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Gang Cheng

Gang Cheng, PhD

Assistant Professor


  • Biophysics
    TBRC C0785

Contact Information


PhD, Pharmacology, Shenyang Pharmaceutical University, Shenyang, China, 2005
BS, Pharmacy, Shandong University, Shandong, China, 1999

Research Interests

My current research interests focus on mitochondrial bioenergetics and redox metabolism in cancer cells. I have dedicated a significant portion of my research toward the wide range of metabolic and oxidative vulnerabilities that arise as consequences of the uncontrolled growth and proliferation capacities of cancer cells and toward the application of mitochondria-targeted compounds as potential selective anticancer drugs. We recently discovered that mitochondrial targeting of metformin can be improved by attaching a positively charged lipophilic triphenylphosphonium group; this results in a new class of mitochondria-targeted metformin analogues with significantly enhanced anticancer potential. The lead compound, mito-metformin, potently inhibits mitochondrial respiration through inhibition of complex I, stimulation of superoxide, formation of hydrogen peroxide, and activation of AMPK.

My research projects include the following:

  • Chemoprevention of Lung Cancer by Targeting Lonidamine to Mitochondria
  • Chemoprevention of Lung Cancer with Mitochondria-Targeted Honokiol