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BCRF Grantee Since


Area(s) of Focus

Shaomeng Wang, PhD

Warner-Lambert/Parke-Davis Professor in Medicine
Director, Center for the Discovery of New Medicines
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 anti-cancer drugs that cause breast cancer cells to die by a process called “programmed cell death.” Programmed cell death is a natural process that maintains the health of a tissue by activating signals in old or damaged cells that induce them to commit a type of suicide. Cancer cells learn very early how to ignore death signals so they can continue to multiply and grow. With the support of BCRF, Dr. Wang has brought into clinical development two highly potent, targeted anticancer drugs for the treatment of advanced (metastasized) breast cancer. One of these compounds, SM-406, showed promising results in combination with traditional chemotherapeutics in early clinical trials in triple-negative breast cancer. These results provide important clinical proof-of-concept for this therapeutic approach. In the coming year, his team will focus on two new classes of compounds discovered in Dr. Wang’s laboratory. Both new drugs have shown promising potential for the treatment of triple-negative breast cancer in laboratory studies. The researchers hope to provide solid preclinical rationale to advance these new drugs into the clinic for the treatment of patients with advanced breast cancer.


Dr. Shaomeng Wang's primary research interest is the discovery and development of novel small-molecule therapeutics for the treatment of human breast cancer and other types of cancer focusing on targeting apoptosis and epigenetics pathways. Dr. Wang has built a comprehensive drug discovery program at the University of Michigan and has advanced four novel anticancer drugs into clinical development and several additional compounds into IND-enabling studies. Dr. Wang has published over 250 manuscripts and is an inventor of more than 50 patents and patent applications.

Dr. Wang's research program consists of three research laboratories. The computational/informatics laboratory has the expertise in lead identification and lead optimization using structure-based methods and informatics. The chemistry laboratory has the capability of synthesizing complex small molecule ligands. The biology/biochemistry/pharmacology laboratory has the capability and expertise for assay development, in-depth molecular mechanism studies and evaluations of the biological activity of new compounds in relevant biochemical assays and laboratory models of human cancer, as well as in vivo pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamic analysis of these compounds.