Passano Foundation photo 2

2017 Passano Laureate & Physician Scientists


Cancer Virology Laboratory

University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute



Dr. Yuan Chang and Dr. Patrick S. Moore discovered two independent causes of human cancer, Kaposi's sarcoma herpesvirus (KSHV/HHV8) and Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCV).  They used these discoveries to generate tests to detect these viruses and to uncover basic mechanisms involved in cancer cell formation.  In more than two decades, they are the only scientists to have found viral causes for cancer.  Their work has created new fields in cancer research and is used as a basis for investigating viral contributions to cancer.


Using two different genome scanning technologies (one of which they developed and is now commonly used by laboratories around the world), Chang and Moore isolated the DNAs of KSHV and MCV from human tumors.  They used these discoveries to isolate and grow the viruses in cell cultures, to develop blood and antibody tests, and to fully characterize the viruses. Their discoveries have had a fundamental impact in areas as diverse as innate immunity, cancer oncogene signaling, cellular protein processing, and virology.



Ryan Felling, MD, PhD

Director, Pediatric Stroke Program

Assistant Professor of Neurology

Johns Hopkins School of Medicine



Mark Travassos, MD


Assistant Professor

University of Maryland School of Medicine





Yuan Chang, MD and Patrick S. Moore, MD, MPH


2017 Physician Scientists

2017 Passano Laureates

Ryan Felling, MD, PhD

Mark Travassos, MD

chang moore 1 travassos felling