Dianqing Wu appointed the Gladys Phillips Crofoot Professor

Dianqing Wu
Dianqing Wu

Dianqing (Dan) Wu, newly named as the Gladys Phillips Crofoot Professor of Pharmacology, conducts research aimed at understanding the molecular basis and function of signal transduction pathways, with an emphasis on those initiated by seven-transmembrane receptors.

He and his research team are specifically interested in the mechanisms and functions of chemoattractant and Wnt-activated signaling pathways. These pathways play important roles in a wide range of physiological processes. However, their dysregulation contributes to many human diseases, including various inflammatory diseases and cancer. Wu and his team are using a combination of molecular and cell biological, biochemical, chemical biological, transgenic, functional genomic, and proteomic approaches to discover novel signaling mechanisms and functions for these signaling proteins. He and his team elucidated how leukocytes migrate directionally and discovered the interaction between Wnt coreceptor LRP-5 and Axin, which provides the first connection from a Wnt receptor to an intracellular component.

Earlier this year, Wu’s team reported the development of an antibody that blocks tumors in animal models of colorectal cancer. If the finding is confirmed in clinical trials, the antibody-based treatment could become an effective weapon against colorectal cancer, and possibly other cancers.

Wu earned his undergraduate degree and Nanjing University in China and his Ph.D. at Clarkson University. He taught at the University of Rochester and the University of Connecticut (UCONN) before joining the Yale faculty in 2006, while also serving as an adjunct professor at UCONN until 2014. At Yale, he is a member of the Vascular Biology and Therapeutics Program, the Yale Cancer Center, and the Yale Stem Cell Center.

Wu’s research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), among other agencies. He has been awarded four U.S. patents and has several more patents pending. He has served on the editorial boards of Current Genomics, the Journal of Biological Chemistry, and the Cell Research, among others.

A member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and the American Society of Cell Biology, Wu has earned several honors for his research, including an Outstanding Investigator Award from the NHLBI. 

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