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
  • Mesothelial Cell
  • Signal Transduction
  • Tumor Microenvironment


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Targeting TNF-a producing macrophages activate antitumor immunity in pancreatic cancer through IL33 signaling.
Dixit A, Sarver AL, Zettervall J, Huang H, Zheng K, Brekken RA, Provenzano P, JCI Insight 2022 Oct
Cell Competition Shapes Metastatic Latency and Relapse.
Kim K, Huang H, Parida PK, He L, Marquez-Palencia M, Reese TC, Kapur P, Brugarolas J, Brekken RA, Malladi S, Cancer Discov 2022 Sep
VEGFR2 activity on myeloid cells mediates immune suppression in the tumor microenvironment.
Zhang Y, Huang H, Coleman M, Ziemys A, Gopal P, Kazmi SM, Brekken RA, JCI Insight 2021 Oct
AXL inhibitor TP-0903 reduces metastasis and therapy resistance in pancreatic cancer.
Zhang Y, Arner EN, Rizvi A, Toombs JE, Huang H, Warner SL, Foulks JM, Brekken RA, Mol Cancer Ther 2021 Oct
Location matters: Profiling diffuse type gastric cancer at the single cell level.
Huang H, Brekken RA, Clin Cancer Res 2021 Sep
Ddr1-induced neutrophil extracellular traps drive pancreatic cancer metastasis.
Deng J, Kang Y, Cheng CC, Li X, Dai B, Katz MH, Men T, Kim MP, Koay E, Huang H, Brekken RA, Fleming JB, JCI Insight 2021 Jul
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


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)