Two new researchers join WashU Neurosurgery and Brain Tumor Center

Rui Tang, PhD

Rui Tang, PhD, is joining the Brain Tumor Center at Washington University School of Medicine, where he will serve as an assistant professor with an appointment in the Department of Neurosurgery.

Tang completed his PhD research at the University of Georgia, where he studied vascular cell interactions in cardiovascular development and cancer. At Stanford University, Tang’s postdoctoral research focused on applying cutting-edge high-throughput technologies to understand human cancer. Metastasis is a major clinical challenge driven by poorly understood cell state alterations. By incorporating increasingly quantitative methods and powerful in vivo methods, Tang intends to uncover general rules that govern small cell lung cancer (SCLC) progression and metastatic spread. Additionally, Tang is investigating novel therapeutic targets across the continuum of cancer progression, including those governing the lethal metastatic stage. In his independent research at WashU and the Brain Tumor Center, Tang will focus on understanding how cancer cells and brain stromal cells cooperatively promote SCLC brain metastasis. Tang’s tenure begins in January 2024.

Yang (Eric) Li, PhD

Yang (Eric) Li, PhD, is also joining the Brain Tumor Center as an assistant professor with dual appointments in the Departments of Neurosurgery and Genetics.

Li was a Postdoctoral Fellow in Dr. Bing Ren’s Laboratory of Gene Regulation at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research at the University of California, San Diego. He holds a PhD in Computational Biology and Bioinformatics from Tsinghua University and a bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences and Laws from Sichuan University. Yang’s research interests include developing innovative computational tools/methods and utilizing single-cell (epi)genomic techniques to gain a comprehensive understanding of gene regulation in mammalian models and human diseases, particularly in brain tumors and neuropsychiatric disorders. Li officially starts in July of 2023.