Yuan Chang, MD

  • Distinguished Professor, Department of Pathology
  • Member, Graduate Program in Microbiology and Immunology (PMI)
  • Member, Cellular and Molecular Pathology Graduate Program

Education & Training

  • MD, University of Utah
  • BS, Stanford University

Research Interests

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.