Wendong Huang

Wendong Huang, Ph.D.

  • Associate Professor, Department of Diabetes Complications & Metabolism Research

Wendong Huang, Ph.D.

Enfoque de la investigación :
  • Cancer Biology
A devoted and passionate researcher, Wendong Huang, Ph.D., and his lab associates are constantly searching for the most effective treatments for liver cancer and diabetes.
Educated in China, Dr. Huang arrived in the U.S. in 1995 and earned his Ph.D. at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. He joined City of Hope in 2005 following five years as a postdoctoral fellow at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas.
One of Dr. Huang's most notable research projects involved a compound derived from a plant used in Chinese medicine for centuries to treat inflammation. The compound was found to interfere with the stem cells that develop into liver cancer.
  • 2010 - present, Associate Professor, Division of Molecular Diabetes Research, Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope, Duarte, CA
  • 2008 - present, Adjunct Faculty, Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, Los Angeles, CA
  • 2005 - 2010, Assistant Professor, Division of Gene Regulation and Drug Discovery, Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope, Duarte, CA
  • Diabetes Complications & Metabolism
  • Program in Natural Therapies


  • Ph.D.
  • 1987 - 1994, Zhejiang University, China, B.S. (Biology) and M.S. (Biophysics), Department of Biology
  • 1995 - 2000, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Ph.D., Department of Molecular Genetics

Beca de investigación

  • 2000 - 2005, Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX

Metabolic regulation, cancer and aging

We are interested in the molecular link between metabolism, cancer and aging. One particular direction is the functional studies of a group of nuclear receptors. Nuclear receptors are a special group of transcriptional factors that are activated by their cognate ligands. A new branch of nuclear receptors was recently identified to play pivotal roles in regulating different metabolic pathways. These nuclear receptors work as sensors of metabolic signals and regulate the expression of essential genes in different pathways. Studies in this area have generated significant impact in many human diseases such as diabetes, obesity, cancer and aging. A second approach is focused on identification and characterization of novel signaling pathways in metabolism and cancer through both genetic and epigenetic approaches. We have identified several novel miRNA-mediated pathways in metabolic diseases as well as cancer growth and metastasis. We have generated transgenic mouse models of those miRNAs and their roles in obesity, diabetes and cancer development are being investigated currently. Moreover, we screen and identify novel small chemical compounds to target cancer stem cells. By using the chemicals we have identified, we are also identifying and characterizing novel signaling pathways in cancer stem cells. In summary, taking advantage of both genetically engineered mouse models and molecular pharmacological tools, our long-term goal is to identify novel signaling pathways in metabolism and cancer in order to provide new targets for drug discovery.

The current research projects in my laboratory focus on:

  • Identification and characterization of physiological signal molecules and pathways by which nuclear receptors regulate metabolism and cancer;
  • Cancer stem cell, novel signaling pathways and targeting therapy; and
  • Epigenetic and miRNA mechanisms in diabetes, obesity and cancer.
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