University of California, Irvine, Department of Biological Sciences, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry

Dr. Hung Fan

(Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1971)

Molecular biology and pathogenesis of mouse and human retroviruses

  • Faculty Profile

    Publications via PubMed (NIH National Library of Medicine)

  • Member of the IRU

  • E-mail:

  • Our lab is studying the molecular biology and pathogenesis of retroviruses. These viruses have been important models for studying gene expression and cancer. HIV-1, the causative agent of AIDS, is also a retrovirus. Historically, we have worked on Moloney murine leukemia virus (M-MuLV). Current M-MuLV projects include using enhancer variants of M-MuLV to study the complex (and multi-step) process of leukemogenesis in mice, and using M-MuLV as a system to study cellular chromatin and chromatin-associated proteins. A second project involves the use of MuLV-based retroviral vectors to over-express normal cell proto-oncogenes in cultured cells. Proto-oncogene over-expression occurs in some spontaneous cancers, and we have shown that vectored over-expression in cultured cells increases their sensitivity to transformation by chemical carcinogens. The molecular mechanisms involved in this are under investigation. A third project involves studies of the transactivating proteins of human T-cell leukemia virus HTLV-I, which causes adult T-cell leukemia and HIV-1, which causes AIDS. The transactivating proteins (tax and tat respectively) cause high level expression of the viruses in infected cells, but they have different mechanisms of action. We are investigating the mechanisms of action for both tax and tat. The resulting information might eventually lead to new antiviral compounds.
    Dr. Fan is part of the UCI Graduate Track in Virology and Cancer Research within the UCI graduate Program in Molecular Biology, Genetics, and Biochemistry. Applications requests or additional information about the graduate program may be obtained by electronic mail at or by phone at (949) 824-8145. On-line applications may also be submitted through the Office of Research and Graduate Studies.

    1) Molecular Biology, Genetics, and Biochemistry

    2) Email: or call (949) 824-8145

    3) Graduate Studies Home Page, with links to On-line applications and the Office of Research and Graduate Studies

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