Principal Investigators and Research Publications
Amy Tang, Ph.D. - Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Cell Biology

Amy Tang, Ph.D.

Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Cell Biology

Education and Training

  • Graduate Education

    Ph.D., The Pennsylvania State University

  • Postdoctoral Education

    University of California at Berkeley


The dismal prognosis of multidrug-resistant, late-stage, and metastatic human cancers is a pressing unmet need. Dr. Amy Tang has dedicated her life into training 120 clinical residents, postdoctoral fellows, and MD/Ph.D./MS/Summer students to conduct the highest quality research and design innovative and breakthrough strategies to control and eradicate undruggable oncogenic EGFR/K-RAS-driven malignant cancer in our lifetimes. Dr. Tang has worked for 26 years in the field of EGFR/K-RAS/SIAH signaling, cancer biology and immunology, investigating the roles, biochemistry, and molecular regulation of SIAH-mediated proteolysis downstream of oncogenic EGFR/HER2/K-RAS signaling pathway using a combination of Drosophila genetic studies, mouse models of human cancer, human cancer cell lines, PDX and tumor biospecimens. The use of complementary approaches to study this central tumor-driving ERBB/K-RAS signaling pathway pertinent to tumor initiation, progression, dissemination, and metastasis is a clear strength of Dr. Tang’s research programs. Supported by ample evidence in developmental biology, evolutionary biology and human cancer biology, Dr. Tang identified SIAH E3 ligase as a tumor-specific, therapy-responsive, and prognostic biomarker and a potent target for cancer therapy against oncogenic EGFR/HER2/K-RAS/B-RAF-driven multidrug-resistant, relapsed, and metastatic pancreatic, lung, and triple-negative breast cancers.

Dr. Tang received a total of $5.4 million in continuous federal funding support (NIH NCI R01s and DoDBCRP Breakthrough Awards), and she won a top national innovation award – the 2010 AACR Innovative Grant, for her new anticancer strategy to control and eradicate undruggable and incurable oncogenic K-RAS-driven pancreatic cancer. Dr. Tang has served as a leader in breast and pancreatic cancer research at EVMS. Supported by a large team of clinicians and scientists at the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Massey Cancer Center (Dr. Harry D. Bear, M.D., Ph.D. FACS and his breast cancer team), the Mayo Clinic (Gloria M. Petersen, Ph.D., Matthew P. Goetz, M.D., and their Mayo pancreatic cancer SPORE and Mayo breast cancer SPORE teams), Sentara Cancer Network (Richard A. Hoefer, D.O. FACS. and his surgical oncology team), EVMS, George Mason University (Emanuel F. Petricoin Ph.D. and his kinomic team), and Virginia Oncology Associates (Michael A. Danso, M.D. and his medical oncology team), Dr. Tang and this large-scale multi-institutional team are developing and validating SIAHON/OFF binary code as a tumor-specific, therapy-responsive, prognostic and predictive biomarker to risk stratify patients, detect cancer disparity, identify chemo-resistant tumor clones, forecast early tumor relapse, and predict patient survival in the clinic. Supported by NIH/DOD/AACR/CRCF/DGH grants, Dr. Tang and her team are developing an innovative targeted therapy to eradicate and conquer intractable human malignancies by conducting preclinical and clinical studies. Dr. Tang and her research team aim to translate these promising results to the clinic to benefit patients with multidrug-resistant, relapsed, and metastatic cancer who are facing poor prognoses and reduced survival. Together, we aim to work with our colleagues at VCU-Massey Cancer Center-Sentara Cancer Network-EVMS-VOA-GMU-Mayo Clinic to make a difference, save more lives, and change the landscape for patients with cancer in Virginia in the future.

Dr. Tang received a B.S. in Biophysics from Fudan University in China in 1987 and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Pennsylvania State University in 1994. She completed her postdoctoral training at UC Berkeley and Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) in 2002. Dr. Tang worked as a Tenure-Track Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery at the Mayo Clinic for eight years before joining EVMS in 2010.

Publications and Projects

For a complete list of publications, visit Dr. Tang’s profile at Researchers@EVMS.

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