Shaomeng Wang, PhD
Warner-Lambert/Parke-Davis Professor in Medicine
2012-2013 BCRF Project:
(made possible by generous support from Michael Reese Enterprises)
Director, Cancer Drug Discovery Program
Professor of Medicine, Pharmacology and Medicinal Chemistry
University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Dr. Wang has led a team of scientists to design and develop a completely new class of anti-cancer therapy that induces breast cancer cells to commit "programmed cell death. In the past year, their most promising compound has now completed a phase I clinical trial as a new anti-cancer therapy and is being advanced into phase II clinical development. A second, highly potent compound has been selected for clinical development. They have also identified a potential biomarker for predicting the antitumor activity of their new drugs in breast cancer. 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 Progress: Dr. Wang's first promising compound which induces breast cancer cells to commit "programmed cell death" is being advanced into multiple phase clinical trials. This team has also discovered a second generation of a much more potent compound and is advancing this new compound into clinical trials. Dr. Wang's ongoing research supported by the BCRF will continue to define the molecular signatures which predict the response of human breast cancers to these two novel and exciting new anticancer drugs and they will continue to determine the most effective combination strategies.
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.