Duc Dong's Research Focus
Our objective is to uncover fundamental insight into basic and biomedical science through rigorous investigation of the genetic mechanisms governing organogenesis and diseases. We have discovered multiple genes critical for generating liver and pancreas cells and have created novel animal models for diseases such as diabetes and Alagille Syndrome. These unique experimental models have been yielded mechanistic insight and potential new therapeutic avenues. Further, we have demonstrated for the first time that a cell’s identity can be reprogrammed to convert into a completely unrelated lineage, without their removal from the body (in vivo) and without passage through a stem cell intermediate. This in vivo lineage reprogramming breakthrough may lead to a vast new and safer source of replacement cells for degenerative diseases and injuries. Ultimately, we aim to develop genetic technologies to improve human health and advance human biology.
Kashton (diagnosed with Alagille Syndrome), his mother Shauna, and Professor Dong observing zebrafish with a mutation in jagged, the gene affected in his disease.
Duc Dong's Bio
Dr. Dong received his Biology Bachelor of Science degree in 1996 from the University of California, Irvine, where he was involved in molecular evolution and limb regeneration research. He earned his Ph.D. in Cell and Molecular Biology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 2002, investigating cell/tissue identity master regulatory genes. His postdoctoral research at the University of California, San Francisco was focused on developmental genetics of the liver and pancreas. Dr. Dong was recruited as an Assistant Professor to Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute in 2008. He is a recipient of the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award Award and the W. M. Keck Foundation Award, which funds the development of in vivo lineage reprogramming technologies to generate replacement cells and organs directly within a living vertebrate.
University of California, Irvine, B.S., Biology
University of Wisconsin, Madison, Ph.D., Cell & Molecular Biology
University of California, San Francisco, Postdoctoral Fellow, Genetics and Development