UNC Lineberger’s Greg Wang, PhD, has been honored as one of four recipients of this year’s Phillip and Ruth Hettleman Prizes for Artistic and Scholarly Achievement.

UNC Lineberger’s Greg Wang, PhD.

The late Phillip Hettleman, a member of the UNC-Chapel Hill class of 1921, and his wife, Ruth, established the prestigious award in 1986 to recognize the achievements of outstanding junior faculty.

The recipients were recognized at the Faculty Council Meeting on Friday, Sept. 13, and each one will deliver a presentation on their research later this semester.

Wang, an associate professor in the UNC School of Medicine Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, has developed a highly successful research program focused on the epigenetic changes that occur in cancer. His discoveries have unearthed potential new therapeutic strategies. Using cutting-edge scientific research technologies, he leads a research team to dissect and understand the mechanisms and pathways by which a particular gene alteration leads to development of cancer, including aggressive acute myeloid leukemia and prostate cancer.

His scholarly work covers a broad range from fundamentals of epigenetic and genetic regulation to translational works in drug discovery and therapeutics. Wang is an American Cancer Society Research Scholar and a Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Scholar.

“There is no doubt that his productivity will continue to grow in the future, and that he will become one of the top researchers in cancer and epigenetic research not only at UNC-Chapel Hill but also in the country,” said UNC Lineberger’s Leslie V. Parise, PhD, professor and chair of the biochemistry and biophysics department.

His research is supported by awards from various cancer research foundations, including the V Foundation for Cancer Research, the Sidney Kimmel Foundation for Cancer Research, the American Society of Hematology, Concern Foundation for Cancer Research, Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation for Cancer Research, Gilead Sciences Research Scholars Program, When Everyone Survives (WES) Leukemia Research Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Defense. In the past year, he was awarded three R01 grants from NIH.

The other Hettleman Prize awardees this year were: Uffe Bergeton, PhD, associate professor in the Asian studies department within the College of Arts & Sciences; Kavita Singh Ongechi, PhD, associate professor in the maternal and child health department, UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health; and Li Qian, PhD, associate professor in the pathology and laboratory medicine department, UNC School of Medicine.