1354A5A9081246D2846398E7E37B7FA9Wancai Yang, MD 
Adjunct Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago
Dean, School of Medical Teaching, Xinxiang Medical University, China
phone: (312) 996-7312
fax: (312)996-7568





Research Areas

  • Carcinogenesis and progression
  • Signal transduction

What I Do

I use genetic knockout mouse models, cell cultures and human cancer samples to determine the molecular mechanisms of gastrointestinal carcinogenesis and progression.


My lab studies molecular mechanisms of gastrointestinal carcinogenesis and progression. Specifically, using Muc2 knockout and carcinogen-induced mouse models of chronic colitis and colorectal cancer, we have identified that chronic colitis malignant transformation might be resulted from genetic and epigenetic alterations and activation of oncogenic signaling (e.g. Wnt/beta-catenin and inflammatory pathways). The changes of expression and functions of the potential key biomarkers have been validated in tissue microarray (TMA), in vitro and in vivo. In addition, we have also identified that intestinal microbe disorder is linked to colitis-associated colorectal cancer. Moreover, genetic alterations, particularly, single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), play critical roles in esophageal carcinogenesis and progression.


MD, 1990, Xinxiang Medical College, China
MS, 1997, Tumor Pathology, Zhengzhou University, China 


1994:          Research Fellow (Pathology), Shanghai Second Medical University
1998-1999: Postdoctoral Fellow, Rockefeller University
2000-2001: Postdoctoral Fellow, Albert Einstein Cancer Center

Research Expertise

Cancer biology, pathology, mouse models development and characterization, signal transduction


  • Young Investigator in Cancer Research, American Association for Cancer Research, 2000
  • USCACA-TIGM Award, US Chinese Anti-Cancer Association, 2013

Recent Publications

Click to View Recent Publications


Colorectal cancer, esophageal cancer, carcinogenesis, metastasis, signal transduction