Dr. Jenny C. Chang is Director of the Cancer Center at The Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas. She obtained her medical degree at Cambridge University in England, and then completed fellowship training in medical oncology at the Royal Marsden Hospital/Institute for Cancer Research in the United Kingdom. She was also awarded a research doctorate from the University of London. There, she developed an interest in breast cancer, particularly in the area of prognostic and predictive markers. She used the clinical situation of locally advanced breast cancer, in which patients are traditionally treated with pre-operative therapy, to assess the use of such markers in predicting treatment response. Her recent work has focused on the intrinsic therapy resistance of cancer stem cells, which has led to several publications and international presentations. In addition, she has been awarded several federal grants to evaluate novel biologic agents, and holds patents on new technologic advances including high throughput molecular profiling.
Dr. Chang has worked in the field of tumor-initiating cells for more than five years. After her discovery that tumor-initiating cells are chemo-resistant, and that targeting the EGFR/HER2 pathway can decrease this subpopulation, Dr. Chang has played a key role in demonstrating some of the limitations and mechanisms of tumor-initiating cells (Creighton et al., 2009; Li et al., 2008). Her work is now focused on the mechanisms that regulate TICs, as well as initiating and planning clinical trials that target this critical tumor initiating subpopulation. She is also interested in characterizing the cross-talk between these different pathways that may lead to mechanisms of resistance, and has identified some of the chief regulatory pathways involved in TIC self-renewal. She is a world-renown clinical investigator, credited as one of the first to describe intrinsic chemo-resistance of tumor-initiating cells.