Centre for Clinical and Diagnostic Oral Sciences,
4 Newark Street, Whitechapel,
London E1 2AT.
Dr Wan's research interest is on intercellular junctions including desmosomes in health and associated diseases.
- Dr Wan was qualified as a dentist in West China School of Stomatology in 1983.
- After eight years working in clinic, Dr Wan moved to research and obtained her PhD in 1995 at The Faculty of Medicine, University of Liverpool.
- Her first postdoctoral post (funded by Wellcome Trust) was based in St. George's Hospital Medical School, University of London, investigating the effect of the proteases of house dust mite allergens on tight junctions in bronchial epithelia.
- In 1999, she joined a team at St John's Institute of Dermatology, St Thomas' Hospital in London, working on hereditary skin disorder caused by mutations in the genes encoding the desmosomal proteins, research funded by a Wellcome Trust Research Program.
- During this study, she made an interesting observation on the low frequency of desmosome occurrence in the putative region of epidermal stem cells.
- From this she developed a novel strategy using Desmoglein 3 (Dsg3) as a negative marker to isolate the epidermal stem/progenitor cells from cultured human keratinocytes.
- She was awarded an MRC Career Development Fellowship for Stem Cell Research in 2003.
- In 2004, she moved to The Tumour Biology Centre, Cancer Research UK Clinical Centre, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, to start her MRC fellowship and began her independent research since then.
- In 2007, she successfully cloned the full length human Dsg3 cDNA into a retroviral vector that led to the discovery of novel signalling roles of Dsg3, that have important implications in cancer progression.