Wentao Dong

Graduate student


Originally from Taiyuan, Shanxi (China), Wentao obtained his bachelor’s degrees in chemical engineering and chemistry from University of Wisconsin – Madison. As an undergraduate researcher, he worked on stem cell and tissue engineering in Professor Sean Palecek’s Lab. Wentao received his master’s degree in chemical engineering here at MIT. During his undergraduate and graduate studies, Wentao worked as co-op engineers at Cummins, Corning and FDA. In his spare time, Wentao likes to play tennis and travel for fun. Wentao’s PhD research projects are centered on cancer and diabetes metabolism.

Both cancer and type-2 diabetes are top 10 leading causes of death in the US. Research into the metabolic aspects of these diseases is crucial for the development of therapies. Through genetic modifications in cells and metabolic analyses using stable isotopic tracers and flux simulations, rewired metabolic networks can be elucidated. Such quantitative insights at the systems level provide guidance to formulate therapeutic strategies.

Email: dwt (at) mit (dot) edu



Lian, X., Bao, X., Al-Ahmad, A., Liu, J., Wu, Y., Dong, W., Dunn, K. K., Shusta, E. V., Plalecek, S. P. Efficient angioblasts derivation from human pluripotent stem cells via small-molecule activation of Wnt signaling. Stem Cell Reports, 3(5), 804-816, 2014.

Dong, W., Keibler, M. A., Stephanopoulos, G. Review of metabolic pathways activated in cancer cells as determined through isotopic labeling and network analysis. Metabolic Engineering, 43, 113-124, 2017.

Ahn, W. S., Dong, W., Zhang, Z., Cantor, J. R., Sabatini, D. M., Iliopoulos, O., & Stephanopoulos, G. Glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase modulates nonoxidative pentose phosphate pathway to provide anabolic precursors in hypoxic tumor cells. AIChE Journal, 64(12), 4289–4296, 2018.

Dong, W., Moon, S. J., Kelleher, J. K., & Stephanopoulos, G. Dissecting mammalian cell metabolism through 13C- and 2H-isotope tracing: Interpretations at the molecular and systems levels. ACS Industrial Engineering Chemistry Research, 10.1021/acs.iecr.9b05154, 2019.

Keibler, M. A., Dong, W., Korthauer, K. D., Hosios, A. M., Sullivan, L. B., Arevalo, O. D., Phase, A. S., Lee, J., Ho, K., Brugge, J. S., Kelleher, J. K., Iliopoulos, O., Coloff, J. L., Vander Heiden, M. G., & Stephanopoulos, G. Differential substrate use in EGF- and oncogenic KRAS-stimulated human mammary epithelial cells. Under Review.