Department of Cell Systems & Anatomy

CSA Faculty


LuZhe Sun, Ph.D.



Rutgers University and
UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, 1990


MED 2.020V-1
(210) 567-5746


My laboratory studies molecular mechanisms that regulate cancer development, growth, invasion, and metastasis, and novel experimental therapeutics for cancer prevention and treatment using molecular biology, cell biology, and bioinformatics techniques and animal model systems. Ongoing research projects include the investigation of how aging, obesity, radiation, and xenoestrogens may induce a tumorigenic phenotype of mammary stem cells and the investigation of the roles of transforming growth factor-beta (TGFβ), hedgehog, and androgen signaling pathways in various types of cancer. We are developing therapeutic approaches for the prevention of aging-associated breast cancer and for abrogating TGFβ, hedgehog, and androgen signaling pathways for the treatment of aggressive cancers including castration resistant prostate cancer.


Course Director:
  • Advanced Cell Biology (INTD 6007)
  • Advanced Cell and Molecular Biology (INTD 5007)
  • Cancer Biology (CSBL 6068)
Recent Publications:
Mishra S, Tai Q, Gu X, Schmitz J, Poullard A, Fajardo RJ, Mahalingam D, Chen X, Zhu X, Sun LZ. Estrogen and estrogen receptor alpha promotes malignancy and osteoblastic tumorigenesis in prostate cancer. Oncotarget. 2015 Dec 29;6(42):44388-402.


Gao H, Dong Q, Chen Y, Zhang F, Wu A, Shi Y, Bandyopadhyay A, Daniel BJ, Huang C, Sun LZ. Murine mammary stem/progenitor cell isolation: Different method matters? Springerplus. 2016 Feb 20;5:140.


Liu Z, Wang L, Yang J, Bandyopadhyay A, Kaklamani V, Wang S, Sun LZ. Estrogen receptor alpha inhibits senescence-like phenotype and facilitates transformation induced by oncogenic ras in human mammary epithelial cells. Oncotarget. 2016 Jun 28;7(26):39097-39107.


Wu A, Dong Q, Gao H, Shi Y, Chen Y, Zhang F, Bandyopadhyay A, Wang D, Gorena KM, Huang C, Tardif S, Nathanielsz PW, Sun LZ. Characterization of mammary epithelial stem/progenitor cells and their changes with aging in common marmosets. Sci Rep. 2016 Aug 25;6:32190.


Dong Q, Gao H, Shi Y, Zhang F, Gu X, Wu A, Wang D, Chen Y, Bandyopadhyay A, Yeh IT, Daniel BJ, Chen Y, Zou Y, Rebel VL, Walter CA, Lu J, Huang C, Sun LZ. Aging is associated with an expansion of CD49fhi mammary stem cells that show a decline in function and increased transformation potential. Aging (Albany NY). 2016 Nov 15;8(11):2754-2776.


Qin T, Barron L, Xia L, Huang H, Villarreal MM, Zwaagstra J, Collins C, Yang J, Zwieb C, Kodali R, Hinck CS, Kim SK, Reddick RL, Shu C, O'Connor-McCourt MD, Hinck AP, Sun LZ. A novel highly potent trivalent TGF-β receptor trap inhibits early-stage tumorigenesis and tumor cell invasion in murine Pten-deficient prostate glands. Oncotarget. 2016 Dec 27;7(52):86087-86102.


Sun, LZ pubmed listing

Dr. Sun's Lab:
    Junhua (Jun) Yang, M.S. - Special Project coordinator
Postdoctoral fellows:
    Hakim Bouamar, Ph.D. - Postdoctoral Fellow
    Carla Zeballos, Ph.D. - Postdoctoral Fellow
    Guixi Zheng - Postdoctoral Fellow
    Matthew Cserhati - Postdoctoral Fellow
Research Assistant:
    Kyle Pressley - Research Assistant
    Kalyan Kakarla - Research Assistant
Graduate students:
    Larry Broome - Graduate Student
Visiting students:
    Guang Chen, Ph.D. - Visiting Scientist
    Xiao-Fei Ding, M.S. - Visiting Scientist
    Kalyan Kakarla - Visiting Scientist
    Yun Gao - Visiting Scientist
    Bingzhi (Rains) Wang - Visiting Student
    Menghuang (Alice) Zhao - Visiting Student