Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Fan Lab

Yi Fan, M.D., Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

Fan picture

University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Department of Radiation Oncology
Smilow Center for Translational Research
3400 Civic Center Blvd. 8-132
Philadelphia, PA 19104-5156
(215) 989-9291
Fan CV

Description of Research Expertise

Research Interests
The role of tumor microenvironment in tumor progression and therapeutic resistance with a
focus on vascular niche.

Key Words
Endothelial cells, cancer stem cells, angiogenesis, endothelial-mesenchymal transition,
macrophage transition, metabolic dysfunction, translational control, brain tumor, and lung

Description of Research
Tumors have been recognized as organ-like tissues of extreme complexity. Stromal cells,
extracellular matrix, and soluble factors constitute the microenvironment that fuels tumor
progression and fosters therapeutic resistance. Overgrown, topologically and structurally
abnormal blood vessels characterize the microenvironment of most highly malignant solid
tumors including brain tumor and lung cancer. The newly formed vasculature creates an
aberrant “vascular niche” that regulates the proliferation, apoptosis, differentiation, and
migration of tumor cells, cancer stem cells, and immune cells. Our studies focus on the
interaction of vascular endothelial cells with cancer stem cells and immune cells, which
promotes tumor progression, induces therapeutic resistance, and protects tumor from host
immunity. We employ various approaches and methods of biochemistry and biophysics,
molecular and cellular biology, and genetics of vertebrate models including zebrafish and
mouse, to dissect the convergent and divergent regulatory pathways. The long-term objective
of our laboratory is to identify the key mechanisms that control vascular niche-mediated
cancer development, as well as to develop new vasculotherapies for the treatment of brain
tumor and lung cancer.
Main research area includes (1) Vascular abnormity mediated by endothelial-mesenchymal
transition, (2) Vascular niche for the maintenance of stemness in cancer stem cells, (3)
Translational control in cancer stem cells, and (4) Metabolic dysfunction in tumor-associated
endothelial cells.

Fan Lab

  • Yi Fan, M.D., Ph.D.

  • Peihong Ma (Lab Manager)

  • Richard Alan Mitteer (Research Specialist)

  • Menggui Huang (Postdoctoral Fellow)

  • Qirui Wang (Postdoctoral Fellow)

  • Peiqiang Cai (Visiting Scholar)


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