Wen-Chi Chang, PhD

Wen-Chi Chang, MD

Associate Research Professor

Lab Overview

My research continues to focus on the chemoprevention and early detection of colorectal cancer. Chemoprevention is a unique and promising strategy for reducing cancer risk through the administration of synthetic or dietary compounds. Further development of this important concept relies on the identification of compounds that have low toxicity and an understanding of their mechanisms of action. Routine administration of a dietary supplement or drug that provides high-risk individuals with protection against cancer could significantly affect tumor incidence, mortality and morbidity.

It has been shown that reductions in colorectal cancer incidence can be achieved through early detection and removal of adenomas prior to their potential progression to adenocarcinomas. Unfortunately, even with colonoscopy, approximately 22% of colorectal neoplasms remain undetected. One of my research goals is to apply our understanding of basic tumor biology to the development of improved strategies for detecting early colonic lesions, especially those that escape identification using current endoscopic techniques.

Educational Background

  • PhD, Nutrition, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, 1997
  • MS, Nutrition, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX , 1992
  • BS, Nutrition, Providence University, Taiwan , 1988

Research Interests

  • Examining molecular alterations underlying colitis-associated colorectal carcinogeneisis in a mouse model of induced colitis.
  • Assessing the ability of chemopreventive agents to inhibit tumor formation in vivo and to modulate biomarker levels in select tissues.
  • Examining the feasibility of using novel image probes to detect colonic adenomas.

Selected Publications

Xu J, Cortellino S, Tricarico R, Chang WC, Scher G, Devarajan K, Slifker M, Moore R, Bassi MR, Caretti E, Clapper M, Cooper H, Bellacosa A. Thymine DNA Glycosylase (TDG) is involved in the pathogenesis of intestinal tumors with reduced APC expression. Oncotarget, 8(52):89988-97, 2017. PMC5685726

Chang W-C, Zenser TV, Cooper HS, Clapper ML. Differential response of flat and polypoid colitis-associated colorectal neoplasias to chemopreventive agents and heterocyclic amines. Cancer Lett. 2013 Jun 28;334(1):62-8. PubMed PMID: 23415736; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3770752. PubMed

Li N, Xi Y, Tinsley HN, Gurpinar E, Gary BD, Zhu B, Li Y, Chen X, Keeton AB, Abadi AH, Moyer MP, Grizzle WE, Chang W-C, Clapper ML, and Piazza GA. 2013. Sulindac selectively inhibitis colon tumor cell growth by activating the cGMP/PKG pathway to suppress Wnt/b-catenin signaling. Mol. Cancer Ther. 12:1848-1859, 2013. PMCID: PMC3800150. PubMed

Lubert RA, Clapper ML, McCormick DL, Pereira MA, Chang W-C, Steele,VE, Fischer SM, Juliana MM, Grubbs CJ. Chemopreventive efficacy of Targretin in rodent models of urinary bladder, colon/intestine, head and neck, and mammary cancers. Oncology Reports 27:1400-1406, 2012.(Epub2012) PMID: 22307264. PubMed

Foreman JE, Chang W-C, Palkar PS, Zhu B, Borland MG, Williams JL, Kramer LR, Clapper ML, Gonzalez FJ, Peters JM. Functional characterization of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-b/d expression in colon cancer. Mol. Carcinog., 50:884-900, 2011.PMCID: PMC3482838. PubMed

Clapper ML, Hensley HH, Chang W-C, Devarajan K, Nguyen MT, Cooper HS. Detection of colorectal adenomas using a bioactivatable probe specific for matrix metalloproteinase activity. Neoplasia. 2011 Aug;13(8):685-91. PubMed PMID: 21847360; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3156659. PubMed

Hensley HH, Merkel CE, Chang W-C, Devarajan K, Cooper HS, Clapper ML. Endoscopic imaging and size estimation of colorectal adenomas in the multiple intestinal neoplasia mouse. Gastrointest Endosc. 2009 Mar;69(3 Pt 2):742-9. PubMed PMID: 19251020; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2821747. PubMed

Clapper ML, Gary MA, Coudry RA, Litwin S, Chang W-C, Devarajan K, Lubet RA, Cooper HS. 5‑aminosalicylic acid inhibits colitis-associated colorectal dysplasias in the mouse model of azoxymethane/dextran sulfate sodium-induced colitis. Inflamm. Bowel Dis. 2008 14:1341-1347. PubMed PMID: 18452197. PubMed

Cooper HS, Chang W-C, Coudry R, Gary MA, Everley L, Spittle CS, Wang H, Litwin S, Clapper ML. Generation of a unique strain of multiple intestinal neoplasia (Apc+/Min-FCCC) mice with significantly increased numbers of colorectal adenomas. Mol Carcinog. 2005 Sep;44(1):31-41. PubMed PMID: 15937958. PubMed

Chang W-C, Everley LC, Pfeiffer II GR, Cooper HS, Barusevicius A, Clapper ML. Sulindac sulfone is most effective in modulating b‑catenin-mediated transcription in cells with mutant APC. Ann. NY Acad. Sci., 1059:41-55, 2005. PubMed PMID: 16382042 PubMed

Hensley HH, Chang W-C, Clapper ML. Detection and volume determination of colonic tumors in Min mice by magnetic resonance micro-imaging. Magn Reson Med. 2004 Sep;52(3):524-9. PubMed PMID: 15334570. PubMed

Clapper ML, Coudry J, Chang W-C. 2004. b‑catenin-mediated signaling: A molecular target for early chemopreventive intervention. Mutation Res. 555: 97-105. PubMed PMID: 15476853 PubMed

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