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Chi Van Dang

Cancer Medicine

Department of Oncology, School of Medicine
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Bloomberg School of Public Health
Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center

Chi Van Dang is a renowned cancer biologist and hematologist-oncologist, known for defining the function of the first cancer gene that is known to act as a switch, turning on metabolic pathways and mechanisms that are advantageous for cancer cells. The gene, known as MYC, produces a transcription factor, a protein that controls the expression of genes—like a switch that turns certain genes on or off to make them active or inactive. Dang showed that MYC alters the metabolic pathways in cancer cells, and tumor cells become addicted to certain nutrients. Disrupting these pathways could be a powerful approach for treating many types of cancer. Dang aims to exploit this knowledge for therapy by targeting the cancer cell metabolism. His recent work has begun to focus on how the circadian clock affects tumor biology, and how these clocks can be manipulated for therapeutic purposes. Just like our bodies have biological clocks that have daily sleep and wake cycles, all of our cells also have molecular clocks that control the behavior of the cells.

Dang is also the scientific director of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research where he oversees the organization’s strategy to advance the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer through the organization’s international network of research laboratories at prominent academic institutions.

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