Rong Wang, PhD
Mildred V. Strouss Endowed Chair in Vascular Surgery, UCSF
Professor, Department of Surgery, UCSF; Director, Laboratory for Accelerated Vascular Research
Angiogenesis, or new blood vessel formation, plays a principal role in health and cancer. Research in my lab aims to advance the fundamental understanding of the cellular, molecular, and hemodynamic mechanisms underlying arterial venous programming in normal and tumor angiogenesis. We are well equipped to perform state-of-the-art research at the organismic, cellular, and molecular levels. Sophisticated mouse genetics allow us to delete or express genes in endothelial cells that line the vessel lumen in a lineage-specific and temporally controllable fashion. These mouse tools are enhanced with cutting-edge imaging capabilities, including 5D two-photon microscopy (3D + blood flow over time). These innovations provide us exceptional access to in vivo cell biology and gene function in both physiological and pathological angiogenesis in living animals. This basic approach is complemented by preclinical studies with our elegant mouse models of disease, offering outstanding opportunities for early translational research. With these approaches, we are investigating the molecular programming in the development of arteries in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), which is characterized by highly arterialized tumor masses.
We hypothesize that genes important in normal arterial programming are likely to play a role in HCC artery formation, and we intend to ultimately study the Notch pathway as a molecular regulator of HCC arterial formation. Our goal is to inhibit HCC arterial growth, block tumor blood supply, and starve cancer cells. Our investigation of the molecular regulators that govern arterial-venous programming may ultimately help identify novel drug targets and inform rational design of new therapeutics to treat major human diseases, including HCC. I have many years of experience studying HCC in mouse models, beginning with my postdoctoral research. I pioneered the liver-specific tetracycline-regulatable Met transgenic mouse model of HCC and contributed to the development of the hydrodynamic injection HCC mouse model, both currently in wide use. The combination of my expertise in HCC and my broad experience in arterial-venous programming prepare us well to investigate the effects of targeting the arterial supply of HCC.
Sichuan University, Chendu, China, B.Sc., 1980-84, Biology
Graduate School of Chinese Science and Technology University, Institute of Genetics, Academia Sinica, Beijing, China, M.Sc. candidate, 1984-88, Genetics
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Ph.D., 1988-93, Biology (Angiogenesis)
University of California, San Francisco, Postdoctoral Fellow, 1994-2001, Cancer Biology