Hun-Way Hwang, MD, PhD

Hun-Way Hwang, MD, PhD*

S754 Scaife Hall
Pittsburgh, PA 15261

Liver-Related Work

Research Interests
-Study mRNA processing in different cell types in vivo and its role in human disease.
Research Description
-A gene can generate multiple mRNA isoforms through alternative mRNA processing including splicing and polyadenylation. Moreover, different cell types may process mRNAs from the same gene differently to preferentially express distinct mRNA isoforms. Our lab is interested in understanding the diversity of mRNA expression in different cell types and its biological implications. Our current research focuses on the role of abnormal mRNA processing in human disease. Our approach is to combine powerful in vivo high-throughput profiling methods and CRISPR technology with genetically modified mouse models of human disease to identify candidate mRNA isoforms that may contribute to disease pathogenesis in specific cell types in vivo. These candidate mRNA isoforms will then be further studied by in vitro and in vivo methods to reveal their biological functions and the molecular mechanisms regulating their processing, which will provide novel insights into the management and treatment of human disease. Current areas of research include neurological disorders, hematological malignancies and liver disease. 
Selected publications
  1. Hwang HW, Saito Y, Park CY, Blachère EB, Tajima Y, Fak JJ, Zucker-Schraff I, Darnell RB. cTag-PAPERCLIP Reveals Alternative Polyadenylation Promotes Cell-Type Specific Protein Diversity and Shifts Araf Isoforms with Microglia Activation. Neuron. 2017 Sep 13;95(6):1334-1349.e5.
  2. Hwang HW, Park CY, Goodarzi H, Fak JJ, Mele A, Moore MJ, Saito Y, Darnell RB. PAPERCLIP identifies microRNA targets and a role of CstF64/64tau in promoting non-canonical poly(A) site usage. Cell Reports. 2016 Apr 12;15(2):423-35.
  3. Hwang HW, Baxter LL, Loftus SK, Cronin JC, Trivedi NS, Borate B, Pavan WJ. Distinct microRNA expression signatures are associated with melanoma subtypes and are regulated by HIF1A. Pigment Cell Melanoma Res. 2014 Sep;27(5):777-87.
  4. Hwang HW, Wentzel EA, Mendell JT. Cell-cell contact globally activates microRNA biogenesis. PNAS. 2009 Apr 28;106(17):7016-21.
  5. Hwang HW, Wentzel EA, Mendell JT. A hexanucleotide element directs microRNA nuclear import. Science. 2007 Jan 5;315(5808):97-100.
  6. Hwang HW, Mendell JT. MicroRNAs in cell proliferation, cell death, and tumorigenesis. Br J Cancer. 2006 Mar 27;94(6):776-80.


Assistant Professor
Department of Pathology