Dongyu Jia, PhD
Dongyu Jia, Ph.D., is currently a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Sandra Orsulic in the Cedars-Sinai Women’s Cancer Program at the Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute (Los Angeles, CA). He obtained his Bachelor’s degree (2007) in Bioengineering at Chongqing University (China), where he received the Freshman Fellowship (2003) and Outstanding Student (2005-2007) awards. Under the supervision of Dr. Guixue Wang, his study focused on improving the performance of drug-eluting stents, and advanced the field by examining the efficacy of selected drugs on the reduction of restenosis, a recurrence of blood vessel narrowing after stent implantation. Later he joined the laboratory of Dr. Wu-Min Deng at Florida State University, where he received the Graduate Student Publication (2014) and Dissertation Research Grant (2015) awards, and earned his Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Biology (2015). His dissertation projects used the Drosophila egg chamber (fruit fly ovary) to understand Notch, JAK/STAT, and ecdysone signaling networks and their contribution to cell differentiation, proliferation, movement and cell fate determination, guiding the development of new treatments for human diseases caused by aberrant signaling activities. After joining Dr. Orsulic’s laboratory in 2015, Dr. Jia and collaborators discovered a COL11A1-correlated pan-cancer gene signature of activated fibroblasts that is conserved in epithelial cancers regardless of organ site and transforming events within cancer cells, which could be promising for the prioritization of therapeutic targets. Dr. Jia’s current efforts include functionally characterizing the roles of COL11A1 in stromal activation and promotion of ovarian cancer progression, and demonstrating the effectiveness of COL11A1 as a therapeutic target, using in vitro and nude mouse xenograft experiments.