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BCRF Grantee Since

2001

Area(s) of Focus

Shaomeng Wang, PhD

Warner-Lambert/Parke-Davis Professor in Medicine
Director, Cancer Drug Discovery Program
Professor of Medicine, Pharmacology and Medicinal Chemistry
University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center
Ann Arbor, Michigan

Current Research

Dr. Wang has led a team of scientists to design and develop a class of completely new anticancer therapy by inducing breast cancer cells to commit “programmed cell death.” In the past year, their first clinical drug has been advanced into phase II clinical development for the treatment of patients with advanced breast cancer, based upon the promising phase I data. Furthermore, they have also advanced a new, highly potent and efficacious compound into clinical development. Dr. Wang’s ongoing research supported by BCRF will further define the molecular signatures which predict the response of human breast cancers to these novel and exciting new anticancer drugs and determine the most effective combination therapeutic strategies.

Mid-Year Summary

With the support of BCRF, Dr. Wang’s team has now advanced two novel anticancer drugs that selectively induce tumors cell to undergo cell death into clinical development for the treatment of human breast cancer. This new research has now yielded exciting data for the development of novel combination therapies for the treatment of breast cancer, which will form the basis for the design of new clinical trials for these novel anticancer agents for the treatment of human breast cancer.

Bio

Shaomeng Wang received his PhD in Chemistry from Case Western Reserve University in 1992. He did his postdoctoral training at the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health in anti-cancer and anti-HIV drug design and molecular modeling. In 1996, he joined the Georgetown University Medical Center as an Assistant Professor and a Senior Investigator at the Lombardi Cancer Center and became Associate Professor of Oncology and Neuroscience in 2000. He was recruited to University of Michigan in 2001 and is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine and University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The major focus in Dr. Wang's laboratory is to design and develop small molecule drugs targeting at specific oncogenes in signal transduction and apoptosis employing a powerful structure-based design strategy. Working closely with Dr. Dajun Yang's laboratory, Dr. Wang has discovered several promising drug leads that specifically inhibit the activity of Her-2/erbB-2, an oncogene which is overexpressed in 30% of human breast cancer. Dr. Wang's ultimate goal in this project is to advance a potent and specific Her-2/erbB-2 small molecule inhibitor into clinic as a novel therapy for the treatment of breast cancer.