Lizhong Wang | Editor
Affilation: Assistant Professor, Department of Genetics, USA
The major focus of my research is on the Molecular Genetics and Epidemiology in cancer and autoimmune disease. I have a broad background in human genetics with more than fifteen years of experience, including specific training and expertise in key research areas. I have identified 1) X-linked tumor suppressor gene FOXP3 and 2) genetic modifier CD24 in human autoimmune diseases. I have published more than 50 original research papers in peer-reviewed journals. Now I am leading independent research program with my collaborators to explore the molecular mechanisms of human diseases.
My research interests focus on human molecular genetics, including cancer and autoimmune diseases. My research group has established the new concept of FOXP3 as the first X-linked tumor suppressor gene in human cancers. In particular, we provided the first evidence that FOXP3 is frequently deleted and mutated in human breast cancer (Cell, 129: 1275-86, 2007), and that FOXP3 is the first X-linked tumor suppressor gene implicated in prostate cancer (Cancer Cell, 16: 336-46, 2009). Recently, we have taken a new research direction, based on our preliminary observations, to pursue innovative projects in identifying microRNA dysregulation and developing genetically engineered mouse models. We will focus on identifying the molecular mechanism of microRNA regulation in tumor cells, which is very important for understanding FOXP3-mediated tumor suppression. Furthermore, we will also utilize new approaches with both forward and reverse genetics to develop more human-like mouse models of prostate cancer, which will aid the search for cancer-causing genes and improve the predictive value of laboratory cancer drug testing. The identification of new human cancer genes and understanding of their role in the formation of tumors will provide a potential avenue to explore new therapeutic strategies. In addition, apart from the tumor suppressor FOXP3, our research also focuses on identifying the functional role of the potential oncogene CD24 in the development and progression of both breast cancer, prostate cancer and multiple sclerosis.