Download Curriculum Vitae

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. He received the Passano Award in 2022 and was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2023.

Dr. Pan investigates the molecular mechanisms of growth control and tissue homeostasis and their implications in human disease. He is best known for pioneering work on the Hippo signaling pathway, an evolutionarily conserved developmental pathway that regulates tissue growth in animals ranging from insects to mammals. 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 the Hippo pathway, the Pan lab 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 molecular basis for the use of mTOR inhibitors in the treatment of Tuberous Sclerosis. Dr. Pan’s current efforts are focused on further elucidation of the mechanisms, regulation and evolution of Hippo signaling, as well as the discovery of novel growth regulators and pathways through forward genetic screens.


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

Research Interest

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


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Honors & Awards

  • National Academy of Sciences
  • Passano Award
  • Paul Marks Prize for Cancer Research
  • Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Scholar
  • American Cancer Society Research Scholar
  • American Heart Association National Scientist Development Award