Damon Runyon Researchers

Meet Our Scientists
Hang Xu, PhD

Chromosome instability (CIN), pervasive in human cancers, impacts tumor evolution and therapy response. On one hand, CIN may inactivate a tumor suppressor gene or activate a tumor oncogene and speed up the generation and evolution of cancer cells. Alternatively, CIN may induce destructive genomic changes that result in frequent cell death and impair tumor growth. Dr. Xu is investigating the overall effect of CIN on cancer progression using mathematical modeling and computational simulation coupled with a powerful 3D organoid system. She hopes to elucidate the role CIN plays in cancer evolution and lay the groundwork for novel treatment strategies for these tumors.

Dr. Xu is developing and applying computational methods to characterize somatic point mutations, copy number variations and structural variations in human tumors, and to 'time' the acquisition of these alterations during the lifetime of a tumor. These methods enable her to have a better understanding of when and how chromosomal instability shape tumor evolutionary trajectories.

Project title: "Investigating the dynamics of chromosomal instability in cancer"
Institution: Stanford University School of Medicine
Award Program: Quantitative Biology Fellow
Sponsor(s) / Mentor(s): Christina N. Curtis, PhD, and Calvin Kuo, PhD
Cancer Type: All Cancers
Research Area: Cancer Genetics