McMaster University

Medical Sciences
Graduate Program

Scope of Search


Damu Tang

Damu Tang


BSc, MSc, PhD
Associate Professor

Research Interests

Down-regulation of programd cell death (apoptosis) and functional inactivation of tumor suppressors are the rate limited steps towards tumorigenesis. Enhancing survival functions by amplification of Bcl-2, PI-3 kinase, Protein kinase B (PKB/AKT) to repress apoptosis occurs in many human cancers. Functional inactivation of tumor suppressors, like p53, pTEN, and p14ARF takes place with high frequency (35-50%) in human tumors of the endometrium, brain, prostate, and others.



  1. Function of AKT in mitochondrial pathway of apoptosis
  2. Role of Erk activation in DNA damage checkpoint that plays a major role in preventing tumor formation
  3. Searching for proteins interacted with pTEN or p14ARF to modulate either positively or negatively on the functions of pTEN or p14ARF



Approaches of genetics, molecular biology, cellular biology, and biochemistry are explored to address the above questions, including generation of stable or inducible cell lines using plasmid and retrovirus, detection of protein-protein interaction and cell cycle progression.


McMaster University
St. Joseph's Healthcare

telephone: (905) 522-1155 ext. 35168


Program Area

Cancer & Genetics


Research Focus

Apoptosis, Tumor Suppressors (pTEN, p14ARF), DNA Damage, Erk Activation

Selected Publications

  • Common reduction of the Raf kinase inhibitory protein in clear cell renal cell carcinoma.

    Hill B, De Melo J, Yan J, Kapoor A, He L, Cutz JC, Feng X, Bakhtyar N, Tang D. Oncotarget. 2014 Sep 15;5(17):7406-19.

  • SIPL1-facilitated PTEN ubiquitination contributes to its association with PTEN.

    De Melo J, Lin X, He L, Wei F, Major P, Tang D. Cell Signal. 2014 Aug 22;26(12):2749-2756. doi: 10.1016/j.cellsig.2014.08.013. [Epub ahead of print].

  • Changes in PKM2 associate with prostate cancer progression. Wong N, Yan J, Ojo D, De Melo J, Cutz JC, Tang D. Cancer Invest. 2014 Aug;32(7):330-8. doi: 10.3109/07357907.2014.919306. Epub 2014 Jun 2.