Interdisciplinary Life Science - PULSe Great research is a matter of choice

Chun-Ju (Alice) Chang

Chun-Ju (Alice) Chang Profile Picture

Assistant Professor
Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles, 2007

Contact Info:

Training Group(s):
Molecular Signaling and Cancer Biology

Current Research Interests:

Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are a unique cell population with perpetuating self-renewal properties that resemble those of normal stem cells. With these special properties that allow for indefinite growth and division, CSCs give rise to the bulk of a tumor as the “seed” of cancer and account for cancer initiation, progression, chemo-resistance, and recurrence.

 Our research has been focused on understanding critical epigenetic mechanisms involved in the regulation of the stem cell plasticity and the stem cell fate in breast cancer, and translating the promising basic research findings into innovative clinical applications. The goal is to discover effective strategies that can be used to exhaust the CSC pool so as to eradicate breast cancer.

 Specific research interests: 1. Determine the involvement of dietary factors and tumor microenvironment in the regulation of CSCs and cancer progression; 2. Reveal key intrinsic components and mechanisms governing the stem cell plasticity and the stem cell fate determination; 3. Uncover how advantageous genomic aberrations are acquired for generation or expansion the CSC pool; 4. Discovery of CSC fate manipulating compounds as new anti-cancer drugs

Selected Publications:

Chao CH, Chang CC, Wu MJ, Wang D, Hung MC, Yang JY, and Chang C-J (2014). MicroRNA-205 signaling regulates mammary stem cell fate and tumorigenesis, The Journal of Clinical Investigation 124, 3093-3106

Chang CC, Wu MJ, Yang JY, Camarillo IG, Chang C-J (2015). Leptin-STAT3-G9a Signaling Promotes Obesity-Mediated Breast Cancer Progression. Cancer Research 75, 1-12

Wu MJ, Chen YS, and Chang C-J (2017). Retinoic acid directs breast cancer cell state changes through regulation of TET2-PKCζ pathway in breast cancer. Oncogene (doi: 10.1038/onc.2016.467)

Chang C-J, Yang JY, Xia W, Chen CT, Xie X, Chao CH, Woodward WA, Hortobagyi GN, Hung MC (2011). EZH2 promotes expansion of breast tumor initiating cells through activation of RAF1-β-catenin signaling. Cancer Cell, 19, 86-100

Chang C-J, Chao CH, Xia W, Yang JY, and Hung MC (2011). p53 regulates epithelial-mesenchymal

transition and stem cell properties through modulation of miRNAs. Nature Cell Biology 13,


Chang C-J*, Ding Q*, Xie X, Xia W, Yang JY, Wang SC, Hung MC (2011). Genes that mediate

colon cancer metastasis to liver. The Journal of Clinical Investigation 121, 4526-4536

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