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1989 …2024

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Personal profile


Dr. Tan obtained his B. Sc and Ph.D. at the National University of Singapore. For his Ph.D. thesis, he studied the transcriptional regulation of the Human Papillomavirus type-16 under the mentorship of Dr. Hans-Ulrich Bernard. He trained as a post-doctoral fellow with Dr. Mary Dasso at the NICHD, NIH, where he characterized the functional role of SUMO isopeptidase, SUSP1, in the formation of nuclear bodies. He began his research in prostate cancer with Dr. Marja Nevalainen at Georgetown University, and later at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.

At the CPDR, Dr. Tan led research that highlighted the role of ERG in blocking the differentiation of prostate epithelial cells while promoting EMT by repressing ANXA2 transcription and demonstrated the association of ANXA2 expression with higher grade and stage. These findings explain the reciprocal correlation of ERG and ANXA2 expression in prostate tumors, and suggest the potential use of ANXA2 as in the prognostic stratification of prostate cancer. He spearheaded the design, and subsequent validation and characterization of a highly specific monoclonal antibody (mAb) to detect ERG oncoprotein in prostate cancer. Application of the mAb in IHC simplified the confirmation of TMPRSS2-ERG fusion status. The mAb has been used to establish the clonal progression of ERG-positive tumors, stratify prostate cancer by ERG status, and detect ERG in vascular endothelial tumors.

His ongoing research focuses on identifying genomic signatures that contribute to ethnic disparity of prostate cancer, particularly among African American men who have higher prostate cancer incidence and mortality rates but are underrepresented in cancer research. Under the APOLLO Cancer Moonshot initiative, he co-leads a multi-disciplinary team to evaluate the proteo-genomics of prostate cancer. The goal is to identify early predictive proteogenomic signatures, biomarkers or therapeutic targets of metastatic progression that differentiate prostate cancers of African American and Caucasian American men.

Beyond the profiling of genome-wide alterations and changes in the global proteome, he is using novel approaches to understand the mechanisms underlying intratumoral heterogeneity and phenotypic diversity of prostate cancer. Ongoing projects include evaluating dysregulation of cancer driver genes and immune biomarker profiles in the tumor microenvironment using digital spatial profiling techniques, examining the role of epigenomic reprogramming in regulating EMT of prostate cancer cells and tumor progression, and integrating analyses of digital pathology, proteogenomics, and clinico-pathology data by using deep learning tools to predict survival and identify cancer subtypes.

Education/Academic qualification

Molecular Biology, PhD, National University of Singapore

Award Date: 11 Jul 1996


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