Zhi-Qiang (Ken) Wang, M.D., Ph.D.

Zhi-Qiang (Ken) Wang, M.D., Ph.D.
Postdoctoral fellow, Pfeifer Laboratory


In 2008, Dr. Zhi-Qiang Wang earned an M.D. from Zhengzhou University. He went on to study the role of PTEN on the epithelial-meschymal transition in human esophageal carcinoma, ultimately earning an M.S. in pathology and pathophysiology (tumor pathology) from Zhengzhou University in 2010. Dr. Wang received a Ph.D. in experimental medicine from Laval University in 2014 with a focus on epigenetic targets in ovarian cancer. He then joined the lab of Dr. Peter Watson at the BC Cancer Agency as a postdoctoral fellow focusing on resistance to endocrine therapy mediated by inflammatory cytokines in breast cancer, during which he was also named a fellow of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). In 2017, Dr. Wang became a postdoctoral fellow at Van Andel Research Institute in the laboratory of Dr. Gerd Pfeifer. His current major research aims are to uncover the mechanisms and consequences of increased DNA methylation in melanoma, an aggressive type of skin cancer.




Current research focus

DNA methylation in human melanoma
Melanoma is the most aggressive form of skin cancer. According to statistics from the American Cancer Society, there are about 10,000 deaths from melanoma each year in the United States. My research focuses on testing the functional meaning of a few important genes (i.e. KDM2B) that undergo DNA methylation in human melanoma. Using CRISPR/Cas9, I will inactivate KDM2B by targeting the alterative first exons and I will investigate the effect of this on genome-wide DNA methylation patterns as analyzed by methylated-CpG island recovery assay (MIRA)-sequencing.

Genetic tumor mutations in human cancer
Cancer is a genetic disease—that is, cancer is caused by certain changes to genes that control the way our cells function, especially how they grow and divide. These changes include mutations in the DNA that makes up our genes. In some tumors, the origins of these signature are completely unknown. I will focus my research on genetic tumor mutations in different types of human tunors (i.e. liver cancer). I will investigate if a specific A to G mutation signature in liver cancer is derived from lipid peroxidation products arising from the oxidation of fatty acid in the liver.

Education & Training

Ph.D., Laval University, Quebec, Canada (Dr. Dimcho Bachvarov, Centre de Recherche du CHU de Québec)
Thesis: Characterization of novel epigenetic targets in ovarian cancer

M.S. in pathology and pathophysiology (tumor pathology), Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou, China (Dr. Shanshan Li, The First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University)

M.D., Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou, China

A.S. in clinical medicine, Henan University of Science and Technology, Luoyang, China 


Awards & External Funding

Research Fellow, Canadian Institutes of Health Research (2015–2016)

BioCanRx Highly Qualified Personnel (HQP) Travel Award

Conference Trainee Travel Award from Ovarian Cancer Canada

The First Author Publication Award from Laval University

The First Prize Award of Shen-Qiong Medical Research Funding


Dr. Wang’s publication list is available through Google scholar.