Chi Van Dang, M.D., Ph.D.

Chi Van Dang, M.D., Ph.D.


The Dang Laboratory



Professor, Molecular & Cellular Oncogenesis Program, The Wistar Institute Cancer Center

Strategic Advisor to the President

About the Scientist

Dang helped define the complex functions of the MYC oncogene, a central switch in human cancer, identifying key domains mediating Myc transcription factor activity.

Dang received his B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and Ph.D. in Chemistry from Georgetown University, Washington, DC. He earned an M.D. degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and was an Osler Medical Resident at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He received Hematology-Oncology training at UCSF, where he first worked on MYC, and returned to Johns Hopkins as Assistant Professor of Medicine.

Dang is Scientific Director of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research and joined The Wistar Institute as a Professor in July of 2017. He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and previously served as director of the Abramson Cancer Center, University of Pennsylvania.

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The Dang Laboratory

The Dang laboratory has contributed to the understanding of the function of the MYC cancer gene, which has emerged as a central transcription factor or gene switch in many different human cancers.  His laboratory established the first mechanistic link between the MYC cancer gene and cellular energy metabolism, contributing to the concept that genetic alterations in cancers re-program fuel utilization by tumors and render cancers addicted to certain fuel sources. His laboratory is now exploiting these concepts for therapeutic targeting of cancer cell metabolism as a new way to treat cancer. Ongoing interests of the Dang lab include MYC oncogene function in rewiring metabolism, the effects of oncogene and hypoxic stress on the circadian molecular clock, MYC oncogene effects on metabolism and immunity and MYC and metabolic vulnerabilities of cancers.


Staff Scientist

Hongguang Shao, Ph.D.

Associate Staff Scientist

Zachary Stine, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellows

Adam Wolpaw, M.D. (attending pediatrician, CHOP)
Xue Zhang, Ph.D.

Predoctoral Trainees

Rebekah Brooks
Yaoyu Gong

Research Assistants

Patricia Brafford
May Dong
Darya Volgina

Selected Publications

Walton, Z.E., Patel, C.H., Brooks, R.C., Yu, Y., Ibrahim-Hashim, A., Riddle, M., Porcu, A., Jiang, T., Ecker, B.L., Tameire, F., et al. “Acid Suspends the Circadian Clock in Hypoxia through Inhibition of mTOR.” Cell. 2018 Jun 28;174(1):72-87.e32. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2018.05.009. Epub 2018 May 31.

Lu, Y., Hu, Z., Mangala, L.S., Stine, Z.E., Hu, X., Jiang, D., Xiang, Y., Zhang, Y., Pradeep, S., Rodriguez-Aguayo, C., et al. "MYC Targeted Long Noncoding RNA DANCR Promotes Cancer in Part by Reducing p21 Levels." Cancer Res. 2018 Jan 1;78(1):64-74. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-17-0815. Epub 2017 Nov 27.

Altman, B.J., Hsieh, A.L., Gouw, A.M., Dang, C.V. “Correspondence: Oncogenic MYC persistently upregulates the molecular clock component REV-ERBα.” Nat Commun. 2017 Mar 23;8:14862. doi: 10.1038/ncomms14862.

Altman, B.J., Hsieh, A.L., Sengupta, A., Krishnanaiah, S.Y., Stine, Z.E., Walton, Z.E., Gouw, A.M., Venkataraman, A., Li, B., Goraksha-Hicks, P. "MYC Disrupts the Circadian Clock and Metabolism in Cancer Cells." Cell Metab. 2015 Dec 1;22(6):1009-19. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2015.09.003. Epub 2015 Sep 17.

Xiang, Y., Stine, Z.E., Xia, J., Lu, Y., O'Connor, R.S., Altman, B.J., Hsieh, A.L., Gouw, A.M., Thomas, A.G., Gao, P. "Targeted inhibition of tumor-specific glutaminase diminishes cell-autonomous tumorigenesis." J Clin Invest. 2015 Jun;125(6):2293-306. doi: 10.1172/JCI75836. Epub 2015 Apr 27.

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