Department of Cell and Cancer Biology

Shang su, Ph.D.

Research Assistant Professor


B.S. 2011 Biological Sciences   Tsinghua University, Beijing, China
Ph.D. 2019 Cell Biology  Tsinghua University, Bejing, China


My current research mainly focuses on deciphering the underlying mechanisms of tumor dormancy, tumor progression, and drug resistance in prostate cancer bone metastases and developing novel agents to target vital players involved in these biological processes. I am also engaging the targeted protein degradation techniques such as proteolysis-targeting chimera (PROTAC) in prostate cancer studies to modulate the levels of key driver proteins. In collaboration with Dr. Li during my post-doctoral training, we discovered an AR-PTH1R-TGFBR2 axis that mediates the enzalutamide resistance in prostate cancer bone metastases. Specifically, androgen receptor (AR) blockade by enzalutamide induces PTH1R activation in osteoblasts, the key bone-forming cells in the bone microenvironment, which in turns trigger the degradation of TGFBR2 in osteoblasts and renders the resistance (Cancer Letters, 2021). We are now developing multi-modal approaches to target PTH1R to overcome enzalutamide resistance. We also discovered that surgical removal of primary prostate tumors, although reducing the overall tumor burden, resulted in the limited enrichment of disseminated tumor cells (DTCs) in the bone cortex and these DTCs were majorly dormant before progression into bone marrow. The osteoblasts are inducers of prostate cancer dormancy in the bone microenvironment through physical contact with the tumor cells and possibly by inhibiting the focal adhesion kinase activity to induce the dormancy. We are now conducting further investigations on how physical contact between the osteoblasts and DTCs induce the dormancy and how FAK is inhibited during this process.


Ongoing Research Support

Exploration Hypothesis Development Award: HT9425-23-1-0015
A CLOUD (CRISPR-Mediated Loci-Specific Unbiased Discovery) Atlas of Regulatory Binding Proteins for Driver Genes in Prostate Cancer Bone Metastases
Role: PI

Completed Research Support

          Link to Dr. Su's publications at
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Last Updated: 11/10/23