Vu Nguyen Ngo

Vu Nguyen Ngo, Ph.D.

  • Associate Research Professor, Department of Systems Biology

Vu Nguyen Ngo, Ph.D.

Research Focus :
  • Molecular pathogenesis of lymphoid malignancies
Cancer cells are often addicted to a transformed state that involves multiple signal transduction pathways. A major goal of Dr. Ngo’s research is to discover abnormal signaling that make cancer more aggressive and resistant to therapy. By combining high-throughput genetic screen and next-generation sequencing approaches, he has identified key pathways and important molecular targets that are critical for cancer cell proliferation and survival (Ngo VN et al. 2011, Nature). His research has also led to discovery of cancer gene mutations that cause treatment resistance (Mohanty A et al. 2016, Oncotarget).

Dr. Ngo’s laboratory in the Department of Systems Biology will focus on genetic and epigenetic mechanisms of cancer mutations and their interactions in driving tumor development. His laboratory will employ large-scale functional genetic screens using RNA interference technology in combination with genomics and proteomics approaches to dissect disease mechanisms in lymphoid malignancies. He also has a special focus on developing animal tumor models for aggressive lymphomas including mantle cell lymphoma.

Dr. Ngo completed his B.A. degree from the University of California, Berkeley and earned a Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences from the University of California, San Francisco. His post-doctoral training was with Dr. Louis M. Staudt at the National Cancer Institute, National Institute of Health, Bethesda. Prior to joining the Department of Systems Biology, he was an Assistant Professor in the Division of Stem Cell and Leukemia Research at City of Hope. He has received the American Society of Hematology Scholar Award, Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation For Cancer Research Award and Department of Defense’s Career Development Award.
  • 2017 - present, Associate Research Professor, Department of Systems Biology, Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope, Duarte, CA
  • 2010 - present, Member, Irell & Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences, City of Hope, Duarte, California
  • 2010 - present, Member, City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center, Duarte, California
  • 2010 - 2017, Assistant Professor, Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope, Duarte, California
  • 2007 - 2010, Staff Scientist, National Cancer Institute, National Institute of Health, Bethesda, Maryland
  • 2006 - 2007, Research Fellow, National Cancer Institute, National Institute of Health, Bethesda, Maryland
  • 1998, Teaching Assistant, Department of Anatomy, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California
  • 1994 - 1996, Research Technician, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California
  • Department of Systems Biology

Degrees

  • 1996 - 2001, Ph.D. Biomedical Sciences, Thesis Advisor: Dr. Jason G. Cyster, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California
  • 1992 - 1994, B.A. Molecular Cell Biology, Research Mentor: Dr. Astar Winoto, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, California

Fellowship

  • 2001 - 2006, Post-Doctoral Fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Louis M. Staudt, National Cancer Institute, National Institute of Health, Bethesda, Maryland

Leukemias and lymphomas can occur when there is perturbation in the normal development and activation of B cells.  Germinal centers are the critical environment in which antigen-activated B cells further develop and differentiate into antibody-secreting plasma cells or memory B cells.  Within germinal centers, B cells diversify the antibody repertoire by somatic hypermutation and class switch recombination of the immunoglobulin genes. 

This process subjects B cells to potential loss of genomic integrity through aberrant mutations and chromosomal breakage.  Indeed, many lymphomas frequently bear these abnormal genetic alterations, some of which have been implicated as causal factors of lymphomagenesis through disruption of signal transduction pathways that regulate normal cellular proliferation and survival (Science 319: 1676-9 (2008); Nature 463: 88-92 (2010)).

The research in our laboratory aims to discover abnormal signal transduction pathways and elucidate the molecular pathogenesis of germinal center-derived B cell tumors as well as other hematologic malignancies.  Our approaches combine genome-scaled functional genetic screens using RNA interference technology in tumor cell line models with validation in human primary tumor biopsies and mouse models.  Better understanding the molecular basis of aberrant signal transduction pathways critical for cancer growth will allow us to identify effective molecular targets and devise better therapeutic strategies for cancer treatments.

  • Mohanty S, Mohanty A, Sandoval N, Tran T, Bedell V, Wu J, Scuto A, Murata-Collins J, Weisenburger DD, Ngo VN. Cyclin D1 depletion induces DNA damage in mantle cell lymphoma lines. Leukemia & lymphoma. 2017; 58(3): 676-688.
  • Mohanty A, Sandoval N, Das M, Pillai R, Chen L, Chen RW, Amin HM, Wang M, Marcucci G, Weisenburger DD, Rosen ST, Pham LV, Ngo VN. CCND1 mutations increase protein stability and promote ibrutinib resistance in mantle cell lymphoma. Oncotarget. 2016; 7(45):73558-73572.
  • Ngo VN. Identification of pathogenetically relevant genes in lymphomagenesis by shRNA library screens. Methods Mol Biol. 2013; 971:245-63.
  • Ngo VN, Young R, Schmitz R, Jhavar S, Xiao W, Lim KH et al. Oncogenically Active MYD88 Mutations in Human Lymphoma. Nature. 2011; 470 (7332): 115-9.
  • Ngo VN, Davis RE, Lamy L, Yu X, Zhao H, et al.  A Loss-of-function RNA Interference Screen for Molecular Targets in Cancer. Nature. 2006; 441 (7089): 106-10.
     

View all publications

  • 2014, City of Hope Excellence Research Award
  • 2014-2017, Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation for Cancer Research Award
  • 2013-2015, Stop Cancer Career Development Award
  • 2012-2015, American Society of Hematology Scholar Award
  • 2012, Stop Cancer Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation Seed Grant
  • 2012, Margaret E. Early Medical Research Trust Award
  • 2011-2014, Tim Nesvig Lymphoma Fellowship
  • 2004-2006, NIH Cancer Research Training Award
  • 2001-2004, Damon Runyon Cancer Research Postdoctoral Fellowship
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