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.
- Peking University (1988), Biochemistry
- Graduate School
- University of California UCLA (1993), Biological Chemistry
- Evolution of Signaling Pathways
- Gene Regulation
- Growth Control
- Signal Transduction
- Tumor Suppressor Genes and Oncogenes
- The Hippo signaling pathway coordinately regulates cell proliferation and apoptosis by inactivating Yorkie, the Drosophila Homolog of YAP.
- Huang J, Wu S, Barrera J, Matthews K, Pan D Cell 2005 Aug 122 3 421-34
- hippo encodes a Ste-20 family protein kinase that restricts cell proliferation and promotes apoptosis in conjunction with salvador and warts.
- Wu S, Huang J, Dong J, Pan D Cell 2003 Aug 114 4 445-56
- Rheb is a direct target of the tuberous sclerosis tumour suppressor proteins.
- Zhang Y, Gao X, Saucedo LJ, Ru B, Edgar BA, Pan D Nat. Cell Biol. 2003 Jun 5 6 578-81
- Tsc tumour suppressor proteins antagonize amino-acid-TOR signalling.
- Gao X, Zhang Y, Arrazola P, Hino O, Kobayashi T, Yeung RS, Ru B, Pan D Nat. Cell Biol. 2002 Sep 4 9 699-704
- TSC1 and TSC2 tumor suppressors antagonize insulin signaling in cell growth.
- Gao X, Pan D Genes Dev. 2001 Jun 15 11 1383-92
Honors & Awards
- 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