Ovarian Cancer Researcher Rugang Zhang Joins The Wistar Institute

Ovarian Cancer Researcher Rugang Zhang Joins The Wistar Institute

April 2, 2012

PHILADELPHIA – (April 2, 2012) – The Wistar Institute announces Rugang Zhang, Ph.D., will join its faculty as an associate professor in the Gene Expression and Regulation program of The Wistar Institute Cancer Center.    

Zhang, who studies the molecular biology of ovarian cancer, joins Wistar from the Fox Chase Cancer Center.

“Rugang's experimental program is an ideal match to Wistar science as it combines the most rigorous, mechanistic research with disease-relevant approaches to better understanding tumor onset and progression in humans,” said Dario Altieri, M.D., executive vice president, chief scientific officer, and director of the Institute’s Cancer Center.  “His passion for cancer research is only matched by his utmost dedication to making a difference in understanding and better treating the disease in people.”      

The Zhang laboratory studies the mechanisms that underlie how normal mammalian cells age and how tumor cells evade the process and become transformed. In particular, his laboratory is interested in how alterations in epigenetics—heritable changes that affect gene expression without changes in the underlying DNA sequence—help tumors evade the aging process. Understanding these mechanisms could lead to novel strategies for developing cancer therapeutics by forcing tumor cells to age. His laboratory primarily focuses on ovarian cancer, which ranks first as the cause of death for gynecological cancers in the developed world.

Born and educated in China, Zhang received his Ph.D. from the Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2002. He completed his post-doctoral training at the Institute for Cancer Research, Fox Chase Cancer Center, where he became an assistant professor in 2008.

The Wistar Institute is an international leader in biomedical research with special expertise in cancer research and vaccine development. Founded in 1892 as the first independent nonprofit biomedical research institute in the country, Wistar has long held the prestigious Cancer Center designation from the National Cancer Institute. The Institute works actively to ensure that research advances move from the laboratory to the clinic as quickly as possible. The Wistar Institute: Today’s Discoveries – Tomorrow’s Cures. On the web at www.wistar.org.

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CONTACT: Greg Lester, (215) 898-3943