Byungwoo Ryu, Ph.D.


Assistant Professor of Dermatology

Director, Biomarker Research Program

Boston University School of Medicine

Administrative Office:

Boston University School of Medicine, Dept of Dermatology

609 Albany Street, Boston, MA 02118
Tel: 617-638-5500
Fax: 617-638-5515


BS Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
MD Johns Hopkins University and the National Cancer Center
1997 PhD Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR

Current Research Interests

  • Melanoma


Dr. Ryu joined the Department of Dermatology at the Boston University of School of Medicine as an assistant Professor in 2011. He received his Ph.D. degree from Oregon State University in Molecular Toxicology. Dr. Ryu completed his postdoctoral fellowships at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland and Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland. Dr. Ryu served as an assistant member of the Nevada Cancer Institute at Las Vegas, Nevada and clinical assistant professor of medicine at the University of Nevada School of Medicine at Reno, Nevada. Dr. Ryu is a recipient of Howard Temin Award, career development award (K01), from the National Cancer Institute.

Laboratory of Dr. Byungwoo Ryu

Dr. Ryu’s research interest is to determine the molecular events that dictate melanoma tumorigenicity and malignant progression. It is likely that identification of such molecular pathways will allow us to identify clinically useful biomarkers as well as potential therapeutic targets against this lethal form of skin cancer.

Biomarkers for melanoma progression: Dr. Ryu’s laboratory currently focuses on discovery of molecular biomarkers that can be used for patient stratification and personalized therapy. His laboratory uses genomic and molecular profiling techniques on tissue and blood samples from melanoma patients to find patterns of molecular signatures and correlate them with clinical outcomes.

Therapeutic targeting of metastasis-initiating cells (MICs): Despite recent progress, the molecular mechanisms of tumor metastasis remain unclear. Isolation and dissection of the MICs, subpopulation of tumor cells including circulating cancer cells in patient’s blood, will shed light on the molecular events of metastasis progression. Dr. Ryu’s laboratory focuses on the genetic and epigenetic characterization of the MICs as well as developing therapeutic and preventive strategies of cancer metastasis by targeting the MICs.

Selected Publications

1. Hwang s, Kim HE, Min m, Munshi R, Ryu B. Epigenetic Silencing of HAI2/SPINT2 Promotes Metastasis by HGF-MET Pathway Activation in Melanoma. J Invest Dermatol . [in revision]

2. Rossi M, Tuck J, Kim OJ, Panova I, Symanowski JT, Mahalingam M, Riker AI, Alani RM, Ryu B. Neuropilin-2 Gene Expression Correlates with Malignant Progression in Cutaneous Melanoma. Br J Dermatol. 2013 Dec 20. doi: 10.1111/bjd.12801. [Epub ahead of print]

3. Cao J, Wan L, Hacker E, Dai X, Lenna S, Jimenez-Cervantes C, Wang Y, Leslie NR, Xu GX, Widlund HR, Ryu B, Alani RM, Dutton-Regester K, Goding CR, Hayward NK, Wei W, Cui R. MC1R Is a Potent Regulator of PTEN after UV Exposure in Melanocytes. Mol Cell. 2013 Aug 22; 51(4):409-22

4. Ryu B, Hwang S, Alani RM. MicroRNAs as an Emerging Target for Melanoma Therapy. J Invest Dermatol. 2013 May; 133(5):1137-9.

5. Liu F, Cao J, Wu J, Sullivan K, Shen J, Ryu B, Xu Z, Wei W, Cui R. Stat3-Targeted Therapies Overcome the Acquired Resistance to Vemurafenib in Melanomas. J Invest Dermatol. 2013 Jan 23.

6. Kim HE, Symanowski JT, Samlowski EE, Gonzales J, Ryu B. Quantitative measurement of circulating lymphoid-specific helicase (HELLS) gene transcript: a potential serum biomarker for melanoma metastasis. Pigment Cell Melanoma Res. 2010 Dec; 23(6):845-8.

7. Ryu B, Moriarty WF, Stine MJ, Deluca A, Kim DS, Meeker AK, Grills LD, Switzer RA, Eller MS, Alani RM. Global Analysis of BRAF(V600E) Target Genes in Human Melanocytes Identifies Matrix Metalloproteinase-1 as a Critical Mediator of Melanoma Growth. J Invest Dermatol. 2011 Jul; 131(7):1579-83.