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Yung-Chi Cheng PhD

Henry Bronson Professor of Pharmacology; Chairman, Consortium for the Globalization of Chinese Medicine (CGCM)

Research Interests

Cancer; Viral chemotherapy; Chinese herbs; Chinese medicine


Research Summary

Our laboratory focuses on cancer and viral chemotherapy. We are studying the functional roles and properties of virus-specific proteins in order to design selective antiviral compounds. Some anti-HIV drugs have selective action against mitochondrial DNA synthesis that could lead to toxicity. This observation offered the opportunity to develop new antiviral drugs without such side effects and to examine the role of mitochondrial DNA synthesis in nuclear DNA synthesis. A new class of biological active nucleoside analogs, L(-)nucleosides were discovered. Drug resistance is a critical issue in cancer chemotherapy.

Our laboratory is interested in exploring the mechanisms of drug resistance development, with a special emphasis on the process involved in DNA topoisomerase, targeting drugs and nucleoside analogs. The gene regulator and the inhibitors may not only have use as cancer chemotherapeutic agents, but also in controlling the development of drug resistance. Several novel compounds targeting on NF-KB were discovered by my laboratory and are currently being studied. To explore Chinese medicine for current clinical usage is also pursued.


Selected Publications

  • Uzuner H, Bauer R, Fan TP, Guo DA, Dias A, El-Nezami H, Efferth T, Williamson EM, Heinrich M, Robinson N, Hylands PJ, Hendry BM, Cheng YC, Xu Q.Traditional Chinese medicine research in the post-genomic era: good practice, priorities, challenges and opportunities. J Ethnopharmacol.(2012) Apr 10;140(3):458-68. PMCID: PMC22387462
  • Tsou LK, Chen CH, Dutschman GE, Cheng YC, Hamilton AD.Blocking HIV-1 entry by a gp120 surface binding inhibitor. Bioorg Med Chem Lett. (2012) May 1;22(9):3358-61.PMCID: PMC3640310
  • Tsou LK, Cheng Y, Cheng YC. Therapeutic development in targeting protein-protein interactions with synthetic topological mimetics. Curr Opin Pharmacol. (2012) Aug;12(4):403-7. PMCID: PMC3660839
  • Ye D, Shi Q, Leung CH, Kim SW, Park SY, Gullen EA, Jiang ZL, Zhu H, Morris-Natschke SL, Cheng YC, Lee KH.Antitumor agents 294. Novel E-ring-modified camptothecin-4├č-anilino-4'-O-demethyl-epipodophyllotoxin conjugates as DNA topoisomerase I inhibitors and cytotoxic agents. Bioorg Med Chem. (2012) Jul 15;20(14):4489-94. PMCID: PMC3389137
  • Rockwell S, Grove TA, Liu Y, Cheng YC, Higgins SA, Booth CJ. Preclinical studies of the Chinese Herbal Medicine formulation PHY906 (KD018) as a potential adjunct to radiation therapy. Int J Radiat Biol.( 2013) PMCID: PMC3660854.
  • Liu, S. H. & Cheng, Y. C. Old formula, new Rx: The journey of PHY906 as cancer adjuvant therapy. J Ethnopharmacol 140, 614-623, doi:10.1016/j.jep.2012.01.047 (2012).PMCID: PMC22326673

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