Researcher Profile

Researcher Profile

Hong-Gang Wang, PhD

Hong-Gang Wang, PhD

Lois High Berstler Professor, Department of Pediatrics
Division of Hematology and Oncology
Lois High Berstler Professor, Department of Pharmacology
Scientific Program:Next-Generation Therapies
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Research Interests

Dr. Hong-Gang “H.G.” Wang formerly worked at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and the University of South Florida in Tampa, beginning as assistant professor in 1998 and advancing to the rank of professor before moving to Penn State College of Medicine in 2008. Research in Dr. Wang’s laboratory aims to better understand the fundamental mechanisms that control apoptosis (self-killing) and autophagy (self-eating) in the context of oncogenesis. In addition, targeting of these two closely related but distinct self-destructive cellular processes for anticancer drug discovery and development is another major interest of his research group. The ultimate goal of Dr. Wang’s research is to translate basic science discoveries to the development of new approaches for the treatment of cancer.

  • Apoptosis
  • Proteins
  • Autophagy
  • Neoplasms
  • Cell Death
  • Membranes
  • Acute Myeloid Leukemia
  • Mitochondria
  • Phosphorylation
  • Autophagosomes
  • Genes
  • Cell Survival

Recent Publications


Ye, Y, Tyndall, ER, Bui, V, Tang, Z, Shen, Y, Jiang, X, Flanagan, JM, Wang, HG & Tian, F 2021, 'An N-terminal conserved region in human Atg3 couples membrane curvature sensitivity to conjugase activity during autophagy', Nature communications, vol. 12, no. 1, 374.
Wills, CA, Liu, X, Chen, L, Zhao, Y, Dower, CM, Sundstrom, J & Wang, HG 2021, 'Chemotherapy-Induced Upregulation of Small Extracellular Vesicle-Associated PTX3 Accelerates Breast Cancer Metastasis', Cancer Research, vol. 81, no. 2, pp. 452-463.
Wooten, DJ, Gebru, M, Wang, H-G & Albert, R 2021, 'Data-driven math model of FLT3-ITD acute myeloid leukemia reveals potential therapeutic targets', Journal of Personalized Medicine, vol. 11, no. 3, 193.


Flower, TG, Takahashi, Y, Hudait, A, Rose, K, Tjahjono, N, Pak, AJ, Yokom, AL, Liang, X, Wang, HG, Bouamr, F, Voth, GA & Hurley, JH 2020, 'A helical assembly of human ESCRT-I scaffolds reverse-topology membrane scission', Nature Structural and Molecular Biology, vol. 27, no. 6, pp. 570-580.
Pearson, JM, Tan, SF, Sharma, A, Annageldiyev, C, Fox, TE, Abad, JL, Fabrias, G, Desai, D, Amin, S, Wang, HG, Cabot, MC, Claxton, DF, Kester, M, Feith, DJ & Loughran, TP 2020, 'Ceramide analogue SACLAC modulates sphingolipid levels and MCL-1 splicing to induce apoptosis in acute myeloid leukemia', Molecular Cancer Research, vol. 18, no. 3, pp. 352-363.
Sun, L, Jiang, L, Grant, CN, Wang, HG, Gragnoli, C, Liu, Z & Wu, R 2020, 'Computational identification of gene networks as a biomarker of neuroblastoma risk', Cancers, vol. 12, no. 8, 2086, pp. 1-17.
Zhou, M, Weber, SR, Zhao, Y, Chen, H, Barber, AJ, Grillo, SL, Wills, CA, Wang, HG, Hulleman, JD & Sundstrom, JM 2020, 'Expression of R345W-Fibulin-3 Induces Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition in Retinal Pigment Epithelial Cells', Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology, vol. 8, 469.
Liu, Z, Grant, CN, Sun, L, Miller, BA, Spiegelman, VS & Wang, HG 2020, 'Expression patterns of immune genes reveal heterogeneous subtypes of high-risk neuroblastoma', Cancers, vol. 12, no. 7, 1739, pp. 1-16.
Gebru, MT, Atkinson, JM, Young, MM, Zhang, L, Tang, Z, Liu, Z, Lu, P, Dower, CM, Chen, L, Annageldiyev, C, Sharma, A, Kawasawa, YI, Zhao, Z, Miller, BA, Claxton, DF & Wang, HG 2020, 'Glucocorticoids enhance the antileukemic activity of FLT3 inhibitors in FLT3-mutant acute myeloid leukemia', Blood, vol. 136, no. 9, pp. 1067-1079.
Clements, KE, Schleicher, EM, Thakar, T, Hale, A, Dhoonmoon, A, Tolman, NJ, Sharma, A, Liang, X, Imamura Kawasawa, Y, Nicolae, CM, Wang, HG, De, S & Moldovan, GL 2020, 'Identification of regulators of poly-ADP-ribose polymerase inhibitor response through complementary CRISPR knockout and activation screens', Nature communications, vol. 11, no. 1, 6118.
Yee, PP, Wei, Y, Kim, SY, Lu, T, Chih, SY, Lawson, C, Tang, M, Liu, Z, Anderson, B, Thamburaj, K, Young, MM, Aregawi, DG, Glantz, MJ, Zacharia, BE, Specht, CS, Wang, HG & Li, W 2020, 'Neutrophil-induced ferroptosis promotes tumor necrosis in glioblastoma progression', Nature communications, vol. 11, no. 1, 5424.
Hattori, T, Takahashi, Y, Chen, L, Tang, Z, Wills, CA, Liang, X & Wang, HG 2021, 'Targeting the ESCRT-III component CHMP2A for noncanonical Caspase-8 activation on autophagosomal membranes', Cell Death and Differentiation, vol. 28, no. 2, pp. 657-670.
Gebru, MT & Wang, HG 2020, 'Therapeutic targeting of FLT3 and associated drug resistance in acute myeloid leukemia', Journal of Hematology and Oncology, vol. 13, no. 1, 155.
Chen, SJ, Bao, L, Keefer, K, Shanmughapriya, S, Chen, L, Lee, J, Wang, JF, Zhang, XQ, Hirschler-Laszkiewicz, I, Merali, S, Merali, C, Imamura, Y, Dovat, S, Madesh, M, Cheung, JY, Wang, HG & Miller, BA 2020, 'Transient receptor potential ion channel TRPM2 promotes AML proliferation and survival through modulation of mitochondrial function, ROS, and autophagy', Cell Death and Disease, vol. 11, no. 4, 247.


Tang, Z, Takahashi, Y & Wang, HG 2019, 'ATG2 regulation of phagophore expansion at mitochondria-associated ER membranes', Autophagy, vol. 15, no. 12, pp. 2165-2166.
Tan, SF, Dunton, W, Liu, X, Fox, TE, Morad, SAF, Desai, D, Doi, K, Conaway, MR, Amin, S, Claxton, DF, Wang, HG, Kester, M, Cabot, MC, Feith, DJ & Loughran, TP 2019, 'Acid ceramidase promotes drug resistance in acute myeloid leukemia through NF-κB-dependent P-glycoprotein upregulation', Journal of Lipid Research, vol. 60, no. 6, pp. 1078-1086.
Cho, SG, Xiao, X, Wang, S, Gao, H, Rafikov, R, Black, S, Huang, S, Ding, HF, Yoon, Y, Kirken, RA, Yin, XM, Wang, HG & Dong, Z 2019, 'Bif-1 interacts with prohibitin-2 to regulate mitochondrial inner membrane during cell stress and apoptosis', Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, vol. 30, no. 7, pp. 1174-1191.
Rice, SJ, Liu, X, Wang, HG & Belani, CP 2019, 'EGFR mutations and AKT phosphorylation are markers for sensitivity to combined MCL-1 and BCL-2/xL inhibition in non-small cell lung cancer', PloS one, vol. 14, no. 5, e0217657.
Young, MM, Bui, V, Chen, C & Wang, HG 2019, 'FTY720 induces non-canonical phosphatidylserine externalization and cell death in acute myeloid leukemia', Cell Death and Disease, vol. 10, no. 11, 847.
Morad, SAF, MacDougall, MR, Abdelmageed, N, Kao, LP, Feith, DJ, Tan, SF, Kester, M, Loughran, TP, Wang, HG & Cabot, MC 2019, 'Pivotal role of mitophagy in response of acute myelogenous leukemia to a ceramide-tamoxifen-containing drug regimen', Experimental Cell Research, vol. 381, no. 2, pp. 256-264.
Barth, BM, Wang, W, Toran, PT, Fox, TE, Annageldiyev, C, Ondrasik, RM, Keasey, NR, Brown, TJ, Devine, VG, Sullivan, EC, Cote, AL, Papakotsi, V, Tan, SF, Shanmugavelandy, SS, Deering, TG, Needle, DB, Stern, ST, Zhu, J, Liao, J, Viny, AD, Feith, DJ, Levine, RL, Wang, HG, Loughran, TP, Sharma, A, Kester, M & Claxton, DF 2019, 'Sphingolipid metabolism determines the therapeutic efficacy of nanoliposomal ceramide in acute myeloid leukemia', Blood Advances, vol. 3, no. 17, pp. 2598-2603.
Tang, Z, Takahashi, Y, He, H, Hattori, T, Chen, C, Liang, X, Chen, H, Young, MM & Wang, HG 2019, 'TOM40 Targets Atg2 to Mitochondria-Associated ER Membranes for Phagophore Expansion', Cell Reports, vol. 28, no. 7, pp. 1744-1757.e5.
Bao, L, Festa, F, Freet, CS, Lee, JP, Hirschler-Laszkiewicz, IM, Chen, SJ, Keefer, KA, Wang, HG, Patterson, AD, Cheung, JY & Miller, BA 2019, 'The Human Transient Receptor Potential Melastatin 2 Ion Channel Modulates ROS Through Nrf2', Scientific reports, vol. 9, no. 1, 14132.
Atkinson, JM, Ye, Y, Gebru, MT, Liu, Q, Zhou, S, Young, MM, Takahashi, Y, Lin, Q, Tian, F & Wang, HG 2019, 'Time-resolved FRET and NMR analyses reveal selective binding of peptides containing the LC3-interacting region to ATG8 family proteins', Journal of Biological Chemistry, vol. 294, no. 38, pp. 14033-14042.
Takahashi, Y, Liang, X, Hattori, T, Tang, Z, He, H, Chen, H, Liu, X, Abraham, T, Imamura-Kawasawa, Y, Buchkovich, NJ, Young, MM & Wang, HG 2019, 'VPS37A directs ESCRT recruitment for phagophore closure', The Journal of cell biology, vol. 218, no. 10, pp. 3336-3354.


Takahashi, Y, He, H, Tang, Z, Hattori, T, Liu, Y, Young, MM, Serfass, JM, Chen, L, Gebru, M, Chen, C, Wills, CA, Atkinson, JM, Chen, H, Abraham, T & Wang, HG 2018, 'An autophagy assay reveals the ESCRT-III component CHMP2A as a regulator of phagophore closure', Nature communications, vol. 9, no. 1, 2855.
Liu, Z, Wei, Y, Zhang, L, Yee, PP, Johnson, M, Zhang, X, Gulley, M, Atkinson, JM, Trebak, M, Wang, H-G & Li, W 2019, 'Induction of store-operated calcium entry (SOCE) suppresses glioblastoma growth by inhibiting the Hippo pathway transcriptional coactivators YAP/TAZ', Oncogene, vol. 38, no. 1, pp. 120-139.
Clements, KE, Thakar, T, Nicolae, CM, Liang, X, Wang, HG & Moldovan, GL 2018, 'Loss of E2F7 confers resistance to poly-ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP) inhibitors in BRCA2-deficient cells', Nucleic acids research, vol. 46, no. 17, pp. 8898-8907.
Dower, CM, Wills, CA, Frisch, SM & Wang, HG 2018, 'Mechanisms and context underlying the role of autophagy in cancer metastasis', Autophagy, vol. 14, no. 7, pp. 1110-1128.
Young, MM & Wang, HG 2018, Sphingolipids as Regulators of Autophagy and Endocytic Trafficking. in CE Chalfant & PB Fisher (eds), Advances in Cancer Research. Advances in Cancer Research, vol. 140, Academic Press Inc., pp. 27-60.
Lima, S, Takabe, K, Newton, J, Saurabh, K, Young, MM, Leopoldino, AM, Hait, NC, Roberts, JL, Wang, HG, Dent, P, Milstien, S, Booth, L & Spiegel, S 2018, 'TP53 is required for BECN1- and ATG5-dependent cell death induced by sphingosine kinase 1 inhibition', Autophagy, vol. 14, no. 6, pp. 942-957.
Dower, CM, Bhat, N, Gebru, MT, Chen, L, Wills, CA, Miller, BA & Wang, HG 2018, 'Targeted inhibition of ULK1 promotes apoptosis and suppresses tumor growth and metastasis in neuroblastoma', Molecular cancer therapeutics, vol. 17, no. 11, pp. 2365-2376.


Tang, Z, Takahashi, Y, Chen, C, Liu, Y, He, H, Tsotakos, N, Serfass, JM, Gebru, MT, Chen, H, Young, MM & Wang, HG 2017, 'Atg2A/B deficiency switches cytoprotective autophagy to non-canonical caspase-8 activation and apoptosis', Cell Death and Differentiation, vol. 24, no. 12, pp. 2127-2138.
Serfass, JM, Takahashi, Y, Zhou, Z, Kawasawa, YI, Liu, Y, Tsotakos, N, Young, MM, Tang, Z, Yang, L, Atkinson, JM, Chroneos, ZC & Wang, HG 2017, 'Endophilin B2 facilitates endosome maturation in response to growth factor stimulation, autophagy induction, and influenza A virus infection', Journal of Biological Chemistry, vol. 292, no. 24, pp. 10097-10111.
Teye, EK, Sido, A, Xin, P, Finnberg, NK, Gokare, P, Kawasawa, YI, Salzberg, AC, Shimko, S, Bayerl, M, Ehmann, WC, Claxton, DF, Rybka, WB, Drabick, JJ, Wang, HG, Abraham, T, El-Deiry, WS, Brodsky, RA, J.Hohl, R & Pu, JJ 2017, 'PIGN gene expression aberration is associated with genomic instability and leukemic progression in acute myeloid leukemia with myelodysplastic features', Oncotarget, vol. 8, no. 18, pp. 29887-29905.
Fino, KK, Yang, L, Silveyra, P, Hu, S, Umstead, TM, Diangelo, S, Halstead, ES, Cooper, TK, Abraham, T, Takahashi, Y, Zhou, Z, Wang, HG & Chroneos, ZC 2017, 'SH3GLB2/endophilin B2 regulates lung homeostasis and recovery from severe influenza A virus infection', Scientific reports, vol. 7, no. 1, 7262.
Hengst, J, Dick, TE, Sharma, A, Doi, K, Hegde, S, Tan, SF, Geffert, L, Fox, TE, Sharma, AK, Desai, D, Amin, S, Kester, M, Loughran, TP, Paulson, R, Claxton, D, Wang, H-G & Yun, J 2017, 'SKI-178: A multitargeted inhibitor of sphingosine kinase and microtubule dynamics demonstrating therapeutic efficacy in acute myeloid leukemia models', Cancer Translational Medicine, vol. 3, no. 4, pp. 109-121. <;year=2017;volume=3;issue=4;spage=109;epage=121;aulast=Hengst;type=0>
Dower, CM, Bhat, N, Wang, EW & Wang, HG 2017, 'Selective Reversible Inhibition of Autophagy in Hypoxic Breast Cancer Cells Promotes Pulmonary Metastasis', Cancer Research, vol. 77, no. 3, pp. 646-657.

Clinical Trials Search

Children (age < 18 years)
Adults (age >= 18 years)