CHUN HAO PAN, BS, MS
Chun-Hao received his dual bachelor-master degree in Molecular Medicine and Bioengineering at National Chiao Tung University (Taiwan) in 2016. His master thesis is focusing on identifying novel therapeutic strategies in small cell lung cancer. He started his PhD study in the Molecular and Cell Biology program at Stony Brook University in 2016. He is now training in the Shroyer/Escobar-Hoyos lab in the Department of Pathology.
Chun-Hao is interested in studying pancreatic cancer. Specifically, his research focus is to understand why cancer cells are resistant to chemotherapeutic agents. His goal is to uncover the molecular mechanisms that drive chemoresistance and find a way to overcome it. In his project, he identified that Keratin 17, a signature gene overexpressed in the most lethal subtype of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), is both prognostic and predictive, and it directly promotes chemoresistance. Through an unbiased high‐throughput drug screen, he discovered a novel therapeutic regimen that provides higher efficacy for Keratin 17‐expressing PDAC (Molecular Oncology, 2020).
He has established a close collaboration with an expert in the field of cancer metabolism at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Dr. Pankaj Singh, whose guidance has been essential for the experiments Chun-Hao has generated. Through this effort, he has identified key metabolic reprogramming phenotypes, including increased pyrimidine synthesis, that drive chemoresistance in K17 expressing pancreatic cancer cells. These findings reveal a potentially therapeutic vulnerability that could be targeted to overcome chemoresistance. More importantly, it brings us closer to the frontline of translational research to develop a biomarker‐based targeted therapy for cancers.
Chun-Hao was awarded the 2019 Director’s Award for academic excellence from the Molecular and Cellular Biology graduate program, the 2019 Brookhaven National Laboratory Dr. Mow Shiah Lin Scholarship, and the training fellowship for the 2019 AACR Translational Cancer Research for Basic Scientists Workshop.