Contact Information


Duke Box 3712
Department of Pathology
Duke University School of Medicine
Durham, NC 27710

Ming Chen Lab

Ming Chen, PhD

Ming Chen Lab

Ming Chen, PhD

Assistant Professor of Pathology

Hidden Staff/Faculty: 
Ming Chen, PhD

Research Interests

Research in the Chen laboratory mainly focuses on two areas:

(1) Dissecting the mechanisms of prostate cancer metastasis

Metastasis accounts for more than 90% of cancer-related deaths and yet remains one of the least understood aspects in cancer biology. Our recent studies strongly suggest that lipids obtained through de novo lipogenesis or dietary uptake may provide a cell-intrinsic signal promoting prostate cancer metastasis. A current focus in the lab is to identify key genes and pathways that mediate lipid-driven prostate cancer metastasis and to establish the molecular mechanisms connecting obesity and aggressive prostate cancer. We are also developing faithful mouse models of prostate cancer to facilitate mechanistic studies and preclinical testing of novel drugs for the prevention and treatment of metastatic disease.

(2) Identifying the molecular network driving tumorigenesis

Aberrant activation of oncogenic pathways is a hallmark of cancer. Elucidating key upstream regulators and downstream effectors involved in oncogenic pathways is critical for the identification of new therapeutic options. We have recently revealed a PP1α-PML molecular network that is genetically altered in human cancer towards aberrant MAPK activation in PTEN loss/PI3K-AKT driven cancers. Moreover, we have found that co-activation of the PI3K/AKT and MAPK pathways converges their oncogenic functions through SREBP-dependent lipogenic program, which promotes not only cancer growth but also distant metastasis. Our studies are now focused on developing optimal combinatorial therapies that target different components of the pathway to combat human cancer.


Please see a complete list of published works at PubMed.

Book Sections

Journal Articles