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Cancer Genetics Expert Honored by Johns Hopkins Alumni Association - 06/08/2012

Cancer Genetics Expert Honored by Johns Hopkins Alumni Association

Release Date: June 8, 2012

Cancer biology and hematology-oncology expert Chi Van Dang, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania, will receive a 2012 Distinguished Alumnus Award for scientific achievement from the Johns Hopkins University Alumni Association.

Dang, a graduate of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (Class of ’82), was vice dean for research and executive director of the Johns Hopkins Institute for Cell Engineering for more than a decade. He will receive the Hopkins award along with two other recipients, Gary S. Firestein, M.D. (Class of ’80), and Gerald P. Bodey, M.D. (Class of ’60), at the Johns Hopkins Medical & Surgical Association’s next biennial meeting in June 2013. The award honors alumni who have demonstrated excellence in achievement and brought credit to the university through personal or professional accomplishments or humanitarian service.

“In addition to his significant contributions to the field of cancer biology and genetics, Chi Van Dang explored funding opportunities at Johns Hopkins for interdisciplinary research and ensured that Johns Hopkins had state-of-the-art research facilities and policies that fostered the advance of basic science research discoveries to the marketplace and clinical application,” says Edward D. Miller, M.D., dean of the medical faculty at Johns Hopkins and chief executive officer of Johns Hopkins Medicine. “Chi’s significant accomplishments clearly reflect the values of The Johns Hopkins University, and he serves as a role model to all members of our institution.”

Dang’s research has contributed to understanding the function of the MYC gene in cancer cells, which he linked to cellular energy metabolism and cancers’ addiction to certain fuel sources.  The research led to recent grants awarded by Stand Up to Cancer to investigate ways to “cut off the fuel supply” in pancreatic cancers. He holds other grants from the National Institutes of Health and Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Dang, who was elected to the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine in 2006, has authored more than 200 scientific publications and is on the editorial board of numerous medical journals including Cancer Research, Oncotarget, Neoplasia and Clinical and Translational Science.

Born in Saigon, Viet Nam, Dang earned his undergraduate degree in chemistry from the University of Michigan in 1975 and a Ph.D. in chemistry from Georgetown University in 1978. After receiving his medical degree in 1982 from The Johns Hopkins University, he completed a fellowship in hematology-oncology at the Cancer Research Institute of the University of California at San Francisco. He joined the Johns Hopkins faculty in 1987, where he remained until his recent appointment at the University of Pennsylvania.

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