breast cancer and prostate cancer.

Wang Lab


Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Assistant Professor of Oncology
  • Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology


Education and Training:

  • 2011 - PhD - Oncology, Medical School of Shanghai Jiaotong University, Shanghai, China


  • 2015-2021 - Research associate/Instructor, Breast Center, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX
  • 2011-2015 - Postdoctoral associate, Breast Center, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX

Honors & Awards:

  • 2022 - Susan G. Komen Career Catalyst Research Grants
  • 2013-2016 - Department of Defense (DOD) Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs: Breast Cancer Research Program, Postdoctoral Fellowship Award


Research Overview:

View the Wang Lab


Full Publications list on PubMed

1.Yi-Hsuan Wu, Zbigniew Gugala, Megan Barry, Yichao Shen, Subhamoy Dasgupta, Hai Wang*. “Optimization and characterization of a bone culture model to study prostate cancer bone metastasis.” Mol Cancer Ther (2022) 21 (8): 1360–1368.

2. Weijie Zhang, Igor L Bado, Jingyuan Hu, Ying-Wooi Wan, Ling Wu, Hai Wang, Yang Gao, Hyun-Hwan Jeong, Zhan Xu, Xiaoxin Hao, Bree M Lege, Rami Al-Ouran, Lucian Li, Jiasong Li, Liqun Yu, Swarnima Singh, Hin Ching Lo, Muchun Niu, Jun Liu, Weiyu Jiang, Yi Li, Stephen TC Wong, Chonghui Cheng, Zhandong Liu, Xiang H-F Zhang. "The bone microenvironment invigorates metastatic seeds for further dissemination." Cell, 2021,184(9):2471-2486. e20

3.Hai Wang, Lin Tian, Jun Liu, Amit Goldstein, Igor Bado, Weijie Zhang, Benjamin R.Arenkie, Zonghai Li, Meng Yang, Shiyu Du, Hong Zhao, David R.Rowley, Stephen T.C.Wong, Zbigniew Gugala, Xiang H.-F.Zhang. “The Osteogenic Niche Is a Calcium Reservoir of Bone Micrometastases and Confers Unexpected Therapeutic Vulnerability.” Cancer Cell, 2018,34(5):823-839.

4. Hai Wang, Lin Tian, Amit Goldstein, Jun Liu, Hin-Ching Lo, Kuanwei Sheng, Thomas Welte, Stephen T.C. Wong, Zbigniew Gugala, Fabio Stossi, Chenghang Zong, Zonghai Li, Michael A. Mancini, Xiang H.-F. Zhang. “Bone-in-culture array as a platform to model early- stage bone metastases and discover anti-metastasis therapies.” Nat. Commun, 2017, 8:15045

5. Hai Wang; Cuijuan Yu; Xia Gao; Thomas Welte; Aaron M. Muscarella; Lin Tian; Jun Liu; Hong Zhao; Zhen Zhao; Jianning Tao; Brendan Lee; Thomas F. Westbrook; Stephen T.C. Wong; Jeffrey M. Rosen; C. Kent Osborne; Xiang H.-F. Zhang. "The Osteogenic Niche Promotes Early-Stage Bone Colonization of Disseminated Breast Cancer Cells." Cancer Cell, 2015,27(2):177-92.