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Posted: January 18th, 2013
On January 16, colleagues from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and the MetroHealth System celebrated the creation of the John and Josephine Wootton Professorship in Research and the inaugural appointment of its holder, Bingcheng Wang, PhD.
Dr. Wang was recruited to the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in 1997 and is a professor of Medicine and Pharmacology and a member of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. He also is an adjunct Professor of Chemistry at Cleveland State University and a Professor and Trainer in the Molecular Medicine Program at the Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine (CCLCM).
The professorship was established by John and Josephine Wootton through a generous bequest gift of more than $1 million. The couple wished to advance research in the field of stroke and prostate cancer.
"Dr. Wang's efforts to understand the molecular pathways associated with cancer metastasis hold promise for finding ways to stop the migration of cancer cells through the body, which would be an extraordinary accomplishment," said Case Western Reserve School of Medicine Dean Pamela B. Davis. "I believe our professorship's namesakes, John and Josephine Wootton, would be very proud to have their names connected to this important work."
Dr. Wang's laboratory focuses on the cell regulation by Eph receptors and their ligands called ephrins in development and diseases. Dr. Wang is an internationally recognized leader in elucidating the unique properties of the Eph/ephrin system in fundamental biological processes. His research has established the critical roles of Eph receptors in diverse physiological and disease processes including kidney development, pathogenesis of human cataract, as well as distant metastasis of multiple types of human cancer. His research has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense, and a number of private foundations. A strong believer in basic research, Dr. Wang also has been interested in translating basic research to drug development, which has led to the discovery of several novel agents that can suppress tumor metastasis.
As an active member in the academic communities at MetroHealth Medical Center, Case Western Reserve School of Medicine and Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, Dr. Wang applies his service to multiple committees, teaches in the classroom and lab and has mentored multiple junior faculty members.
Dr. Wang received his Bachelor of Science in chemistry from Nanjing University in 1982 and came to the United States in 1984 on a scholarship sponsored by the Education Ministry of China. In 1991, he earned his PhD in Toxicology and Oncology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he studied the roles of oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes in breast cancer. For postdoctoral training, he joined the laboratory of Dr. Erkki Ruoslahti in 1991 at the La Jolla Cancer Research Foundation (currently known as The Sanford-Burnham Institute) focusing on integrin signaling and cancer drug discovery.