Dr. Zhiqiang An joined the University of Texas Health Science Center at
Houston in 2009 after more than 15 years in the biotechnology and
pharmaceutical industry. He is appointed Professor of Molecular
Medicine, the Robert A. Welch Distinguished University Chair in
Chemistry, and Director of the Texas Therapeutics Institute (TTI) at the
Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine. Previously, he served as Chief Scientific
Officer at Epitomics, Inc. and was Director of the Biologics Research at
Merck Research Laboratories. He started his biotech/pharmaceutical
career at Millennium Pharmaceuticals where he worked in the field of
biocombinatorial natural products drug discovery using microbial
molecular genetics and engineering approaches. Dr. An received his Ph.D.
degree from the University of Kentucky, Lexington, and his postdoctoral
training at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Dr. An is studying the cancer drug resistance mechanisms in the human
epidermal growth factor receptor (HER/ErbB) signaling pathways using
monoclonal antibodies as platform technology. Drug resistance is often a
limiting factor for clinical efficacy of existing cancer therapies.
Growing evidence indicates that HER3/ErbB3 plays an important role in
the overall HER signaling pathway and in drug resistance. Currently,
there are no HER3-targeting therapies and clinical development of HER3
therapeutics is limited. By employing in vitro, in vivo, and clinical
approaches, he is studying the molecular basis of physiological and
pathophysiological states of the HER3 mediated signaling cascade. The
proteolytic process mediated by proteases including matrix
metalloproteinases (MMPs) in the tumor microenvironment plays a critical
role in tumor growth, invasion, metastasis, and cancer drug resistance.
The molecular mechanisms underlining the complex roles of proteases in
cancer biology are currently poorly understood. Recent studies suggest
that proteases in tumor microenvironment may invade host
immunosurveillance by cleavage of antibodies or shedding cell surface
receptors to allow cancer cells to escape immune response. We are
studying the interactions between proteases and anti-tumor antibodies in
the tumor microenvironment to delineate the roles of proteases play in
tumor resistance to antibody immune therapies.
Search PubMed for Dr. An's publications.