Zigang Dong - The Hormel Institute Zigang Dong, M.D., Dr. PH.D - The Hormel Institute


Cellular & Molecular Biology

Zigang Dong, M.D., Dr. Ph.D.
McKnight Presidential Professor in Cancer Prevention
Hormel-Knowlton Professor



Cancer is one of the leading causes of human death worldwide. By focusing on
its molecular mechanisms, we can continue to discover key molecular events
in cancer development, as well as agents for cancer prevention and therapy.


1978 – 1983 M.D., Department of Medicine, Henan Medical University, P.R. China
1983 – 1986 M.S., Department of Pathophysiology, Henan Medical University, P.R. China
1987 – 1991 Dr. P.H., Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York

Positions and Honors

1991 – 1995 Postdoctoral Fellow, PRI/DynCorp, NCI-Frederick Cancer Research & Development Center, Frederick, MD
1992 – 1995 Group Leader, PRI/DynCorp, NCI-Frederick Cancer Research & Development Center, Frederick, MD
1995 – 1997 Assistant Professor, The Hormel Institute, University of Minnesota, Austin, MN
1998 – 1999 Associate Professor, The Hormel Institute, University of Minnesota, Austin, MN
1997 – present Full Member, Cancer Center, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
2000 – present Full Professor, The Hormel Institute, University of Minnesota, Austin, MN
2001 – present Executive Director, The Hormel Institute, University of Minnesota, Austin, MN
2009 – present Professor with tenure, Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics, University of Minnesota
2014 – present Director of China-U.S. Hormel Cancer Institute, Zhengzhou, China (Henan)

Awards, Honors and other Scientific Recognition

1999 The Gallo Award, The Cancer Institute of New Jersey
2000 Alice Hamilton Award, Biological Science category, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for research presented in JBC 274: 30611-30616, 1999 (Publication # HI 1442)
2000 – present Honorary Professor, The Fourth Military Medical University, Xian, Shanxi, P.R. China
2000 – 2006 Guest Professor, The First Military Medical University, GuangZhou, GuangDong, P.R. China
2001 – present Hormel/Knowlton Professor, The Hormel Institute, University of Minnesota
2001 – present Board Member, The Hormel Foundation, Austin, MN
2005 – 2013 Member of selection panel on Changjiang Scholars (Changjiang Special Professor and Chair Professor) of Minister of Education, Chinese Government, P.R. China
2006 – present University of Minnesota McKnight Presidential Professor in Cancer Prevention
2008 – 2014 National Institutes of Health Merit Award
2010 – present Internal Advisory Committee, Center for Translational Science Activities, Mayo Clinic
2010 World Class Professor, Seoul National University, South Korea
2011 – 2015 External Steering Panel for the Division of Cancer Prevention, NCI, NIH
2011 Oh Dang Award, The Pharmaceutical Society of Korea, South Korea
2012 Stars in Nutrition and Cancer Lecturer Award, Division of Cancer Prevention, NCI, NIH
2013 – present I.J. Holton Professor, The Hormel Institute, University of Minnesota
2013 International Science and Technology Collaboration Award, Hunan, China
2014 Yellow River Friendship Award, China


1988 – present American Association for Cancer Research
1995 – present American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Editorial Work

2004 – 2008 Carcinogenesis: Editorial Board member
2003 – 2010 Journal of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology: Overseas Editor
2005 – present Molecular Carcinogenesis: Associate Editor
2003 – present Biofactors: Editorial Board member
2006 – present International Journal of Biological Sciences: Editorial Board member
2007 – 2013 Cancer Research: Editor
2008 – 2015 Cancer Prevention Research: Editorial Board member
2015 – present Cancer Prevention Research: Senior Editor
2010 – 2014 Carcinogenesis: Editorial Board member
2011 – present The Journal of Biological Chemistry, Editorial Board member
2014 – present EBioMedicine Editorial Board member
2016 – present Nature Partner Journal: Precision Oncology: Editor-in-Chief

Research Interests

  • Molecular mechanisms of carcinogenesis and prevention of cancer
  • Targeting protein kinases and transcription factors for cancer prevention and therapy
  • Ultraviolet, arsenic and other environmental human carcinogen-induced signal transduction and carcinogenesis
  • Signal transduction pathways (MAP kinases, S6 kinases) and transcriptional factors (AP-1, NF-B, NFAT, p53) in development, and disease
  • Molecular mechanisms of chemopreventive effect of tea polyphenols, resveratrol, aspirin, retinoids, myo-inositol, inositol hexaphosphate, and other natural compounds
  • Cancer prevention trials with human population: skin, stomach, and esophageal cancers.


400. Sun G, Zheng Z, Lee MH, Xu Y, Kang S, Dong Z, Wang M, Gu Z, Li H, Chen W. Chemoprevention of Colorectal Cancer by Artocarpin, a Dietary Phytochemical from Artocarpusheterophyllus. J Agric Food Chem. 2017 May 3;65(17):3474-3480. doi: 10.1021/acs.jafc.7b00278. Epub 2017 Apr 18.

401. Xiao T, Zhu JJ, Huang S, Peng C, He S, Du J, Hong R, Chen X, Bode AM, Jiang W, Dong Z, Zheng D.Phosphorylation of NFAT3 by CDK3 induces cell transformation and promotes tumor growth in skin cancer. Oncogene. 2017 May 18;36(20):2835-2845. doi: 10.1038/onc.2016.434. Epub 2016 Nov 28.

402. Yamamoto H, Ryu J, Min E, Oi N, Bai R, Zykova TA, Yu DH, Moriyama K, Bode AM, Dong Z. TRAF1 Is Critical for DMBA/Solar UVR-Induced Skin Carcinogenesis. J Invest Dermatol. 2017 Jun;137(6):1322-1332. doi: 10.1016/j.jid.2016.12.026. Epub 2017 Jan 25.

403. Yu X, Li W, Deng Q, You S, Liu H, Peng S, Liu X, Lu J, Luo X, Yang L, Tang M, Weng X, Yi W, Liu W, Wu S, Ding Z, Feng T, Zhou J, Fan J, Bode AM, Dong Z, Liu J, Cao Y. Neoalbaconol inhibits angiogenesis and tumor growth by suppressing EGFR-mediated VEGFproduction. Mol Carcinog. 2017 May;56(5):1414-1426. doi: 10.1002/mc.22602.

404. Zykova TA, Zhu F, Wang L, Li H, Bai R, Lim DY, Yao K, Bode AM, Dong Z. The T-LAK Cell-originated Protein Kinase Signal Pathway Promotes Colorectal Cancer Metastasis. EBioMedicine. 2017 Apr;18:73-82. doi: 10.1016/j.ebiom.2017.04.003. Epub 2017 Apr 6.

405. Lim TG, Lee SY, Duan Z, Lee MH, Chen H, Liu F, Liu K, Jung SK, Kim DJ, Bode AM, Lee KW, Dong Z. The Prolyl Isomerase Pin1 Is a Novel Target of 6,7,4′-Trihydroxyisoflavone for Suppressing Esophageal Cancer Growth. Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2017 May;10(5):308-318. doi: 10.1158/1940-6207. Epub 2017 Mar 21.

406. Lim TG, Kim YA, Kim JE, Baek S, Lee SY, Lee CC, Chen H, Kim JR, Kwon JY, Bode AM, Lee CY, Dong Z, Oh DK, Park JS, Lee KW. PKCι is a target of 7,8,4′-trihydroxyisoflavone for the suppression of UVB-induced MMP-1 expression. Exp Dermatol. 2017 Apr 28. doi: 10.1111/exd.13375. [Epub ahead of print]

407. Oi N, Yamamoto H, Langfald A, Bai R, Lee MH, Bode AM, Dong Z. LTA4H regulates cell cycle and skin carcinogenesis. Carcinogenesis. 2017 Jul 1;38(7):728-737. doi: 10.1093/carcin/bgx049

408. Gao G, Zhang T, Wang Q, Reddy K, Chen H, Yao K, Wang K, Roh E, Zykova T, Ma W, Ryu J, Curiel-Lewandrowski C, Alberts D, Dickinson SE, Bode AM, Xing Y, Dong Z. ADA-07 Suppresses Solar Ultraviolet-Induced Skin Carcinogenesis by Directly Inhibiting TOPK. Mol Cancer Ther. 2017 Sep;16(9):1843-1854. doi: 10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-17-0212. Epub 2017 Jun 27.

409. Zeng L, Luo S, Li X, Lu M, Li H, Li T, Wang G, Lyu X, Jia W, Dong Z, Jiang Q, Shen Z, Huang GL, He Z. Functional PIN1 promoter polymorphisms associated with risk of nasopharyngeal carcinoma in Southern Chinese populations. Sci Rep. 2017 Jul 4;7(1):4593. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-04156-z.

410. Chen L, Bode AM, Dong Z. Circulating Tumor Cells: Moving Biological Insights into Detection. Theranostics. 2017 Jun 25;7(10):2606-2619. doi: 10.7150/thno.18588. eCollection 2017. Review.

411. Shi Y, Liu X, Fredimoses M, Song M, Chen H, Liu K, Lee MH, Dong Z. FGFR2 regulation by picrasidine Q inhibits the cell growth and induces apoptosis in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma. J Cell Biochem. 2017 Aug 31. doi: 10.1002/jcb.26385. [Epub ahead of print]

412. Jin G, Yao K, Guo Z, Zhao Z, Liu K, Liu F, Chen H, Gorja DR, Reddy K, Bode AM, Dong Z, Dong Z. APIO-EE-9 is a novel Aurora A and B antagonist that suppresses esophageal cancer growth in a PDX mouse model. Oncotarget. 2017 Jun 16;8(32):53387-53404. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.18508. eCollection 2017 Aug 8.

413. Kim DJ, Lee MH, Liu K, Lim DY, Roh E, Chen H, Kim SH, Shim JH, Kim MO, Li W, Ma F, Fredimoses M, Bode AM, Dong Z. Herbacetin suppresses cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma cell growth by targeting AKT and ODC. Carcinogenesis. 2017 Oct 26;38(11):1136-1146. doi: 10.1093/carcin/bgx082.

414. Shin SH, Lim DY, Reddy K, Malakhova M, Liu F, Wang T, Song M, Chen H, Bae KB, Ryu J, Liu K, Lee MH, Bode AM, Dong Z. A Small Molecule Inhibitor of the β-Catenin-TCF4 Interaction Suppresses Colorectal Cancer Growth In Vitro and In Vivo. EBioMedicine. 2017 Sep 27. pii: S2352-3964(17)30383-3. doi: 10.1016/j.ebiom.2017.09.029. [Epub ahead of print]

415. Lee KY, Jeon YJ, Kim HG, Ryu J, Lim DY, Jung SK, Yu DH, Chen H, Bode AM, Dong Z. The CUG-37
translated WT1, not AUG-WT1, is an oncogene. Carcinogenesis. 2017 Oct 10. doi: 10.1093/carcin/bgx108. [Epub ahead of print]

416. Kim JE, Lee SY, Jang M, Choi HK, Kim JH, Chen H, Lim TG, Dong Z, Lee KW. Coumestrol Epigenetically Suppresses Cancer Cell Proliferation: Coumestrol Is a Natural Haspin Kinase Inhibitor. Int J Mol Sci. 2017 Oct 24;18(10). pii: E2228. doi: 10.3390/ijms18102228.

417. Yao K, Peng C, Zhang Y, Zykova T, Lee MH, Lee SY, Rao E, Chen H, Ryu J, Wang L, Zhang Y, Gao G, He W, Ma WY, Liu K, Bode AM, Dong Zim, Li B, Dong Z. RSK2 phosphorylates T-bet to attenuate colon cancer metastasis and growth. PNAS. 2017 Oct. In print.

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Contact Information

Primary Research Areas

  • Discovery of key molecular events in cancer development and metastasis
  • Discovery of novel targets and agents for skin cancer prevention and therapy.
  • Discovery of novel agents for lung cancer prevention and therapy.
  • Discovery of novel targets and agents for inhibition of esophageal cancer
    and colon cancer.