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Zhenghe John Wang, PhD

Zhenghe John Wang, PhD

Co-Leader, GI Cancer Genetics Program 216.368.0446 (o) 216.368.3432 (f)

Professor, Genetics and Genome Sciences


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Dr. Wang and his research group are interested in dissecting the signaling pathways controlled by phosphatases that are mutated in cancer. The role of phosphatases in tumorigenesis is less well-defined than that of kinases. However, increasing evidence suggests that phosphatases are an important component of tumor development. We have recently identified six protein tyrosine phosphatase genes mutated in colorectal cancers using high throughput sequence-based mutational analysis. The majority of mutations in phosphatases characterized in colon cancers clearly cause inactivation of these genes suggesting that these phosphatases function as tumor suppressor genes in normal colon cells. We are currently studying the signal pathways regulated by the two frequently mutated phosphatases, PTPRT and PTPN13, using genetic and biochemical approaches to determine how these genes prevent cancer development.

These studies are part of our overall laboratory program focused on identifying novel genetic alterations, such as somatic mutations, gene amplifications and deletions, which alter critical gene functions involved in development of colon and gastric cancers.