Dr. Huocong Huang received his medical degree from Sun Yat-sen University and his Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from University of Nebraska Medical Center. His graduate research was mentored by Dr. Keith R. Johnson, focusing on the signaling transduction and protein interaction of collagen-induced cell plasticity. He then joined Dr. Rolf Brekken’s laboratory at UT Southwestern Medical Center for postdoctoral training. His postdoctoral research studied the function of cancer-associated fibroblasts and extracellular matrix in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. He also examined the therapeutic potential of these stromal targets using animal models. Dr. Huang’s current research is focused on understanding the heterogeneity, origin and function of fibroblasts in physiological or pathological conditions including cancer, fibrosis, wound healing and aging.  


Graduate School
Uni of Nebraska-Med Ctr (2016), Philosophy

Research Interest

  • Cancer-associated Fibroblast
  • Cell Biology
  • Fibrosis
  • Signal Transduction
  • Tumor Microenvironment


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

AXL Is a Key Factor for Cell Plasticity and Promotes Metastasis in Pancreatic Cancer.
Du W, Phinney NZ, Huang H, Wang Z, Westcott J, Toombs JE, Zhang Y, Beg MS, Wilkie TM, Lorens JB, Brekken RA, Mol Cancer Res 2021 Apr
Concerted cell and in vivo screen for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA) chemotherapeutics.
Layeghi-Ghalehsoukhteh S, Pal Choudhuri S, Ocal O, Zolghadri Y, Pashkov V, Niederstrasser H, Posner BA, Kantheti HS, Azevedo-Pouly AC, Huang H, Girard L, MacDonald RJ, Brekken RA, Wilkie TM, Sci Rep 2020 11 10 1 20662
Beyond stiffness: collagen signaling in pancreatic cancer and pancreas regeneration.
Huang H, Brekken RA, Am. J. Pathol. 2020 May


Featured Books Legend Featured Books

Honors & Awards

  • Center for Organogenesis Research and Trauma (CORT) Award, UTSW
  • K99/R00 Award, NIH/NCI
  • Best Presentation Award, Cancer Biology Program Retreat, UTSW
  • Best Poster Award, 8th International Meeting on Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • International Society for Stem Cell Research (2021)
  • American Association for Cancer Research (2018)
  • American Society for Cell Biology (2014)