Biography

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Duojia (DJ) Pan received his undergraduate degree in biochemistry from Peking University in 1988. He came to the U.S. through the China-United States Biochemistry Examination and Application (CUSBEA) program and received a Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1993. After postdoctoral training at the University of California, Berkeley, with Dr. Gerald Rubin, Dr. Pan joined the UT Southwestern faculty as an Assistant Professor of Physiology in 1998 and was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 2004. He was recruited to Johns Hopkins that year, and during his time in Baltimore, he was made an HHMI Investigator (2008), a Fellow of the American Association for Advancement of Science (2012), and was awarded the Paul Marks Prize for Cancer Research (2013). In 2016, Dr. Pan returned to UT Southwestern Medical Center as Chairman of the Department of Physiology. 

Dr. Pan investigates the molecular mechanisms of growth control and tissue homeostasis. He is best known for pioneering work on the Hippo signaling pathway, an evolutionarily conserved developmental pathway that controls organ size in all animals. Using Drosophila as a model, his laboratory made a series of discoveries that defined, in a stepwise manner, the key molecular events in the Hippo signaling pathway. His team further established a critical role for the Hippo pathway in controlling mammalian organ size, regeneration and tumorigenesis. Besides research on the Hippo pathway, the Pan laboratory also elucidated the molecular function of the Tsc1 and Tsc2 tumor suppressor genes, linking Tsc1/Tsc2 to Rheb and TOR signaling. This work provided the key molecular insight for the use of mTOR inhibitors in the treatment of Tuberous Sclerosis. His current efforts are aimed at understanding the composition, mechanism and regulation of the Hippo pathway, elucidating its physiological roles in normal development and diseases, and discovery of chemical probes targeting the Hippo pathway.

Education

Undergraduate
Peking University (1988), Biochemistry
Graduate School
University of California UCLA (1993), Biological Chemistry

Research Interest

  • Evolution of Signaling Pathways
  • Gene Regulation
  • Growth Control
  • Signal Transduction
  • Tumor Suppressor Genes and Oncogenes

Publications

Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Honors & Awards

  • Paul Marks Prize for Cancer Research
    (2013)
  • Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science
    (2012)
  • Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Scholar
    (2006-2008)
  • American Cancer Society Research Scholar
    (2003-2006)
  • American Heart Association National Scientist Development Award
    (2001-2005)