Molecular Genetics Laboratory of Female Reproductive Cancer

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The long-term objectives of our research team are:

a. to understand the molecular etiology in the development of human cancer, and
b. to identify and characterize cancer molecules for cancer detection, diagnosis, and therapy.

We use ovarian carcinoma as a disease model because it is one of the most aggressive neoplastic diseases in women. For the first research direction, we aim to identify and characterize the molecular alterations during initiation and progression of ovarian carcinomas. Previous genome-wide analyses from our team have identified molecular alterations in several new cancer-associated genes including Rsf-1, NAC-1, and Notch3 among several others. We have demonstrated the essential roles of these gene products in sustaining tumor growth and survival. Current projects are focusing on elucidating the mechanisms by which these genes function in cancer cells and delineating the cross-talks between those genes and other signaling pathways. Specifically, we are identifying their downstream targets and pathways, and are determining their roles in maintaining cancer stem cell-like features, invasion and drug resistance. The second research direction is a translation-based study. We are assessing the clinical significance of an array of new cancer-associated genes in predicting clinical outcome and in the developing potential target-based therapy in mouse preclinical models. We are also establishing innovative assays for cancer detection and diagnosis by identifying new tumor-associated genetic and protein biomarkers through serial analysis of gene expression, gene expression arrays, proteomics and methylation profiling. The purpose is to develop new tools in detecting human cancer using body fluid samples. In collaboration with several investigators, we are integrating new technologic platforms such as microfluidics, nanotechnology and systems biology in our studies.

In addition to ovarian cancer genetics, we are interested in the diagnostic pathology and basic research of gestational trophoblastic diseases. Please visit "Pathology of Trophoblastic Lesions" for details.

» Click here for the Ovarian Cancer Prevention Website

» Click here for the Ovarian Cancer Research Program

"What we observe is not nature itself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning."
-- Werner Heisenberg, Physics and Philosophy, 1958

Tian-Li Wang, PhD

Tian-Li Wang, PhD

Departments of Pathology, Oncology, and Gynecology & Obstetrics
Faculty in Pathobiology Graduate Program
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions

National Taiwan University, BS
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, PhD
University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine, Post-doc fellow (Neuroscience)
Howard Hughes Medical Institutions, Associate (Cancer Genetics)