Gen Wu

Office Address

2118 Prentis Building
110 E. Warren Avenue
Detroit, MI 48201

Position Title


Education Training

1992 - Ph.D.
Peking Union Medical College/Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing, China

Research Interests

My research interests are to understand the mechanisms of deregulated cell death pathways in human cancer and then target related pathways for the improvement of cancer therapies. Specifically, we focus on three areas. (1) We study the mechanisms of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) resistance. TRAIL is a member of the TNF family that selectively induces apoptosis of cancer and transformed cells, but not normal cells. However, many cancer cells are resistant to TRAIL and the underlying mechanisms are not fully understood. We are currently studying how cancer cells acquire resistance to TRAIL. (2) We study the regulation of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) phosphatase-1 (MKP-1) in cancer cells. MKP-1 is a member of the dual-specificity protein phosphatase family and an endogenous negative regulator of MAPK signaling. MKP-1 can dephosphorylate and inactivate all three major MAPKs, including JNK, p38 and ERK. MKP-1 is overexpressed in many cancer types and may regulate cancer cell drug resistance. It is established that the activation of MAPKs plays a critical role in the response of cancer cells to therapies. We are studying how MKP-1 inactivates MAPKs to impact cancer cell death. (3) We study the contribution of autophagy to drug resistance. Ultimately, this information will help design therapeutic strategies for the improvement of cancer treatment.


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