Suming Huang, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

College of Medicine

2017 Awardee

Suming Huang studies the way genes regulate the process of creating new blood cells in the body, and the circumstances in which this process may become abnormal.

“My current research interests are initiated by my curiosity of how enhancers and promoters cooperate to stimulate gene expression,” Huang said.

Specifically, Huang seeks to identify which of these gene networks and their disruptions can cause diseases such as anemia, leukemia and solid tumors. Certain genes, for example, have the potential to not only cause cancer, but affect corresponding treatment as well.

Huang and his lab intend to shed light on the formation of key chromatin (DNA/histone complex) structures, gene transcription, self-renewal and the differentiation potential of blood stem cells, which define the identity of cells during development.

“Our studies not only increase knowledge about blood stem cell function and blood developmental processes, but also provide new strategies for manipulating these cells that will benefit stem cell therapy,” Huang said.

Huang has published 58 peer-reviewed research articles in high-impact journals including Blood, Leukemia, PLoS Genetics, Nucleic Acid Research, Genome Research, Oncogene, Cancer Research, PNAS, Cell Reports, Genes & Development and Nature Communications. His research has been supported by four NIH R01 grants, one NIH R56 grant, one NIH ARRA supplement grant, one Bankhead-Coley Cancer Research grant and one AHA grant. He is also the co-PI for three NIH R01 grants. Huang’s research projects have generated more than $5.4 million in funding.