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Shaomeng Wang, PhD

Warner-Lambert/Parke-Davis Professor in Medicine
Professor of Medicine, Pharmacology and Medicinal Chemistry
Co-Director, Molecular Therapeutics Program
Director, Cancer Drug Discovery Program
University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center
Ann Arbor, Michigan

Current Research

  • Seeking effective therapies for triple negative breast cancer.

  • Two newly developed drugs are advancing to clinical trials in patients with advanced breast cancer; Efforts are ongoing to identify novel compounds for clinical development.

  • Dr. Wang's drug development efforts hold promise for new treatment options for patients suffering from triple negative breast cancer.

Immunotherapy, in particular PD-L1/PD-1- targeted therapy, has shown clinical benefit in a small portion of breast cancer patients. Novel combination strategies may significantly enhance the therapeutic efficacy of these agents and benefit breast cancer patients who don't respond to current immunotherapy. Dr. Wang is conducting studies to test two novel anticancer drugs currently in clinical development in combination with anti-PD-L1 therapy.  

Full Research Summary

Dr. Wang is leading a team of scientists to design and develop a class of completely new anti-cancer drugs that cause breast cancer cells to die by a process called "programmed cell death".

Programmed cell death is a natural process that maintains the health of a tissue by activating signals in old, damaged, or unneeded cells and induce these cells to commit a type of suicide. Being able to avoid this death signal is a hallmark of cancer cells that allows them to continue to multiply, grow and form tumors in an uninhibited manner. 

With the support of BCRF, Dr. Wang has brought into clinical development two highly potent, targeted, anticancer drugs for the treatment of advanced (metastatic) breast cancer. Both new drugs have shown promising potential for the treatment of triple-negative breast cancer in laboratory studies. 

Dr. Wang hopes to provide a solid preclinical rationale to advance these new drugs into the clinic for the treatment of patients with advanced breast cancer.


Dr. Shaomeng Wang's primary research interest is the discovery and development of novel small-molecule therapeutics for the treatment of human breast cancer and other types of cancer focusing on targeting apoptosis and epigenetics pathways. Dr. Wang has built a comprehensive drug discovery program at the University of Michigan and has advanced four novel anticancer drugs into clinical development and several additional compounds into IND-enabling studies. Dr. Wang has published over 250 manuscripts and is an inventor of more than 50 patents and patent applications.

Dr. Wang's research program consists of three research laboratories. The computational/informatics laboratory has the expertise in lead identification and lead optimization using structure-based methods and informatics. The chemistry laboratory has the capability of synthesizing complex small molecule ligands. The biology/biochemistry/pharmacology laboratory has the capability and expertise for assay development, in-depth molecular mechanism studies and evaluations of the biological activity of new compounds in relevant biochemical assays and laboratory models of human cancer, as well as in vivo pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamic analysis of these compounds.

Large Researcher Headshot - Wang Shaomeng

BCRF Investigator Since


Donor Recognition

The Blizzard Entertainment Award

Area(s) of Focus