Cancer Heterogeneity and Plasticity

Dean Tang  MD, PhD

Professor and Chair, Department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center (RPCCC), USA
Research Interests: Cancer cell heterogeneity and plasticity; cancer stem cells; prostate cancer; non-coding RNAs and epigenetic regulation of cell state
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Dean G. Tang, PhD, is currently Professor and Chair of Department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics at the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in Buffalo, NY. He also holds the George Decker Endowed Chair in Developmental Therapeutics. Trained as a Pathologist, Dr. Tang obtained his PhD in Cancer Biology in 1994 from Wayne State University (Detroit, MI, USA). In 1998-2000, Dean pursued a Burroughs-Wellcome senior post-doctoral fellowship with Dr. Martin Raff at the MRC LMCB (University College London, UK) studying stem/progenitor cell development and plasticity. In June 2000, Dr. Tang joined the University of Texas M.D Anderson Cancer Center as a faculty member. After working at the M.D Anderson for 16 years, Dr. Tang was recruited to Roswell Park in June of 2016 to Chair the Department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics and Co-Lead the CCSG Developmental Therapeutic (DT) Program. He’s also the Chair of the Experimental Therapeutic (ET) Graduate Program. For the past 20 years, Dr. Tang and his colleagues have been studying cancer cell heterogeneity and plasticity (with a particular focus on prostate cancer) and their impact on tumor development, progression, metastasis, and therapy resistance. The lab has been developing novel tools and experimental model systems to therapeutically target the undifferentiated, treatment-reprogrammed, and therapy-resistant prostate cancer stem cells. The Tang lab has performed extensive genetic model- and xenograft-based therapeutic experiments as well as organoid-based high-throughput screening to identify both FDA-approved drugs as well as novel small-molecule inhibitors that can preferentially target AR-/lo, castration-resistant PCa cells. Some of Dr. Tang’s preclinical studies have been translated to early-phase clinical trials. Dr. Tang is an elected AAAS member and has published >200 research and review papers (

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