Yuan Chang, MD

Yuan Chang, MD


1.8 Hillman Cancer Center
5117 Center Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15232

Ph: 412-623-7716

Fax: 412-623-7715



  • MD, University of Utah
  • BS, Stanford University

Academic Affiliation

Distinguished Professor, Department of Pathology

Co-Director, Tumor Virology Laboratory, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute

Member, Graduate Program in Microbiology and Immunology (PMI)

Member, Cellular and Molecular Pathology Graduate Program

About Research

Our laboratory performs basic and applied research on viral oncogenesis with efforts focused in three areas.

1. Merkel cell carcinoma and Merkel cell polyomavirus.  We recently discovered a new human polyomavirus, that we call Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCV).  This virus is etiologically associated with a rare, but one of the most clinically aggressive skin cancers in humans.  We are involved in the primary characteristics of this virus including transcript mapping, transforming properties, origin replication, transmission, and seroepidemiologic studies.

2. Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus.  We are investigating biologic properties of KSHV, the eighth human herpesvirus, also identified in our laboratory.  KSHV causes Kaposi’s sarcoma, the most common AIDS-associated malignancy as well as a B-cell lymphoma.  Through extensive molecular piracy, the virus has incorporated numerous genes which affect cell proliferation pathways, apoptosis, cell cycle regulation and immune modulation. 

3. New Pathogen Discovery.  We continue to be interested in the search for new pathogens in human diseases and have developed new methodologies which utilize information gained from the Human Genome Project as well as advanced sequencing technologies.

Lab Personnel

Masahiro Shuda, Ph.D., Assistant Research Professor
Huichen Feng, Ph.D., Research Associate
HyunJin Kwun, Ph.D., Research Associate
Tuna Toptan, M.D., Ph.D., Postdoctoral Associate
Lindsay Dresang, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Associate

Areas of Interest

Our lab investigates mechanisms of viral oncogenesis using two human tumor viruses we discovered, KSHV and MCV.  We are also interested in new human pathogen discovery.

Selected Publications

Clonal integration of a polyomavirus in human Merkel cell carcinoma

Viral IL-6-induced cell proliferation and immune evasion of interferon activity

Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus encodes a functional bcl-2 homologue

Angiogenic and HIV-inhibitory functions of KSHV-encoded chemokines

Molecular mimicry of human cytokine and cytokine response pathway genes by KSHV

Cyclin encoded by KS herpesvirus

Identification of herpesvirus-like DNA sequences in AIDS-associated Kaposi's sarcoma