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Jae-Il Park, Ph.D.

Present Title & Affiliation

Primary Appointment

Associate Professor, Department of Experimental Radiation Oncology, Division of Radiation Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX

Research Interests

Our goal is to understand how Wnt signaling is associated with tumorigenesis, tissue homeostasis, and tissue regeneration.

  • Wnt Signaling and Cancer     Deregulated Wnt signaling leads to various human diseases including cancer. Elucidating the regulatory mechanisms of Wnt signaling to allow for its targeted manipulation will provide a milestone in cancer research. A complication is that Wnt signaling is indispensable to homeostasis of normal tissues Thus, the targeting of Wnt signaling regulators whose expression is specifically restricted to cancer provides an opportunity to minimize side effects (normal tissue damage). Using genetically engineered mouse models, we are studying the tumorigenic roles of these Wnt signaling regulators in vivo. 
  • Wnt Signaling and Stem Cells      Tissue stem cells are conditionally or constitutively activated during tissue regeneration and tissue homeostasis, respectively. We are studying how tissue stem cells are activated and repopulated into the progenitor and differentiated cells, using genetically engineered stem cell mouse models.

Office Address

Phone: 713-792-3659

Education & Training

Degree-Granting Education

2006 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, PHD, Genes and Development (advisor: Dr. Pierre D. McCrea)
2001 Korea University, Seoul, Korea, Republic of, MS, Molecular Biology (advisor: Dr. Sung-Gil Chi)
1999 Korea University, Seoul, Korea, Republic of, BS, Biology

Postgraduate Training

9/2006-7/2010 Postdoctoral Fellow, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, Dr. Steven E. Artandi
6/2006-9/2006 Postdoctoral Fellow, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, Dr. Pierre D. McCrea


Academic Appointments

Assistant Professor, Department of Experimental Radiation Oncology, Division of Radiation Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, 7/2010-8/2016

Other Appointments/Responsibilities

Regular member, Genes and Development Program, Houston, TX, 12/2014-present
Regular Member, The University of Texas - Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Houston, TX, 10/2010-present

Institutional Committee Activities

Faculty Senator, The Faculty Senate, 1/2016-present
Committee member, Admission Committee - The University of Texas - Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, 9/2015-present
Committee member, Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, 6/2015-present
Committee member, Faculty Academic Review Committee, 5/2015-present

Honors and Awards

2015 DOD CDMRP Career Development Award
2014 CPRIT Scholar
2011 AACR - Career Development Award, PANCAN
2011 CCSG New Faculty Award, MD Anderson Cancer Center
2011 Rising STARS Award, University of Texas
2008-2009 Stanford Comprehensive Cancer Center Fellowship, Stanford School of Medicine
2007 Dean's Fellowship, Stanford School of Medicine
2006 Grady Saunders Award, UT M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
2006 Presidents' Scholar Award, UT M. D. Anderson Cancer Center and UT Health Science Center
2005-2006 Rosalie B. Hite Fellowship, UT M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
2005 Research Achievement Award, UT M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
2004 Research Achievement Award, UT M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
1998 Best Honors Scholarships, Korea University

Professional Memberships

American Association for Cancer Research
Member, 2007-present
American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Rockville, MD
Member, 2013-present

Selected Publications

Peer-Reviewed Original Research Articles

1. Jun S, Jung YS, Suh HN, Wang W, Kim MJ, Oh YS, Lien EM, Shen X, Matsumoto Y, McCrea PD, Li L, Chen J, Park JI. LIG4 mediates Wnt signalling-induced radioresistance. Nat Commun 7:10994, 2016. e-Pub 3/24/2016. PMID: 27009971.
2. Wang X, Jung YS, Jun S, Lee S, Wang W, Schneider A, Sun Oh Y, Lin SH, Park BJ, Chen J, Keyomarsi K, Park JI. PAF-Wnt Signaling-Induced Cell Plasticity Is Required for Maintenance of Breast Cancer Cell Stemness. Nat Commun doi:10.1038/ncomms10633:10633, 2016. e-Pub 2/4/2016. PMCID: PMC4743006.
3. Jung YS, Jun S, Lee SH, Sharma A, Park JI. Wnt2 complements Wnt/β-catenin signaling in colorectal cancer. Oncotarget 6(35):37257-68, 11/2015. e-Pub 10/2015. PMID: 26484565.
4. Wang W, Li X, Lee M, Jun S, Aziz KE, Feng L, Tran MK, Li N, McCrea PD, Park JI, Chen J. FOXKs Promote Wnt/β-Catenin Signaling by Translocating DVL into the Nucleus. Dev Cell 32(6):707-18, 3/2015. PMID: 25805136.
5. Lee M, Ji H, Furuta Y, Park JI, McCrea PD. P120-catenin regulates REST/CoREST, and modulates mouse embryonic stem cell differentiation. J Cell Sci 127(Pt 18):4037-51, 9/15/2014. e-Pub 7/29/2014. PMCID: PMC4163646.
6. Jung HY, Jun S, Lee M, Kim HC, Wang X, Ji H, McCrea PD, Park JI. PAF and EZH2 Induce Wnt/β-Catenin Signaling Hyperactivation. Mol Cell 52(2):193-205, 10/2013. e-Pub 9/2013. PMCID: PMC4040269.
7. Jun S, Lee SH, Kim HC, Ng C, Schneider AM, Ji H, Ying H, Wang H, DePinho RA, Park JI. PAF-Mediated MAPK Signaling Hyperactivation via LAMTOR3 Induces Pancreatic Tumorigenesis. Cell Reports. e-Pub 10/2013. PMCID: PMC4157353.
8. Wang X, Singh S, Jung HY, Yang G, Jun S, Sastry KJ, Park JI. HIV-1 Vpr Inhibits Telomerase Activity Via EDD-DDB1-VPRB3 E3 Ligase Complex. J Biol Chem 288(22):15474-80, 5/31/2013. e-Pub 4/23/2013. PMCID: PMC3668709.
9. Jung HY, Wang X, Jun S, Park JI. Dyrk2-Associated EDD-DDB1-VprBP E3 Ligase Inhibits Telomerase by TERT Degradation. J Biol Chem. 1/2013. PMID: 23362280.
10. Hong JY, Park JI, Lee M, Muñoz WA, Miller RK, Ji H, Gu D, Sokol SY, McCrea PD. Down's-syndrome-related kinase Dyrk1A modulates the p120-catenin-Kaiso trajectory of the Wnt signaling pathway. J Cell Sci 125(Pt 3):561-9, 2012. PMID: 22389395.
11. Wang W, Huang J, Wang X, Yuan J, Li X, Feng L, Park JI, Chen J. PTPN14 is required for the density-dependent control of YAP1. Genes Dev. 26(17):1959-71, 9/2012. PMID: 22948661.
12. Hong JY, Park JI, Cho K, Gu D, Ji H, Artandi SE, McCrea PD. Shared molecular mechanisms regulate multiple catenin proteins: canonical Wnt signals and components modulate p120-catenin isoform-1 and additional p120 subfamily members. J Cell Sci 123(Pt 24):4351-4365, 12/2010. e-Pub 11/2010. PMID: 21098636.
13. Park JI, Venteicher AS, Hong JY, Choi J, Jun S, Shkreli M, Chang W, Meng Z, Cheung P, Ji H, McLaughlin M, Veenstra TD, Nusse R, McCrea PD, Artandi SE. Telomerase modulates Wnt signalling by association with target gene chromatin. Nature 460(7251):66-72, 7/2009. PMID: 19571879.
14. Lyons JP, Miller RK, Zhou X, Weidinger G, Deroo T, Denayer T, Park JI, Ji H, Hong JY, Li A, Moon RT, Jones EA, Vleminckx K, Vize PD, McCrea PD. Requirement of Wnt/beta-catenin signaling in pronephric kidney development. Mech Dev 126(3-4):142-59, Mar-Apr, 3/2009. e-Pub 12/2008. PMCID: PMC2684468.
15. Park JI, Ji H, Jun S, Gu D, Hikasa H, Li L, Sokol SY, McCrea PD. Frodo links Dishevelled to the p120-catenin/Kaiso pathway: distinct catenin subfamilies promote Wnt signals. Dev Cell 11(5):683-95, 11/2006. PMID: 17084360.
16. Park JI, Kim SW, Lyons JP, Ji H, Nguyen TT, Cho K, Barton MC, Deroo T, Vleminckx K, Moon RT, McCrea PD. Kaiso/p120-catenin and TCF/beta-catenin complexes coordinately regulate canonical Wnt gene targets. Dev Cell 8(6):843-54, 6/2005. PMID: 15935774.
17. Kim SW, Park JI, Spring CM, Sater AK, Ji H, Otchere AA, Daniel JM, McCrea PD. Non-canonical Wnt signals are modulated by the Kaiso transcriptional repressor and p120-catenin. Nat Cell Biol 6(12):1212-20, 12/2004. e-Pub 11/2004. PMID: 15543138.
18. Fang X, Ji H, Kim SW, Park JI, Vaught TG, Anastasiadis PZ, Ciesiolka M, McCrea PD. Vertebrate development requires ARVCF and p120 catenins and their interplay with RhoA and Rac. J Cell Biol 165(1):87-98, 4/2004. e-Pub 4/2004. PMCID: PMC2172091.
19. Park JI, Lee MG, Cho K, Park BJ, Chae KS, Byun DS, Ryu BK, Park YK, Chi SG. Transforming growth factor-beta1 activates interleukin-6 expression in prostate cancer cells through the synergistic collaboration of the Smad2, p38-NF-kappaB, JNK, and Ras signaling pathways. Oncogene 22(28):4314-32, 7/2003. PMID: 12853969.
20. Byun DS, Cho K, Ryu BK, Lee MG, Park JI, Chae KS, Kim HJ, Chi SG. Frequent monoallelic deletion of PTEN and its reciprocal associatioin with PIK3CA amplification in gastric carcinoma. Int J Cancer 104(3):318-27, 4/2003. PMID: 12569555.
21. Park BJ, Park JI, Byun DS, Park JH, Chi SG. Mitogenic conversion of transforming growth factor-beta1 effect by oncogenic Ha-Ras-induced activation of the mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling pathway in human prostate cancer. Cancer Res 60(11):3031-8, 6/2000. PMID: 10850453.
22. Kang MJ, Park BJ, Byun DS, Park JI, Kim HJ, Park JH, Chi SG. Loss of imprinting and elevated expression of wild-type p73 in human gastric adenocarcinoma. Clin Cancer Res 6(5):1767-71, 5/2000. PMID: 10815895.

Invited Articles

1. McCrea PD, Park JI. Developmental functions of the P120-catenin sub-family. Biochim Biophys Acta 1773(1):17-33, 1/2007. e-Pub 7/1/2006. PMID: 16942809.

Grant & Contract Support

Title: 15-LOX-1 Modulation of colon cancer promotion by Linoleic Acid
Funding Source: NIH/NCI
Role: Collaborator
Principal Investigator: Imad Shureiqi
Duration: 4/1/2016 - 3/31/2021
Title: Dissecting TMEM9, a Wnt Signaling Regulator of Colorectal Cancer
Funding Source: DOD/Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (DOD/CDMRP)
Role: Principal Investigator
Duration: 5/1/2015 - 4/30/2018
Title: Mechanisms of DHA and EPA Differential Effects on Colon Cancer Chemoprevention
Funding Source: Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT)
Role: Co-Investigator
Duration: 4/1/2015 - 3/31/2018
Title: Dissecting PAF, an Accelerator of Colorectal Cancer
Funding Source: NIH/NCI
Role: Principal Investigator
Duration: 3/9/2015 - 3/8/2020
Title: PAF, a Novel Wnt Signaling Regulator, in Colorectal Cancer
Funding Source: Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT)
Role: Principal Investigator
Duration: 9/1/2014 - 8/31/2017
Title: PPAR-delta Regulation of Wnt/B-catenin to Drive Colon Cancer
Funding Source: Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT)
Role: Co-Investigator
Principal Investigator: Imad Shureiqi
Duration: 9/1/2014 - 8/31/2017

Last updated: 9/1/2016