An esteemed champion in the field, Dr. Dang is celebrated for his contributions to the understanding of the function of the Myc oncogene, commonly mutated in many cancers. He was among the first to establish a mechanistic link between Myc and cellular energy metabolism, which sparked the concept that genetic alterations could lead to metabolic reprogramming within tumors. His research provided supporting evidence that cancer cells acquire addiction to aberrant cell signaling pathways stimulated by various mutations, such as those involving Myc, and in turn, exhibit dependence for specific nutrients to drive further proliferation. Dr. Dang further identified that Myc regulates various metabolic processes including mitochondrial biogenesis, glutaminolysis, and glycolysis. These observations have been heralded for helping to explain the “Warburg Effect” phenomena observed in cancer cells and have led to subsequent studies dedicated to the targeted disruption of aberrant cell signaling pathways to inhibit cancer progression.
Dr. Dang’s research has established Myc as a central regulator of cell proliferation and metabolism, a finding that has resulted in numerous studies devoted to understanding and targeting tumor metabolism as a novel approach to cancer therapy. His mechanistic studies have defined the domains responsible for Myc activity, the core group of Myc regulated genes involved in the etiology of many cancer types, and have also demonstrated that Myc plays a key role in the regulation of microRNAs shown to possess a role in cancer initiation and progression. He has also organized a public database that collects and annotates information related to Myc target genes. More recently, Dr. Dang’s research has been devoted to defining the role of circadian rhythm, clock genes, and the immune system in Myc-mediated deregulation of cellular metabolism.
2018 Editor in Chief, Cancer Research
2017 Heath Memorial Award, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
2012 Distinguished Alumnus Award for Scientific Achievement, Johns Hopkins University
2011 Elected Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences
2006 Elected Member, National Academy of Medicine, Washington, D.C.
2005 Golden Torch Award, Vietnamese-American National Gala
2005 Achievement Award, Vietnamese-American Medical Research Foundation
2003 Mark Brothers Award, Indiana University School of Medicine
2002-2003 President, American Society for Clinical Investigation
1999 MERIT Award, National Institutes of Health
1997 Elected Member, Association of American Physicians
1997 Stohlman Award, Leukemia Society of America
1993 Elected Member, American Society for Clinical Investigation
1992-1997 Leukemia Society of America Scholar
1989-1992 Junior Faculty Award, American Cancer Society