Duc Dong, Ph.D.

Duc Dong, Ph.D., headshot

Duc Dong, Ph.D.

Associate Dean of Admissions, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
Associate Professor

Lab Website

Duc Dong's Research Focus

Organogenesis, Regenerative Medicine, Aging, Human Evolution
Type 1 Diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes, Monogenic Diabetes, Congenital Diseases, Degenerative Diseases, Liver Diseases, Pancreas Diseases, Alagille Syndrome
Synthetic Cell Biology, Developmental Biology
Developmental Genetics, Disease Genetics

Our objective is to uncover fundamental insight into basic and biomedical science through rigorous investigation of the genetic mechanisms governing organogenesis and diseases. We have discovered multiple genes critical for generating liver and pancreas cells and have created novel animal models for diseases such as diabetes and Alagille Syndrome. These unique experimental models have been yielded mechanistic insight and potential new therapeutic avenues. Further, we have demonstrated for the first time that a cell’s identity can be reprogrammed to convert into a completely unrelated lineage, without their removal from the body (in vivo) and without passage through a stem cell intermediate. This in vivo lineage reprogramming breakthrough may lead to a vast new and safer source of replacement cells for degenerative diseases and injuries. Ultimately, we aim to develop genetic technologies to improve human health and advance human biology.

Duc Dong of SBP describes his new approach for stem cell replacement
Kashton (diagnosed with Alagille Syndrome), his mother Shauna, and Professor Dong observing zebrafish
with a mutation in jagged, the gene affected in his disease.

Duc Dong's Bio

Dr. Dong received his Biology Bachelor of Science degree in 1996 from the University of California, Irvine, where he was involved in molecular evolution and limb regeneration research. He earned his Ph.D. in Cell and Molecular Biology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 2002, investigating cell/tissue identity master regulatory genes. His postdoctoral research at the University of California, San Francisco was focused on developmental genetics of the liver and pancreas. Dr. Dong was recruited as an Assistant Professor to Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute in 2008. He is a recipient of the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award Award and the W. M. Keck Foundation Award, which funds the development of in vivo lineage reprogramming technologies to generate replacement cells and organs directly within a living vertebrate.


University of California, Irvine, B.S., Biology
University of Wisconsin, Madison, Ph.D., Cell & Molecular Biology
University of California, San Francisco, Postdoctoral Fellow, Genetics and Development

Kashton (diagnosed with Alagille Syndrome), his mother Shauna, and Professor Dong observing zebrafish with a mutation in jagged, the gene affected in his disease.


Endoderm Jagged induces liver and pancreas duct lineage in zebrafish.

Zhang D, Gates KP, Barske L, Wang G, Lancman JJ, Zeng XI, Groff M, Wang K, Parsons MJ, Crump JG, Dong PDS

Nat Commun 2017 Oct 3 ;8(1):769

Identification of Annexin A4 as a hepatopancreas factor involved in liver cell survival.

Zhang D, Golubkov VS, Han W, Correa RG, Zhou Y, Lee S, Strongin AY, Dong PD

Dev Biol 2014 Nov 1 ;395(1):96-110

Specification of hepatopancreas progenitors in zebrafish by hnf1ba and wnt2bb.

Lancman JJ, Zvenigorodsky N, Gates KP, Zhang D, Solomon K, Humphrey RK, Kuo T, Setiawan L, Verkade H, Chi YI, Jhala US, Wright CV, Stainier DY, Dong PD

Development 2013 Jul ;140(13):2669-79