Honorary Joint Professor


Honorary Joint Professor, Department of Biochemistry, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, NUS.
Program Director for Cancer & Stem Cell Biology, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School.


David Virshup, MD, is the inaugural Director of the Program in Cancer and Stem Cell Biology at the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School in Singapore, and is a tenured Professor of Pediatrics at Duke University in North Carolina, USA. Prior to moving to Singapore in 2007, he spent 17 years at the University of Utah, where he held an endowed chair at the Huntsman Cancer Institute. While spending the majority of his time on laboratory-based research, until arriving in Singapore he was also a practicing pediatric hematologist/oncologist. His laboratory studies cellular signaling, with a focus on the regulation of circadian rhythms through protein phosphorylation, and the Wnt signaling pathway. Virshup received his medical degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1981. He completed his clinical training in Pediatrics and Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at Johns Hopkins, while his research training was in the departments of Cell Biology and Anatomy, and Molecular Biology and Genetics at Johns Hopkins. He is a member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation, the Association of American Physicians, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Asia Editor for the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Research Interest

David Virshup’s laboratory focuses on:

* Regulation of the Wnt signaling pathway in cancer and development.
* Pharmacologic inhibition of Wnt signaling.
* Protein kinases and phosphatases in circadian rhythms.

Selected Publications

  1. (Coombs et al., 2011; 2010; Kabiri et al., 2014; Proffitt and Virshup, 2012; Proffitt et al., 2013; Yu et al., 2014)Coombs, G.S., Schmitt, A.A., Canning, C.A., Canning, C.A., Alok, A., Low, I.C.C., Banerjee, N., Kaur, S., Utomo, V., Jones, C.M., et al. (2011). Modulation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling and proliferation by a ferrous iron chelator with therapeutic efficacy in genetically engineered mouse models of cancer. Oncogene 31, 213–225.

  2. Coombs, G.S., Yu, J., Canning, C.A., Veltri, C.A., Covey, T.M., Cheong, J.K., Utomo, V., Banerjee, N., Zhang, Z.H., Jadulco, R.C., et al. (2010). WLS-dependent secretion of WNT3A requires Ser209 acylation and vacuolar acidification. Journal of Cell Science 123, 3357–3367.

  3. Kabiri, Z., Kabiri, Z., Greicius, G., Greicius, G., Madan, B., Madan, B., Biechele, S., Biechele, S., Zhong, Z., Zhong, Z., et al. (2014). Stroma provides an intestinal stem cell niche in the absence of epithelial Wnts. Development (Cambridge, England) 141, 2206–2215.

  4. Proffitt, K.D., and Virshup, D.M. (2012). Precise Regulation of Porcupine Activity Is Required for Physiological Wnt Signaling. J Biol Chem 287, 34167–34178.

  5. Proffitt, K.D., Madan, B., Ke, Z., Pendharkar, V., Ding, L., Lee, M.A., Hannoush, R.N., and Virshup, D.M. (2013). Pharmacological Inhibition of the Wnt Acyltransferase PORCN Prevents Growth of WNT-Driven Mammary Cancer. Cancer Research 73, 502–507.

  6. Yu, J., Chia, J., Canning, C.A., Jones, C.M., Bard, F.A., and Virshup, D.M. (2014). WLS Retrograde Transport to the Endoplasmic Reticulum during Wnt Secretion. Dev Cell 29, 277–291.