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Junhao Mao received his Ph.D. degree from the University of Rochester in 2003. He did his postdoctoral research at Harvard University from 2003 to 2008, where he was supported by the fellowships from Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation and Charles A. King Trust. He joined the University of Massachusetts Medical School in fall 2008. Dr. Mao was also a recipient of the Charles H. Hood Foundation Child Health Research Award in 2009, American Cancer Society Research Scholar Award in 2011, Pancreatic Cancer Alliance Research Award in 2015, and Sanofi iAward in 2020. 


My lab is interested in investigating the signaling mechanisms that underlie tissue homeostasis and tumorigenesis.  Our work is focused on several key developmental pathways including Hippo, Wnt and Hedgehog signaling.  We use a combination of molecular, cellular and mouse genetic approaches to dissect their roles in stem cell/progenitor function, and understand how dysregulation of these pathways contributes to tumor initiation and progression.





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  • Pancreatic Neoplasms