Functional Genomics and Systems Genetics in Cancer

Gonghong Wei, Ph.D.

Project leader
Gonghong Wei, Ph.D., Professor, Academy Research Fellow

Biocenter Oulu and Faculty of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine,
University of Oulu

Mailing address
P.O.Box 5000, FIN-90014 University of Oulu, Finland

Street address
Aapistie 5A, Biocenter Oulu, 4th floor, 90220 Oulu, Finland

Tel. +358-(0)294 486111,
e-mail: gonghong.wei (at)

Focus area spearhead project web page

About the project

The functional genomics and cancer research group is focusing on characterization of transcriptional regulatory proteins including transcription factors (TFs) and epigenetic regulators, playing roles in complex gene regulation and accurate control of cell growth. Aberrant functioning of these transcriptional regulators, thereby misregulating gene expression programs is often observed in various types of cancers, including prostate, breast and skin cancer, Ewing's sarcoma and leukemia. Charting gene regulatory networks driven by the regulatory proteins in cancer cells and specimens is a systematic way to discover novel mechanisms and clinical biomarkers for cancer risk prediction and potential targets for therapy. Here we aim to uncover the cancerous role of multiple transcriptional regulatory proteins including key TFs of the ETS, HOX and Forkhead families and novel TFs and epigenome modulators identified by integrated functional genomics and clinical data analysis. Together with data from genome-wide association studies, we aim to explore how the cancer risk-associated single nucleotide polymorphisms alter the genetics of TF-DNA binding at sites of clinically important enhancers, thereby misregulating gene expression programs underpinning cancer susceptibility. We will validate key prioritized hits, including risk SNPs, enhancers, causal genes and pathways that are potential biomarkers and drug targets for cancer risk prediction, patient stratification and therapy.

Project details

  1. Background and Significance
  2. Recent Progress
  3. Future Goals
  4. Selected Publications
  5. Research Group Members
  6. National and International Activities

Last updated: 15.10.2018