Dr. Rui WangAssistant Professor, Department of Surgery
Case Western Reserve University
University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center
Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, USA
Biography: I obtained my PhD degree from Augusta University, Augusta, Georgia, USA, and worked on a thesis project to identify cGMP-dependent protein kinase 2 (PKG2) as a key regulator of colon mucosa homeostasis. We also discovered a novel strategy to activate the protective PKG2 pathway using PDE-5 inhibitors for both treating patients with inflammatory bowel disease and for CRC prevention.
My current research focus has been on elucidating the effects of the surrounding microenvironment on survival pathways in GI cancer liver metastases, with a translational goal to identify and validate new targets for new anti-neoplastic regimens. During my postdoctoral fellowship at UT M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, I pioneered the discovery that liver endothelium secreted soluble factors activate the HER3 pathway and promote colorectal cancer (CRC) survival and tumorigenesis in a paracrine fashion. My laboratory at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA, is currently interrogating the mechanism of endothelium-induced HER3 activation, and identified LRG1 as a novel ligand to activate HER3 different from canonical mechanisms. Moreover, we are elucidating the role of the liver endothelium microenvironment in liver metastases of other types of GI cancer, such as pancreatic cancer.