Zeng-Quan Yang

Zeng-Quan Yang

Zeng-Quan Yang

Position Title

Associate Professor
Basic Science

Office Location

Karmanos Cancer Institute
4100 John R.
Mail Code: HW08AO
Detroit, MI 48201

Office Phone


Office Fax


Education Training

(1996-2001)  Ph.D. Medical Science, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Tokyo, Japan
(1987-1990)  M.S Basic Medical Science, Peking Union Medical College (Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences), Beijing, China
(1980-1985)  B.S. Medicine, Taishan Medical College, Shandong, China

Postgraduate Training
(2001-2004)  Division of Radiation and Cancer Biology, Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Michigan Medical School and Comprehensive Cancer Center, Ann Arbor, MI

Professional Experience

Faculty Appointments
(2014-Present)  Associate Professor, Department of Oncology, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI
(2008-2014)  Assistant Professor, Department of Oncology, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI
(2004-2008)  Research Assistant Professor, Karmanos Cancer Institute, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI
(1992-1996)  Senior Research Investigator, Department of Cytogenetics, National Institute for Family Planning, Beijing, China
(1990-1992)  Research Fellow, Department of Cytogenetics, National Institute for Family Planning, Beijing, China 
(1985-1987)  Teacher Assistant, Shandong Normal University, Shandong, China

Hospital and Other Professional Appointments
(2004-Present)  Member, Karmanos Cancer Institute, Detroit, MI
(2004-2008)  Research Assistant Professor, Karmanos Cancer Institute, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI

Major Professional Societies

(2006-Present)  Member, AAAS
(2002-Present)  Member, American Association for Cancer Research
(1998-2001)  Member, Japanese Cancer Association
(1997-2001)  Member, Japanese Society for Human Genetics

Honors and Awards

(2003-2006)  Postdoctoral Training Award, Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program
(2004)  AACR-Inglenook Vineyards Scholar-in-Training Award, American Association for Cancer Research
(2001)  Graduate Student Award, Medical Research Institute, Tokyo Medical and Dental University
(1996-2001)  Japanese Government Scholarship Award. The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan. Government of Japan provides scholarships to international students (Tokyo Medical and Dental University recommendation)

Courses taught

 CB 7210/PHC 7210: Fundamentals of Cancer Biology 

Research Interests

The overall theme of my research is to identify novel genetic alterations associated with cancer initiation and progression, and to elucidate molecular mechanisms and physiological roles of these genes and the proteins they encode.  My research program includes three directions: i) The discovery and characterization of novel oncogenes in various tumor types,  particularly in breast, prostate, and esophageal cancers; ii) Understanding the fundamental mechanism by which dysregulation of histone-modifying enzymes contributes to tumorigenesis; and iii) Investigation of the roles of endoplasmic reticulum factors in breast cancer malignancy maintenance and therapy resistance. Current studies are centered on histone demethylase GASC1 and endoplasmic reticulum factor ERLIN2 in human breast and prostate cancers. Furthermore, my lab, in collaboration with others, is currently testing novel GASC1 inhibitors both in vitro and in vivo, ultimately working to develop GASC1 inhibitors as new epi-drugs for the treatment of cancer.


1.  Labbé RM, Holowatyj A, Yang Z-Q#. Histone lysine demethylase (KDM) subfamily 4: structures, functions and therapeutic potential. Am J Transl Res. 6: 1-15. 2014

2.  Sun LL, Holowatyj A, Xu X, Wu J, Wu Z, Shen J, Wang S, Li E, Yang Z-Q#, Xu L. Histone demethylase GASC1--a potential prognostic and predictive marker in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma. Am J Cancer Res. 3:509-17. 2013 (# Correspondence)

3.  Hou JL, Wu J, Dombkowski Al, Zhang KZ, Holowatyj A, Boerner JL and Yang Z-Q*. Genomic amplification and drug-resistance roles of KDM5A histone demethylase in breast cancer. American Journal of Translational Research.4:247-56, 2012 (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22937203)

4.   Wang G, Liu G, Wang X, Sethi S, Ali-Fehmi R, Abrams J, Zheng Z, Ethier S and Yang Z-Q*  ERLIN2 promotes breast cancer cell survival by modulating endoplasmic reticulum stress pathways. BMC Cancer. 12:225, 2012. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22681620)

5.  Wu J, Liu S, Liu G, Dombkowski Al, Abrams J, Martin-Trevino R, Wicha M, Ethier S and Yang Z-Q*. Identification and functional analysis of 9p24 amplified genes in human breast cancer. Oncogene. 31:333-41, 2012  (http://www.nature.com/onc/journal/v31/n3/full/onc2011227a.html)

6.  Yang Z-Q*, Liu G, Bollig-Fischer A, Giroux CN and Ethier SP. Transforming properties of 8p11-12 amplified genes in human breast cancer. Cancer Research. 70:8487-97, 2010 (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20940404)

7.  Liu G, Bollig-Fischer, B Kreike, MJ van de Vijver, J Abrams,  Ethier SP and Yang Z-Q*,.Genomic amplification a nd oncogenic properties of the GASC1 histone demethylase gene in breast cancers, Oncogene  28:4491-500, 2009 (http://www.nature.com/onc/journal/v28/n50/full/onc2009297a.html)

8. Yang Z-Q*, Liu G, Bollig-Fischer Al, Haddad R, Tarca A and Ethier SP. Methylation-associated silencing of SFRP1 with an 8p11-12 amplification inhibits canonical and non-canonical WNT pathways in breast cancers, International Journal of Cancer. 125: 1613-21, 2009 (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19569235)

9.  Yang Z-Q*, Moffa A, Haddad R and Ethier S. Transforming properties of TC-1 in human breast cancer:  Interaction with FGFR2 and β-catenin signaling pathways. International Journal of Cancer. 121:1265-73, 2007 (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ijc.22831/full)

10. Yang Z-Q, Imoto I, Fukuda Y, Pimkhaokham A, Shimada Y, Imamura M, Sugano S, Nakamura Y, Inazawa J. Identification of a novel gene, GASC1, within an amplicon at 9p23-24 frequently detected in esophageal cancer cell lines. Cancer Research. 60: 4735-4739, 2000.( http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10987278)


Faculty Status

Basic Science

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