Professor Văn-Chí Đặng received his BS in Chemistry (highest honors) from the University of Michigan and was awarded a Ph.D. in Chemistry (high distinction) from Georgetown University.
He received his MD (inducted to Alpha Omega Alpha and Phi Beta Kappa) and internal medicine residency training at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He trained in hematology-oncology at UCSF, where he did postdoctoral work on the MYC oncogene. Professor Đặng then returned to Johns Hopkins in 1987 where he established the first mechanistic link between a cancer gene (MYC) and cellular energy metabolism, contributing to the concept that genetic alterations in cancers re-program fuel utilization by tumors and render cancers addicted to certain fuel sources. This conceptual framework contributes to strategies for therapeutic targeting of cancer cell metabolism. His current work extends the role of MYC in cancer metabolism and the role of the circadian clock in metabolism and cancer.
He was Director of the Division of Hematology at Johns Hopkins Hospital (1993-2003) and was appointed Johns Hopkins Family Professor in Oncology Research and Vice Dean for Research at Johns Hopkins. In 2011, he became director of the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania, and on July 1, 2017, he assumed the position of Scientific Director of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, overseeing Ludwig branches located in the United States, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.
He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine, fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and fellow of the American Association for Cancer Research Academy. He serves as Editor-in-Chief of Cancer Research, an AACR journal.