Wenjian Gan, Ph.D.

Dr. Wenjian Gan

Assistant Professor
Department: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Programs: Cellular Injury, End Organ Disease



Research Interests:

Dr. Gan received his BS from Guanxi University in Nanning, China, and his PhD from Peking University in Beijing, China. Following his postdoctoral training in Cancer Biology at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA, Dr. Gan joined the MUSC faculty in 2018.

Dr. Gan has a long-running interest in cancer biology, and has made important contributions to the study of protein phosphorylating or kinase signal pathways controlling tumor growth. He has had a specific focus on regulation of a pathway linking Phosphytidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K), Akt kinase and the growth regulatory molecular target of Rapamycin (mTOR) molecule by other gene programs regulating cell proliferation and the cell cycle.

More recently, the Gan Laboratory is applying its knowledge of the PI3k/Akt/mTOR pathway towards understanding the basic mechanisms of liver cancer, in the context of a newly discovered link to another pathway centered around the Hippo gene. Hippo, as well mTOR, have both been shown to play important roles in regulating the ultimate size of organs and organisms from fly to humans during development. While it is perhaps not surprising that such gene pathways regulating cell replication and cell growth are altered in a growth-related disease like cancer, the Gan Lab is also interested in studying whether there are more subtle alterations in the regulation of these pathways in other growth and metabolism related pathologies such as fatty liver disease.

As the principle investigator of a DDRCC Pilot and Feasibility project investigating these hypotheses, Dr. Gan and his laboratory will benefit from ability to develop liver cell models altering gene function in these pathways via the Analytical Cell Models Core, and from the support of the Advanced Imaging and Proteomics Cores allowing detailed qualitative and quantitative study of the changes in cell division, cell growth and cell phenotype resulting from altered pathway regulation.


PubMed Collection