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Houston, Texas

CMB research is conducted at Baylor College of Medicine in the Texas Medical Center, Houston.
Integrative Molecular and Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program
not shown on screen

Eric C. Chang, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology,
The Breast Center
Ph.D., State University of New York at Buffalo
Postdoctoral, Cold Spring Harbor Lab, Molecular Biology & Genetics, Cold Spring Harbor, NY

Research Interests:

"My lab is interested in deciphering the functions of Ras GTPases. Ras proteins are biologically active when they are GTP-bound and inactive when they are GDP-bound. In response to cell signals, Ras proteins cycle between the GDP and GTP bound state, thus acting as binary switches that regulate a wide range of biological functions. Ras proteins play key roles in deciding whether a cell should divide or remain dormant or differentiate into another cell type. As the cancer cell frequently must tamper with these same programs that are controlled by Ras, mutations affecting Ras activities are among the most common genetic alterations in human tumors approximately 30% of all human tumors contain ras mutations, and in some tumors, such as colon and pancreatic tumors, frequencies of ras mutations are as high as 50 and 90%, respectively.

We carry out these studies using modern molecular and genetic tools in a wide range of model organisms (see the bottom of this page). We use the power of yeast genetics (the first three panels) to efficiently identify new components whose functions are evolutionarily conserved. Yeast cells divide every 3hrs and it takes only 5 days to knock out a gene. This system is best known for the discovery of CDK (Cyclin-Dependent Kinase), a universal machinery controlling cell division, by Paul Nurse, who received the Nobel Price for this pioneering study ( We are also working with mammalian cells (the last panel shows mammary epithelial cells form an acinus in 3D culture), and particularly breast cancer cells as they are the ultimate arenas where our models can be tested."

Selected Publications:

Onken, B., Weiner, H., Philips, M. Chang, E. C2006) Compartmentalized signaling of Ras in fission yeast.Proc.Natl Acad. Sci. USA. 103: 9045-9050.

Yen HC, Gordon C, Chang EC. (2003) Schizosaccharomyces pombe Int6 and Ras Homologs Regulate Cell Division and Mitotic Fidelity via the Proteasome. Cell 112: 207-217.

Papadaki P, Pizon V, Onken B, Chang EC. (2002) Two Ras pathways in fission yeast are differentially regulated by two Ras guanine nucleotide exchange factors. Mol. Cell. Biol. 22:4598-4606.

Chen CR, Chen J, Chang EC. (2000) A conserved interaction between Moe1 and Mal3 is important for proper spindle formation in Schizosaccharomyces pombe. Mol. Biol. Cell 11: 4067-4077.

Li YC, Chen CR, Chang EC. (2000) Fission Yeast Ras1 Effector Scd1 Interacts with the Spindle and Affects its Proper Formation. Genetics 156: 995-1004.

Yen HC, Chang EC. (2000) Yin6, a Fission Yeast Int6 Homolog, Complexes with Moe1 and Plays a Role in Chromosome Segregation. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 97: 14370-14375.

Chang E, et al. (1999) Direct binding and in vivo regulation of the fission yeast PAK Shk1 by the SH3 domain protein Scd2. Mol. Cell. Biol. 16: 8066-8077.

Chen CR, Li YC, Chen J, Hou MC, Papadaki P, Chang EC. (1999) Moe1, a Novel Conserved Protein in S. pombe, Interacts with a Ras Effector, Scd1, to Affect Proper Spindle Formation. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 96: 517-522.

Chang EC, Barr M, Wang Y, Jung V, Xu HP, Wigler M. (1994) Cooperative interaction of S. pombe proteins required for mating and morphogenesis. Cell 79: 131-141.

For more publication, see listing on PubMed.

Contact Information:

Eric C. Chang, Ph.D.
The Breast Center
Baylor College of Medicine
One Baylor Plaza
Houston, TX 77030
Phone: 713-798-3519
Phone: 713-798-1642

Updated: 6/07

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