Molecular Genetics Laboratory of Female Reproductive Cancer

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The long-term objectives of our research team are to:

  • understand the molecular etiology of female reproductive cancers
  • elucidate the mechanics of chemoresistance in ovarian cancer
  • translate basic research into potential clinical promise

We use ovarian carcinoma as a primary disease model because it is one of the most aggressive neoplastic diseases for women. Our research team aims to understand the molecular basis behind how normal cells are transformed, selected, and evolve to become invasive carcinoma. Genome-wide analyses at Hopkins have identified molecular genetic alterations in different types of ovarian cancers including NOTCH3, ARID1A, PIK3CA, PPP2R1A, among several others. We are currently focusing on revealing the tumor-promoting functions of NOTCH3 signaling and tumor-suppressor functions of the ARID1A pathway. In addition, we are characterizing metabolic reprograming during the development of platinum drug resistance. The ultimate goal is to translate our research findings into new preventive and therapeutic strategies. We are in collaboration with a team of dedicated clinicians and scientists across multiple disciplines to achieve this goal.

» Click here for the Ovarian Cancer Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) Website

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"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

Professor; Director of the Molecular Genetics Laboratory of Female Reproductive Cancer
Departments of Pathology, Oncology, and Gynecology & Obstetrics
Faculty in Pathobiology Graduate Program
Faculty in Cellular and Molecular Medicine (CMM) Graduate Program

Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, PhD
- study with Bill Guggino and Garry Cutting

University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine, Post-doc fellow (Neuroscience)
- study with Peter Sterling and Noga Vardi

Howard Hughes Medical Institutions, Associate (Cancer Genetics)
- study with Bert Vogelstein

Digital Karyotyping US7704687B2
Small molecule compounds targeting pbx1 transcriptional complex WO2016172437A3

Faculty Collaborator
Ie-Ming Shih, MD, PhD Ie-Ming Shih, MD, PhD
Co-Director, Breast & Ovarian Cancer Program
Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center
Director, Telinde GYN Pathology Research Program

Richard W. TeLinde Distinguished Professor
Department of Gynecology & Obstetrics
Departments of Pathology and Oncology
Faculty in Pathobiology Graduate Program
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Taipei Medical University, MD
University of Pennsylvania, PhD
Johns Hopkins University, Residency (Pathology)
Johns Hopkins University, Fellowships (Gynecologic Pathology and Cancer Genetics)


Faculty Collaborator
Stephanie L. Gaillard, MD, PhD Stephanie L. Gaillard, MD, PhD
Director of Gynecologic Cancer Trials
Assistant Professor of Oncology
Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins University

Duke University, MD, PhD
Johns Hopkins University, Internal Medicine and Oncology, Resident and Fellowship
Johns Hopkins University, Molecular Genetic Lab of Female Reproductive Cancer, Research Fellow

Additional Collaborators

Dr. Denis Wirtz
Theophilus Halley Smoot Professor, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Johns Hopkins University

Dr. Peng Huang
Associate Professor, Department of Oncology, Division of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, Johns Hopkins University

Dr. Thomas Pisanic and Dr. Jeff Wang
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University


We gratefully acknowledge funding support from the following sources who have made our work possible.

Private Foundations

  • Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance (OCFRA)
  • The Honorable Tina Brozman Foundation - Tina's Wish
  • Colleen's Dream Foundation
  • Team Katie Oppo - Ovarian Cancer Research Fund
  • Endometriosis Foundation of America
  • Ephraim & Wilma Shaw Roseman Foundation
  • American Cancer Society
  • Gray Foundation - for BRCA research

Government funding

  • National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute
  • Department of Defense - Ovarian Cancer Research Program