Pathology & Laboratory Medicine

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Cancer Biology

Yi-Chieh (Nancy) Du, PhD, Principal Investigator

Metastasis accounts for most of the cancer death. Our laboratory is dedicated to helping patients through research. Our goal is to understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying progression and metastasis of cancer. We have developed a novel mouse model of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor to evaluate whether the candidate genes promote advanced diseases and to investigate the molecular mechanisms.

Active Projects

  • Identification and functional characterization of metastasis genes
  • Investigation of the relationship between oncogenes and cell types for tumorigenesis

Active Grants

  • Autophagy in Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumor Growth and Metastasis
    PI: Nancy Du, PhD
    National Cancer Institute (NCI)
  • Creating human beta cell lines using hESCs containing doxycycline inducible polyoma middle T antigen
    PI: Shuibing Chen, PhD Co-PI: Nancy Du, PhD
    The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)

Selected Publications

Oncogenes come of age.

Yi-Chieh (Nancy) Du, PhD

Oncogenes come of age.

Cold Spring Harb Symp Quant Biol, 70, 1-9.  (2005).

Varmus, H., Pao, W., Politi, K., Podsypanina, K., and Du, Y.-C. N.

PMID: 16869733

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Receptor for hyaluronan-mediated motility isoform B promotes liver metastasis in a mouse model of multistep tumorigenesis and a tail vein assay for metastasis.

Yi-Chieh (Nancy) Du, PhD

Receptor for hyaluronan-mediated motility isoform B promotes liver metastasis in a mouse model of multistep tumorigenesis and a tail vein assay for metastasis.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Oct 4;108(40):16753-8. 

Du YC, Chou CK, Klimstra DS, Varmus H.

PMID: 21940500

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Attenuation of the retinoblastoma pathway in pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors due to increased cdk4/cdk6

Yi-Chieh (Nancy) Du, PhD

Attenuation of the retinoblastoma pathway in pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors due to increased cdk4/cdk6

Clin Cancer Res. 2012 Sep 1;18(17):4612-20. 

Tang LH, Contractor T, Clausen R, Klimstra DS, Du YC, Allen PJ, Brennan MF, Levine AJ, Harris CR.

PMID: 22761470

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Defining the ATM-mediated barrier to tumorigenesis in somatic mammary cells following ErbB2 activation.

Yi-Chieh (Nancy) Du, PhD

Defining the ATM-mediated barrier to tumorigenesis in somatic mammary cells following ErbB2 activation.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Feb 23;107(8):3728-33.

Reddy JP, Peddibhotla S, Bu W, Zhao J, Haricharan S, Du YC, Podsypanina K, Rosen JM, Donehower LA, Li Y.

PMID: 20133707; PMCID: PMC2840493.

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Activation of PyMT in beta cells induces irreversible hyperplasia, but oncogene-dependent acinar cell carcinomas when activated in pancreatic progenitors.

Yi-Chieh (Nancy) Du, PhD

Activation of PyMT in beta cells induces irreversible hyperplasia, but oncogene-dependent acinar cell carcinomas when activated in pancreatic progenitors.

PLoS One. 2009 Sep 7;4(9):e6932.

Du YC, Klimstra DS, Varmus H.

PMID: 19812721; PMCID: PMC2758666

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Seeding and propagation of untransformed mouse mammary cells in the lung.

Yi-Chieh (Nancy) Du, PhD

Seeding and propagation of untransformed mouse mammary cells in the lung.

Science. 2008 Sep 26;321(5897):1841-4. 

Podsypanina K, Du YC, Jechlinger M, Beverly LJ, Hambardzumyan D, Varmus H.

PMID: 18755941; PMCID: PMC2694414


Preview about this paper:

  • Weinberg, R.A. (2008). Leaving home early: reexamination of the canonical models of tumor progression. Cancer Cell, 14, 283-284.
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Assessing tumor progression factors by somatic gene transfer into a mouse model: Bcl-xL promotes islet tumor cell invasion.

Yi-Chieh (Nancy) Du, PhD

Assessing tumor progression factors by somatic gene transfer into a mouse model: Bcl-xL promotes islet tumor cell invasion.

PLoS Biol. 2007 Oct 16;5(10):e276.

Du YC, Lewis BC, Hanahan D, Varmus H.

PMID: 17941720; PMCID: PMC2020504


Research highlights about this paper:

  • Stevens, K. (2008). There is a virus going around. Nature Methods, 5, 6-7.
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Yph1p, an ORC-interacting protein: potential links between cell proliferation control, DNA replication, and ribosome biogenesis

Yi-Chieh (Nancy) Du, PhD

Yph1p, an ORC-interacting protein: potential links between cell proliferation control, DNA replication, and ribosome biogenesis

Cell. 2002 Jun 28;109(7):835-48. 

Du YC, Stillman B.

PMID: 12110181.

Perspectives and comments about this paper

  • Mitchell, A. (2002). DNA replication: a complex landing, Nature Reviews Molecular Biology, 3, 550.
  • LeBrasseur, N. (2002). Coordination of replication, Journal of Cell Biology, 158, 385.
  • Sadler, K. C. (2002). Ribosome assembly reawakens, Trends in Cell Biology, 12, 411.
  • Varmus, H., Pao, W., Politi, K., Podsypanina, K., and Du, Y.-C. N. (2005). Oncogenes come of age. Cold Spring Harbor Symposia on Quantitative Biology, 70, 1-9.
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