Wenyue Sun, Ph.D.

Wenyue  Sun, Ph.D.
Staff Scientist

Dr. Sun's research interest is in the field of cancer genetics, particularly to understand the genetic and epigenetic alterations in rhabdomyosarcoma, a common pediatric soft tissue tumor. He has characterized the different DNA methylation patterns in rhabdomyosarcoma, and is currently unraveling the functional and clinical significance of these patterns in rhabdomyosarcoma. He systematically investigated the genetic, epigenetic and mitochondrial DNA alterations in head and neck cancer prior to joining the NCI. Dr. Sun has broad experiences on computational analysis of genomic big data.

Areas of Expertise
1) rhabdomyosarcoma, 2) gene mutation, 3) DNA methylation, 4) computational biology

Contact Info

Wenyue Sun, Ph.D.
Center for Cancer Research
National Cancer Institute
Building 10, Room 3B55
Bethesda, MD 20814
Ph: 301-594-3739
wenyue.sun@nih.gov

Dr. Sun's current research focuses on epigenetic basis of rhabdomyosarocma development.  Rhabdomyosarcoma is a family of pediatric soft tissue tumors associated with the skeletal muscle lineage.  It is comprised of two major subtypes: fusion-positive (most commonly PAX3-FOXO1 or PAX7-FOXO1, resulting from 2;13 and 1;13 chromosomal translocations) and fusion-negative.  Fusion-positive rhabdomyosarcoma represents the more aggressive, refractory subtype of this pediatric cancer.  Dr. Sun's study has demonstrated that fusion-positive and fusion-negative rhabdomyosarcoma tumors exhibit distinct DNA methylation profiles.  Compared with fusion-positive tumors, fusion-negative tumors display a DNA methylation pattern more similar to normal muscles.  He establishes a DNA methylation signature that could classify fusion-positive and fusion-negative rhabdomyosarcoma tumors.  Further investigation of the functional significance of DNA methylation in fusion-positive and fusion-negative rhabdomyosarcoma will broaden our knowledge of tumor biology, and may identify new therapeutic targets.  

Scientific Focus Areas:
Cancer Biology, Computational Biology, Genetics and Genomics

Selected Publications

  1. Sun W, Chatterjee B, Wang Y, Stevenson HS, Edelman DC, Meltzer PS, Barr FG.
    Modern Pathology. 28: 1214-24, 2015. [ Journal Article ]
  2. Olanich ME, Sun W, Hewitt SM, Abdullaev Z, Pack SD, Barr FG
    Clinical Cancer Research. 21: 4947-59, 2015. [ Journal Article ]
  3. Gaykalova DA, Mambo E, Choudhary A, Houghton J, Buddavarapu K, Sanford T, Darden W, Adai A, Hadd A, Latham G, Danilova LV, Bishop J, Li RJ, Westra WH, Hennessey P, Koch WM, Ochs MF, Califano JA, Sun W.
    PLoS ONE. 9: e93102, 2014. [ Journal Article ]
  4. Sun W, Gaykalova DA, Ochs MF, Mambo E, Arnaoutakis D, Liu Y, Loyo M, Agrawal N, Howard J, Li R, Ahn S, Fertig E, Sidransky D, Houghton J, Buddavarapu K, Sanford T, Choudhary A, Darden W, Adai A, Latham G, Bishop J, Sharma R, Westra WH, Hennessey P, Chung CH, Califano JA.
    Cancer Research. 74: 1091-104, 2014. [ Journal Article ]
  5. Sun W, Zaboli D, Wang H, Liu Y, Arnaoutakis D, Khan T, Khan Z, Koch WM, Califano JA.
    Clinical Cancer Research. 18: 1082-91, 2012. [ Journal Article ]

Dr. Sun received his B.S. in biochemistry in 1999 from Lanzhou University. He received his Ph.D. in medical oncology in 2004 from Peking Union Medical College. He subsequently pursued postdoctoral training in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Virginia. He further refined his expertise in cancer genetics by pursuing a postdoctoral research fellowship in the Department of Otolaryngology, Division of Head and Neck Cancer Research, at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. Dr. Sun joined the NCI as a staff scientist in 2013.