Junyan Tao, PhD
Research Assistant Professor of Pathology


Dr. Tao is a member of the Division of Experimental Pathology.

Office Location:
S451 BST
200 Lothrop Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15261
Contact Information:
Office Telephone: 412-383-7821
Fax: 412-648-1916
Email: jut24@pitt.edu

Research Interests

Currently, my research is focused on liver cancer development in murine mouse models through hydrodynamic tail vein injections with sleeping beauty transposase system and CRISPR system. I have generated several different hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) models involving various cell signal pathways related to liver cancer, such as Hippo/Yap,Wnt/beta-catenin, ATK/PI3K/mTOR, Met, Myc, FGF19, et al. I also do some target therapy studies on a few of the HCC and hepatoblastoma models. Our main goal is to look for effective therapeutic clinical methods based on the mouse model.

Selected Publications

  • Na Zhan, Adeola Adebayo Michael, Kaiyuan Wu, Aaron Bell, Junyan Tao, et al. THE EFFECT OF SELECTIVE C-MET INHIBITOR ON HCC IN THE MET-ACTIVE, ?-CATENIN MUTATED MOUSE MODEL.(Gene Expr. 2018 Feb 6. doi: 10.3727/105221618X15174108894682.).
  • Heng Wu, Junyan Tao, Xiaolei Li, Tianpeng Zhang, Shenjun Fan, Clifford J. Steer, Lei Zhao, Zhi Zeng, Na Zhan, Jun Xiong, Yao Wang, Lei Zhang, Xin Chen, Guisheng Song MicroRNA-206 prevents the development of hepatocellular carcinoma via modulating cMet expression. Hepatology. 2017 Jul 17. doi: 10.1002/hep.29374.
  • Liu P, Ge M, Hu J, Li X, Che L, Sun K, Cheng L, Huang Y, Pilo MG, Cigliano A, Pes GM, Pascale RM, Brozzetti S, Vidili G, Porcu A, Cossu A, Palmieri G, Sini MC, Ribback S, Dombrowski F, Tao J, Calvisi DF, Chen L, Chen X. A functional mTORC1 signaling is indispensable for c-yc driven hepatocarcinogenesis. Hepatology. 2017 Mar 30. doi: 10.1002/hep.29183. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Chen ZH, Yu YP, Tao J, Liu S, Tseng G, Nalesnik M, Hamilton R, Bhargava R, Nelson JB, Pennathur A, Monga SP, Luketich JD, Michalopoulos GK, Luo JH. MAN2A1-FER Fusion Gene Is Expressed by Human Liver and Other Tumor Types and Has Oncogenic Activity in Mice. Gastroenterology. 2017 Feb 25. pii: S0016-5085(17)30004-5. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2016.12.036. [Epub ahead of print].
  • Bell D, Ranganathan S, Tao J, Monga SP. Novel advance in Understating of Molecular Pathogenesis of Hepatoblastoma:A Wnt/βCatenin Perspective. Gene Expr. 2017 Feb 10;17(2):141-154.
  • Ganesh S, Koser ML, Cyr WA, Chopda GR, Tao J, Shui X, Ying B, Chen D, Pandya P, Chipumuro E, Siddiquee Z, Craig K, Lai C, Dudek H, Monga SP, Wang W, Brown BD, Abrams MT. Direct Pharmacological Inhibition of β-Catenin by RNA Interference in Tumors of Diverse Origin. Mol Cancer Ther. 2016 Sep;15(9):2143-54. doi: 10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-16-0309.
  • Junyan Tao, Rong Zhang, Sucha Singh, Minakshi Poddar, Emily Xu, Michael Oertel, Xin Chen, Shanthi Ganesh, Marc Abrams, Satdarshan P. Monga. Targeting β-catenin in hepatocellular cancers induced by co-expression of mutant β-catenin and K-Ras in mice. Hepatology. 2016 Dec 16. doi: 10.1002/hep.28975.
  • Junyan Tao, Emily Xu, Yifei Zhao, Sucha Singh, Xin Chen, Xiaolei Li, Gabrielle Couchy, Jessica Zucman-Rossi, Maria Chikina, Satdarshan P. S. Monga. Modeling a Human HCC Subset in Mice Through Co-Expression of Met and Point-Mutant β-Catenin. Hepatology, 2016 Apr 20. doi: 10.1002/hep.28601.
  • Xiaolei Li, Junyan Tao, Antonio Cigliano, Marcella Sini,Julien Calderaro, Daniel Azoulay, Chunmei Wang, Yan Liu, Lijie Jiang, Katja Evert , Maria I Demartis , Silvia Ribback, Kirsten Utpatel, Frank Dombrowski , Matthias Evert, Diego F Calvisi, Xin Chen. Co-activation of PIK3CA and Yap promotes development of hepatocellular and cholangiocellular tumors in mouse and human liver. Oncotarget. 2015, 30,6(12):10102-15.
  • Junyan Tao, Junfang Ji, Xiaolei Li, Heng Wu, Xin W Wang, Diego F. Calvisi, Guisheng Song, and Xin Chen. Distinct anti-oncogenic effect of various microRNAs in different mouse models of liver cancer. Oncotarget. 2015,30,6(9):6977-88.
  • Junyan Tao, Diego F. Calvisi, Sarangarajan Ranganathan, Antonio Cigliano, Lili Zhou, Sucha Singh, Lijie Jiang, Biao Fan, Luigi Terracciano, Sorin Armeanu-Ebinger, Silvia Ribbacki, Frank Dombrowski,Matthias Evert, Xin Chen, Satdarshan P. S. Monga. Activation of β-Catenin and Yap1 in Human Hepatoblastoma and Induction of Hepatocarcinogenesis in Mice. Gastroenterology, 2014 ,147(3):690-701