Qin Yang, M.D., Ph.D.
Associate Professor (Tenure) of Cancer Biology


A. Telomere recombination and tumorigenesis
Human tumors acquire indefinite replicative capacity to escape from the normal limitations through maintaining their telomeres, either by telomerase or by an alternative lengthening of telomeres mechanism. Our projects focus on determining the role of telomere-associated proteins in telomere maintenance, recombination, and cellular senescence. We will determine the effects of the proteins on tumorigenesis and investigate how these proteins regulate DNA damage response.

B. Molecular signaling of tumor suppressor genes and oncogenes
We are interested in understanding the tumor suppressor function through investigatuing signaling pathways in tumorigenesis. Specifically, we are investigating the mechanism(s) by which the tumor suppressor gene BRCA1 and oncogene AKT pathway contribute to tumorigenesis and developing a novel therapeutic target for BRCA1-deficient cancers.

Qin Yang, M.D., Ph.D.


Qin Yang earned his PhD degree at University of Heidelberg in Germany and performed his postdoctoral training in the Lab of Human Carcinogenesis (Lab Chief: Curtis Harris), NCI, NIH.

He is a distinguished scientist who has always demonstrated his exceptional ability and talent in the fields in which he has been involved. His significant publications, and his winning of prestigious awards and patents could speak for themselves. In Germany (1994-1998), he established a p53 gene knock-in mouse model for p53 mutation studies. From 1999-2005, he performed interactions of p53 with BLM and WRN helicase projects in NCI, NIH.

Since coming to Washington University in 2005, he has made excellent progress in his research career. He has already established his own research team and collaborative research program containing highly qualified investigators from multi-disciplinary teams. His recent publication in Nature Cell Biology demonstrates the novelty and significance of the work. Editor of Nature Structural & Molecular Biology introduced the work as Research Highlights (vol.16:461, 2009) and wrote “its newly identified role in ALT opens new ways to investigate how these cells manage to keep their telomeres without telomerase”.

Address 4511 Forest Park Blvd.
Campus Box 8224
City/St/Zip St. Louis, MO 63108
Office 4511 Forest Park, Room 3103  
Phone (314) 362-5445
Fax (314) 362-9790
Email qyang@wustl.edu


  • PhD, Oncology, University of Heidelberg, Germany, 1997
  • MS, West China University of Medical Sciences, China, 1990
  • BS, West China University of Medical Sciences, China, 1983


  • Xiang T, Jia Y, Sherris D, Li S, Wang H, Lu Dand Yang Q. Targeting the AKT1/mTOR pathway in BRCA1-deficient tumors. Oncogene, 30:2443-2450, 2011
  • Liu J, Zheng M, Tang YL, Liang XH and Yang Q. microRNAs, an active and versatile group in cancers. IJOS, 2011
  • Zeng S, Xiang T, Pandita TK, Gonzalo S, Harris CC and Yang Q. Telomere recombination requires the MUS81 endonuclease. Nature Cell Biology, 11:616-623, 2009
  • Research Highlights in Nature Structural & Molecular Biology, “How ALT cells do it” (May 2009), Volume 16, p461. 
  • Zeng S and Yang Q. The MUS81 endonuclease is essential for telomerase negative cell proliferation. Cell Cycle, 8:2157-2160. 2009
  • Gupta A, Yang Q, Pandita RK, Hunt CR, Xiang T, Misri S, Zeng S, Pagan J, Jeffery J, Puc J, Kumar R, Feng Z, Powell SN, Bhat A, Yaguchi T, Wadhwa R, Kaul SC, Parsons R, Khanna KK, and Pandita TK. Cell cycle checkpoint defects contribute to genomic instability in PTEN deficient cells independent of DNA DSB repair. Cell Cycle, 7;8(14). 2009
  • Xiang T, Ohashi A, Huang YP, Pandita TK, Ludwig T, Powell SN and Yang Q. Negative regulation of AKT activation by BRCA1. Cancer Res. 68:10040-10044, 2008
  • Yang Q. Cellular senescence, telomere recombination and maintenance. Cytogenetic and Genome Res. 122:211-218, 2008
  • Yang Q, Zhang R, Horikawa I, Fujita K. Afshar Y, Kokko A, Laiho P, Aaltonen  LA and Harris CC: Functional Diversity of Human POT1 Isoforms in Telomere Protection and Cellular Senescence. Cancer Res., 67:11677-86, 2007
  • Pandita T, Hunt C, Sharma G, and Yang Q. Regulation of telomere movement by telomere chromatin structure. Cell Mol. Life Sci. Rev. 64:131-138, 2007
  • Yang Q, Zheng YL, and Harris CC. POT1 and TRF2 cooperate to maintain telomeric integrity. Molecular and Cellular Biology, 25:1070-1080, 2005
  • Zhang R, Sengupta S, Yang Q, Linke SP, Bradsher J, Blais V, McGowan CH, and Harris CC: BLM helicase facilitates Mus81 endonuclease activity in human cells. Cancer Res., 65:1-6, 2005
  • Sommers JA, Sharma S,. Doherty KM, Karmakar P, Yang Q, Kenny MK, Harris CC, and Brosh, Jr. M. p53 modulates RPA-dependent and -independent WRN helicase activity. Cancer Res., 65: 1223-1233, 2005
  • Yang Q, Zhang R, Wang XW, Linke SP, Hickson ID, Littman SJ, Modrich P and Harris CC. The mismatch DNA repair heterodimer, hMSH2/6, regulates BLM helicase in homologous DNA recombination. Oncogene 23:3749-3756, 2004
Print this page | Close
spacer spacer spacer