Yuan Chang, M.D.

  • Distinguished Professor, American Cancer Society Research Professor
  • Department of Pathology

Education & Training

  • M.D. in Medicine from University of Utah, 1987
  • B.S. in Biology from Stanford University, 1981

Research Interest Summary

Viral oncogenesis; new pathogens discovery

Research Categories

Research Interests

Our laboratory performs basic and applied research on viral oncogenesis with efforts focused in the following three areas. 

  • Merkel cell carcinoma and Merkel cell polyomavirus. We recently discovered a new human polyomavirus, that we call Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCV). This virus is etiologically associated with a rare, but one of the most clinically aggressive skin cancers in humans. We are currently involved in the primary characteristics of this virus including transcript mapping, transforming properties, origin replication, transmission, and seroepidemiologic studies.
  • Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus. We are investigating biologic properties of KSHV, the eighth human herpesvirus, also identified in our laboratory. KSHV causes Kaposi’s sarcoma, the most common AIDS-associated malignancy as well as a B-cell lymphoma. Through extensive molecular piracy, the virus has incorporated numerous genes which affect cell proliferation pathways, apoptosis, cell cycle regulation and immune modulation. 
  • New Pathogen Discovery. We continue to be interested in the search for new pathogens in human diseases and have developed new methodologies, which utilize information gained from the Human Genome Project, as well as advanced sequencing technologies.

Representative Publications

Chang Y, Cesarman E, Pessin M, Lee F, Culpepper J, Knowles DM, Moore PS. Identification of herpesvirus-like DNA sequences in AIDS-associated Kaposi's sarcoma. Science, 1994; 266:1865-1869. PMCID7997879.

Cesarman E, Chang Y, Moore PS, Said J, Knowles DM. Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus-like DNA sequences are detectable in AIDS-related body cavity based non-Hodgkin's lymphomas. New Eng J Med 1995; 332:1186-91. PMCID7700311.

Moore PS, Gao S-J, Dominguez G, Cesarman E, Lungu O, Knowles DM, Garber R, Pellet PE, McGeoch DJ, Chang Y. Primary characterization of a herpesviral agent associated with Kaposi's sarcoma. J Virol 1996; 70:549-558. PMCID8523568.

Gao SJ, Kingsley L, Hoover D, Spira T, Rinaldo C, Saah A, Phair J, Detels R, Parry P, Chang Y, Moore PS. Seroconversion to antibodies against Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus-related latent nuclear antigens before the development of Kaposi's sarcoma. New Eng J Med 1996; 335:233-41. PMCID8657239.

Chang Y, Moore PS, Talbot SJ, Boshoff C, Zarkowska T, Godden-Kent D, Paterson H, Weiss RA, Mittnacht S. Cyclin encoded by KS herpesvirus. Nature 1996; 382:410. PMCID8684480.
Moore PS, Boshoff C, Weiss RA, Chang Y. Molecular mimicry of human cytokine and cytokine-response pathway genes by KSHV. Science 1996; 274:1739-44. PMCID8939871.

Russo JJ, Bohenzky RA, Chien M, Chen K, Yan M, Maddlena D, Parry JP, Peruzzi D, Edelman IS, Chang Y, Moore PS. The nucleotide sequence of Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (HHV8). Proc Natl Acad Sci, USA 1996; 93:14862-7. PMCID8962146.

Feng H, Shuda M, Chang Y, Moore PS. Clonal Integration of a Polyomavirus in Merkel Cell Carcinoma. Science 2008; 319(5866):1096-100. PMCID18202256.

Shuda M, Feng H, Kwun H, Rosen ST, Gjoerup O, Moore PS, Chang Y. T-antigen mutations are a tumor-specific signature for Merkel cell polyomavirus. Proc Natl Acad Sci, USA 2008; 21;105(42):16272-7. PMCID: PMCID2551627.

Arora R, Shuda M, Guastafierro A, Feng H, Toptan T, Tolstov Y, Normolle D, Vollmer L, Vogt A, Domling A, Brodsky J, Chang Y, and Moore PS. Survivin is a Therapeutic Target in Merkel Cell Carcinoma. Science Trans Medicine 2012;4:133-56. PMC3726222.

Kwun HJ, Shuda M, Huichen F, Camacho CJ, Moore PS, Chang Y. Merkel Cell Polyomavirus Small T Antigen Controls Viral Replication and Oncoprotein Expression by Targeting the Cellular Ubiquitin Ligase SCFFbw7. Cell Host Microbe 2013; 14(2):125-135. PMC3764649.