Dr. Chengfeng Yang studies the mechanisms of cancer initiation (environmental carcinogenesis) and progression (metastasis) with the goal of developing mechanism-based strategies to more efficiently prevent and treat cancer.
Currently, the Yang laboratory has three research programs:
- Environmental carcinogenesis research: Investigating the mechanisms of how metal carcinogen (hexavalent chromium, cadmium and arsenic) exposure generates cancer stem cell-like cells to promote lung tumor development and progression. The mechanistic studies focus on metal carcinogen exposure-caused long non-coding RNA (lncRNA), functional RNA modification (methylation) and other epigenetic dysregulations.
- Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) research--Determining the mechanism of how TNBC metastasizes to lungs focusing on the role of lncRNA dysregulations.
- Cancer therapy research--Developing new therapeutic strategies for TNBC treatment focusing on repurposing FDA-approved drugs that have not been used for cancer treatment and nanoparticle-mediated drug delivery approaches.