Yuan Chang, MD
Professor of Pathology

Dr. Chang is a Co-Director of the Tumor Virology Laborotory at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute and a member of the Cellular and Molecular Pathology Graduate Training Program.

Office Location:
Hillman Cancer Research Pavilion
Suite #1.8
5117 Centre Ave
Pittsburgh, PA
Contact Information:
Office Telephone: 412-623-7721
Lab Telephone: 412-623-7733
Email: yc70@pitt.edu


  • BS - 1981, Stanford University
  • MD - 1987, University of Utah

Clinical Expertise


Research Interests

There are three broad interests for our group.

First, KSHV and its biology - We are actively examining the ability of KSHV to induce cell transformation and malignancy through focused studies on likely viral oncogenes. This includes functional studies of LANA1 and LANA2, vIL-6 and vIRF. The overall goal of these studies is to understand how and why some viruses target specific tumor suppressor pathways. Studies from our group suggest that intracellular innate immune signaling pathways use tumor suppressor control mechanisms to inhibit viral replication. Rotations in this area involve routine molecular biology techniques including cloning, immunoblotting, immunoprecipitation assays, cell culture and immunohistochemistry as well as specific functional assays including electromobility shift assays, luciferase reporter assays, phosphorylation assays and cell transformation assays.

Second, Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCV) and its role in human Merkel cell carcinoma - We discovered MCV in 2008 and have been investigating its role as a model for human cell transformation. We are interested in its use as a model for carcinogenesis, and the role of its major T antigen oncoproteins in cell signaling pathways.

Third, New pathogen discovery - Our laboratory found the two most recently identified human tumor viruses. We are continuing to search for new and novel pathogens by molecular techniques.


  • 2002 - Pennsylvania State Medical License: # MD420450
  • 1995 - American Board of Pathology: Anatomic Pathology/Neuropathology (AP/NP)
  • 1993 - New York State Medical License: # 193413
  • 1988 - National Board of Medical Examiners


  • Anatomic Pathology/Neuropathology
  • Viral Oncology

Awards and Honors

  • 1994 - Clinical Trials Research Award, Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, NY, NY
  • 1995 - James S. McDonnell Scholar, McDonnell Foundation, St. Louis, Missouri
  • 1997 - Lamport Award for Excellence in Clinical Science Research, Columbia University College of Phys & Surg, NY, NY
  • 1997 - Meyenburg Award, Meyenburg Foundation for Cancer Research German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg, Germany
  • 1998 - Robert Koch Prize, Robert Koch Foundation, Bonn, Germany
  • 1999 - Mayor's Award for Excellence in Science & Technology, NY, NY
  • 2003 - Charles S. Mott Award, General Motors Cancer Research Foundation
  • 2003 - Paul Marks Prize, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Research, NY, NY
  • 2004 - American Society for Clinical Investigation, Elected Member
  • 2008 - American Cancer Society Research Professorship
  • 2009 - Carnegie Life Sciences Award
  • 2010 - American Academy of Microbiology, Elected Fellow
  • 2012 - Marjorie Stephenson Prize, Society of General Microbiology
  • 2012 - Chancellorís Distinguished Research Award, University of Pittsburgh
  • 2012 - National Academy of Sciences, Elected Member

Selected Publications

View Dr. Chang's publications on PubMed

  1. Chang Y, Cesarman E, Pessin M, Lee F, Culpepper J, Knowles DM, Moore PS. Identification of herpesvirus-like DNA sequences in AIDS-associated Kaposi's sarcoma. Science 1994; 266:1865-1869
  2. Moore PS and Chang Y. Detection of herpesvirus-like DNA sequences in Kaposi's sarcoma from persons with and without HIV infection. New Eng J Med 1995; 332:1181-85
  3. Gao SJ, Kingsley L, Hoover D, Spira T, Rinaldo C, Saah A, Phair J, Detels R, Parry P, Chang Y, Moore PS. Seroconversion to antibodies against Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus-related latent nuclear antigens before the development of Kaposi's sarcoma. New Eng J Med 1996; 335:233-41
  4. Chang Y, Moore PS, Talbot SJ, Boshoff C, Zarkowska T, Godden-Kent D, Paterson H, Weiss RA, Mittnacht S. Cyclin encoded by KS herpesvirus. Nature 1996; 382:410
  5. Gao SJ, Kingsley L, Ming L, Zheng W, Parravicini C, Rinaldo CR, Saah A, Phair J, Detels R, Chang Y, Moore PS. Seroprevalence of Kaposiís sarcoma-associated herpesvirus antibodies among North Americans, Italians and Ugandans with and without Kaposiís sarcoma. Nature Med 1996; 2:925-8
  6. Moore PS, Boshoff C, Weiss RA, Chang Y. Molecular mimicry of human cytokine and cytokine-response pathway genes by KSHV. Science 1996; 274:1739-44
  7. Russo JJ, Bohenzky RA, Chien M, Chen K, Yan M, Maddlena D, Parry JP, Peruzzi D, Edelman IS, Chang Y, Moore PS. The nucleotide sequence of Kaposiís sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (HHV8). Proc Natl Acad Sci, USA 1996; 93:14862-7. PMCID: PMC26227.
  8. Molden J, Chang Y, Moore PS, Goldsmith MA. A KSHV encoded cytokine homolog activates signaling through the shared gp130 receptor subunit. J Biol Chem 1997; 272:19625-31.
  9. Boshoff C, Endo Y, Collins PD, Takeuchi Y, Reeves JD, Schweickart VL, Siani M, Sasaki T, Williams TJ, Gray PW, Moore PS, Chang Y, Weiss RA. Angiogenic and HIV inhibitory functions of KSHV-encoded chemokines. Science 1997; 278:290-4
  10. Gao S-J, Boshoff C, Weiss RA, Chang Y, Moore PS. KSHV vIRF is an oncogene which inhibits interferon-mediated immune responses. Oncogene 1997; 15:1979-86
  11. Chatterjee M, Osborne J, Bestetti G, Chang Y, Moore PS.Viral IL-6-induced cell proliferation and immune evasion of interferon activity. Science 2002; 298:1432-5
  12. Feng H, Shuda M, Chang Y, Moore PS. Clonal Integration of a Polyomavirus in Merkel Cell Carcinoma. Science 2008; 319(5866):1096-100. PMCID:PMC2740911.
  13. Shuda M, Feng H, Kwun H, Rosen ST, Gjoerup O, Moore PS, Chang Y. T-antigen mutations are a tumor-specific signature for Merkel cell polyomavirus. Proc Natl Acad Sci, USA 2008; 21;105(42):16272-7. PMCID:PMC2551627.
  14. Pastrana, DV, Tolstov YL, Becker JC, Moore PS*, Chang Y*, and Buck CB*. Quantitation of human seroresponsiveness to Merkel cell polyomavirus. PLoS Pathog 2009; 5(9):e1000578. PMCID:PMC2734180.
  15. Liu X, Hein J, Richardson SCW, Basse PH, Moore PS, Gjoerup O, Chang Y. Merkel cell polyomavirus large T antigen disrupts lysosome clustering by translocating human VAM6P to the nucleus. J Biol Chem 2011; 13;286(19):17079-90. PMCID: PMC3089552.
  16. Feng H, Kwun HJ, Liu X, Gjoerup O, Stolz DB, Chang Y, Moore PS. Cellular and viral factors regulating Merkel cell polyomavirus replication. PLoS One 2011; 6(7): e22468. PMCID: PMC3142164
  17. Shuda M, Kwun HJ, Feng H, Chang Y, Moore PS. Merkel Cell Polyomavirus Small T Antigen Is a PP2A-independent Human Oncoprotein Targeting the Translation Regulator 4E-BP1. J Clin Invest 2011; 121(9):3623-3634. PMCID: PMC3163959
  18. Dresang L, Teuton JR, Feng H, Jacobs JM, Camp II DG, Purvine SO, Gritsenko MA, Li Z, Smith RD, Sudgen B, Moore PS, Chang Y. Coupled transcriptome and proteome analysis of human lymphotropic tumor viruses: Insights on the detection and discovery of viral genes. BMC Genomics 2011; 2011; 12(1):625. PMCID: pending, PMID: 22185355
  19. Arora R, Shuda M, Guastafierro A, Feng H, Toptan T, Tolstov Y, Normolle D, Vollmer L, Vogt A, Domling A, Brodsky J, Chang Y, and Moore PS. Survivin is a Therapeutic Target in Merkel Cell Carcinoma. Science Trans Medicine 2012;4:133-56.