Woonyoung Choi, M.S., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
The Johns Hopkins University
Division School of Medicine
Greenberg Bladder Cancer Institute

The Johns Hopkins University Park 202C

Email: wchoi16@jhmi.edu

Dr. Choi is an Assistant Professor of Urology and Director of Genomics for the Greenberg Bladder Cancer Institute. Dr. Choi was trained as a postdoctoral fellow in the Cancer Genomics Core Laboratory at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, then joined at the department of Urology to have played a leadership role in the management of the expression profiling facility that is implementing next generation sequencing, microarray and real-time PCR in the department.

Her research is focused on defining the biological mechanisms underlying the molecular subtypes that are observed in bladder cancer, with the goal of developing new therapeutic interventions.


Education and Training

1994, BS, Pusan National University, Food Science and Nutrition, Busan, Korea, Republic of, 

1998, MS, Pusan National University, Food Science and Nutrition, Busan, Korea, Republic of                           
2001, PhD, Pusan National University, Food Science and Nutrition, Busan, Korea, Republic of,

Postdoctoral (Internship, residency, fellowship, etc.)
4/2002-12/2006Post-Doctoral Fellow, Cancer Genomics, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX,

Professional Experience

1/2007-2/2008    Instructor, Department of Cancer Biology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX,
3/2008-2/2015    Instructor, Department of Urology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX,
3/2015-6/2017 Assistant Professor, Department of Urology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, TX


Free Access to abstracts at PubMed 


Original Research

  1. Choi W, Gerner EW, Ramdas L, Dupart J, Carew J, Proctor L, Huang P, Zhang W, Hamilton SR. Combination of 5-fluorouracil and N1,N11-diethylnorspermine markedly activates spermidine/spermine N1-acetyltransferase expression, depletes polyamines, and synergistically induces apoptosis in colon carcinoma cells. J Biol Chem 280(5):3295-304, 2/2005. e-Pub 11/2004. PMCID: PMC3584635.
  2. Mircean C, Shmulevich I, Cogdell D, Choi W, Jia Y, Tabus I, Hamilton SR, Zhang W. Robust estimation of protein expression ratios with lysate microarray technology. Bioinformatics 21(9):1935-1942, 5/2005. e-Pub 1/2005. PMID: 15647295.
  3. Choi W, Proctor L, Xia Q, Feng Y, Gerner EW, Chiao PJ, Hamilton SR, Zhang W. Inactivation of IkappaB contributes to transcriptional activation of spermidine/spermine N(1)-acetyltransferase. Mol Carcinog 45(9):685-93, 9/2006. PMID: 16637064.
  4. Choi W, Cogdell D, Feng Y, Hamilton SR, Zhang W. Transcriptional activation of the carboxylesterase 2 gene by the p53 pathway. Cancer Biol Ther 5(11):1450-6, 11/2006. e-Pub 11/2006. PMID: 16963839.
  5. Jiang R*, Choi W*, Khan A, Hess K, Gerner EW, Casero RA, Yung WK, Hamilton SR, Zhang W. Activation of polyamine catabolism by N1, N11-diethylnorspermine leads to cell death in glioblastoma. Int J Oncol 31(2):430-440, 8/2007. PMID: 17611701. * Equal contribution
  6. Jiang R*, Choi W*, Hu L, Gerner EW, Hamilton SR, Zhang W. Activation of polyamine catabolism by N(1), N(11)-diethylnorspermine alters the cellular localization of mTOR and downregulates mTOR protein level in glioblastoma cells. Cancer Biol Ther 6(10):1644-1648, 10/2007. e-Pub 7/2007. PMID: 17921698. * Equal contribution
  7. Miyazaki K, Yamaguchi M, Suguro M, Choi W, Ji Y, Xiao L, Zhang W, Ogawa S, Katayama N, Shiku H, Kobayashi T. Gene expression profiling of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma supervised by CD21 expression. Br J Haematol 142(4):562-70, 8/2008. e-Pub 6/2008. PMID: 18537973.
  8. Haddad Y, Choi W, McConkey DJ. Delta-crystallin enhancer binding factor 1 controls the epithelial to mesenchymal transition phenotype and resistance to the epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitor erlotinib in human head and neck squamous cell carcinoma lines. Clin Cancer Res 15(2):532-42, 1/2009. PMCID: PMC2729136.
  9. Arumugam T, Ramachandran V, Fournier KF, Wang H, Marquis L, Abbruzzese JL, Gallick GE, Logsdon CD, McConkey DJ, Choi W. Epithelial to Mesenchymal Transition Contributes to Drug Resistance in Pancreatic Cancer. Cancer Res 69(14):5820-8, 7/2009. e-Pub 7/2009. PMID: 19584296. [SI/QI]
  10. Adam L, Zhong M, Choi W, Qi W, Nicoloso M, Arora A, Calin G, Wang H, Siefker-Radtke A, McConkey D, Bar-Eli M, Dinney C. miR-200 expression regulates epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition in bladder cancer cells and reverses resistance to epidermal growth factor receptor therapy. Clin Cancer Res 15(16):5060-72, 8/2009. e-Pub 8/2009. PMID: 19671845.
  11. Metwalli AR, Khanbolooki S, Jinesh G, Sundi D, Shah JB, Shrader M, Choi W, Lashinger LM, Chunduru S, McConkey DJ, McKinlay M, Kamat AM. Smac mimetic reverses resistance to TRAIL and chemotherapy in human urothelial cancer cells. Cancer Biol Ther 10(9):885-92, 11/2010. e-Pub 11/2010. PMCID: PMC3230293.
  12. Kim MP, Fleming JB, Wang H, Abbruzzese JL, Choi W, Kopetz S, McConkey DJ, Evans DB, Gallick GE. ALDH activity selectively defines an enhanced tumor-initiating cell population relative to CD133 expression in human pancreatic adenocarcinoma. PLoS One 6(6):e20636, 2011. e-Pub 6/2011. PMCID: PMC3113804.
  13. Claerhout S, Lim JY, Choi W, Park YY, Kim K, Kim SB, Lee JS, Mills GB, Cho JY. Gene expression signature analysis identifies vorinostat as a candidate therapy for gastric cancer. PLoS One 6(9):e24662, 2011. e-Pub 9/2011. PMCID: PMC3170379.
  14. Marquis L, Tran M, Choi W, Lee IL, Huszar D, Siefker-Radtke A, Dinney C, McConkey DJ. p63 expression correlates with sensitivity to the Eg5 inhibitor ZD4877 in bladder cancer cells. Cancer Biol Ther 13(7):477-86, 5/2012. e-Pub 5/2012. PMID: 22361733.
  15. Kim MP, Truty MJ, Choi W, Kang Y, Chopin-Lally X, Gallick GE, Wang H, McConkey DJ, Hwang R, Logsdon C, Abbruzzesse J, Fleming JB. Molecular profiling of direct xenograft tumors established from human pancreatic adenocarcinoma after neoadjuvant therapy. Ann Surg Oncol 19 Suppl 3:S395-403, 7/2012. e-Pub 6/2011. PMID: 21701930.
  16. Braeuer RR, Zigler M, Kamiya T, Dobroff AS, Huang L, Choi W, McConkey DJ, Shoshan E, Mobley AK, Song R, Raz A, Bar-Eli M. Galectin-3 contributes to melanoma growth and metastasis via regulation of NFAT1 and autotaxin. Cancer Res 72(22):5757-66, 11/2012. e-Pub 9/2012. PMCID: PMC3500452.
  17. Choi W, Shah JB, Tran M, Svatek R, Marquis L, Lee IL, Yu D, Adam L, Wen S, Shen Y, Dinney C, McConkey DJ, Siefker-Radtke A. p63 expression defines a lethal subset of muscle-invasive bladder cancers. PLoS One 7(1):e30206, 2012. e-Pub 1/2012. PMCID: PMC3254658.
  18. Tran MN, Choi W, Wszolek MF, Navai N, Lee IL, Nitti G, Wen S, Flores ER, Siefker-Radtke A, Czerniak B, Dinney C, Barton M, McConkey DJ. The p63 protein isoform delta Np63 a inhibits epithelial-mesenchymal transition in human bladder cancer cells: role of MIR-205. J Biol Chem 288(5):3275-88, 2/2013. e-Pub 12/2012. PMCID: PMC3561548. (Data analysis and interpretation, manuscript writing)
  19. Lee EK, Jinesh GG, Laing NM, Choi W, McConkey DJ, Kamat AM. A Smac mimetic augments the response of urothelial cancer cells to gemcitabine and cisplatin. Cancer Biol Ther 14(9). e-Pub 6/2013. PMID: 23792592. (Bioinformatics data analysis and interpretation)
  20. Jinesh GG, Choi W, Shah JB, Lee EK, Willis DL, Kamat AM. Blebbishields, the emergency program for cancer stem cells: sphere formation and tumorigenesis after apoptosis. Cell Death Differ 20(3):382-95, 11/2013. PMID: 23175184. (Bioinformatics data analysis and interpretation)
  21. Cheng T, Roth B, Choi W, Black PC, Dinney C, McConkey DJ. Fibroblast growth factor receptors-1 and -3 play distinct roles in the regulation of bladder cancer growth and metastasis: implications for therapeutic targeting. PLoS One 8(2):e57284, 2013. e-Pub 2/2013. PMCID: PMC3582560. (Bioinformatics data analysis and interpretation, manuscript writing)
  22. Qi W, White MC, Choi W, Guo C, Dinney C, McConkey DJ, Siefker-Radtke A. Inhibition of inducible heat shock protein-70 (hsp72) enhances bortezomib-induced cell death in human bladder cancer cells. PLoS One 8(7):e69509, 2013. e-Pub 7/2013. PMCID: PMC3715471. (Bioinformatics data analysis and interpretation)
  23. Choi W, Porten S, Kim S, Willis D, Plimack ER, Hoffman-Censits J, Roth B, Cheng T, Tran M, Lee IL, Melquist J, Bondaruk J, Majewski T, Zhang S, Pretzsch S, Baggerly K, Siefker-Radtke A, Czerniak B, Dinney CP, McConkey D. Identification of distinct basal and luminal subtypes of muscle-invasive bladder cancer with different sensitivities to frontline chemotherapy. Cancer Cell 25(2):152-65, 2/2014. PMID: 24525232. [SI/QI]
  24. McConkey DJ*, Choi W*, Shen Y, Lee IL, Porten S, Matin SF, Kamat AM, Corn P, Millikan RE, Dinney C, Czerniak B, Siefker-Radtke AO. A Prognostic Gene Expression Signature in the Molecular Classification of Chemotherapy-naïve Urothelial Cancer is Predictive of Clinical Outcomes from Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy: A Phase 2 Trial of Dose-dense Methotrexate, Vinblastine, Doxorubicin, and Cisplatin with Bevacizumab in Urothelial Cancer. Eur Urol, 9/2015. PMID: 26343003. * Equal contribution
  25. Guo CC, Dadhania V, Zhang L, Majewski T, Bondaruk J, Sykulski M, Wronowska W, Gambin A, Wang Y, Zhang S, Fuentes-Mattei E, Kamat AM, Dinney C, Siefker-Radtke A, Choi W, Baggerly KA, McConkey D, Weinstein J, Czerniak B. Gene Expression Profile of the Clinically Aggressive Micropapillary Variant of Bladder Cancer. Eur Urol, 3/2016. PMID: 26988609. (Data analysis and interpretation)
  26. Roth B, Jayaratna I, Sundi D, Cheng T, Melquist J, Choi W, Porten S, Nitti G, Navai N, Wszolek M, Guo C, Czerniak B, McConkey D, Dinney C. Employing an orthotopic model to study the role of epithelial-mesenchymal transition in bladder cancer metastasis. Oncotarget. 2016 Aug 2. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.11009. PMID: 27494900 (Data analysis and interpretation, manuscript writing)
  27. Ochoa AE, Choi W, Su X, Siefker-Radtke A, Czerniak B, Dinney C, McConkey DJ. Specific micro-RNA expression patterns distinguish the basal and luminal subtypes of muscle-invasive bladder cancer. Oncotarget. 2016 Dec 6;7(49):80164-80174. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.13284. (Data analysis and interpretation, manuscript writing)
  28. Choi W, Ochoa A, McConkey DJ, Aine M, Höglund M, Kim WY, Real FX, Kiltie AE, Milsom I, Dyrskjøt L, Lerner SP. Genetic Alterations in the Molecular Subtypes of Bladder Cancer: Illustration in the Cancer Genome Atlas Dataset. Eur Urol  2017 Sep;72(3):354-365. doi: 10.1016/j.eururo.2017.03.010. Epub 2017 Mar 30
  29. Seiler R, Ashab HAD, Erho N, van Rhijn BWG, Winters B, Douglas J, Van Kessel KE, Fransen van de Putte EE, Sommerlad M, Wang NQ, Choeurng V, Gibb EA, Palmer-Aronsten B, Lam LL, Buerki C, Davicioni E, Sjödahl G, Kardos J, Hoadley KA, Lerner SP, McConkey DJ, Choi W, Kim WY, Kiss B, Thalmann GN, Todenhöfer T, Crabb SJ, North S, Zwarthoff EC, Boormans JL, Wright J, Dall'Era M, van der Heijden MS, Black PC. Impact of Molecular Subtypes in Muscle-invasive Bladder Cancer on Predicting Response and Survival after Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy. Eur Urol. 2017 Oct;72(4):544-554. doi: 10.1016/j.eururo.2017.03.030. Epub 2017 Apr 5.
  30. Schroeder RD, Choi W, Hong DS, McConkey DJ. Autophagy is required for crizotinib-induced apoptosis in MET-amplified gastric cancer cells. Oncotarget. 2017 Jun 7;8(31):51675-51687. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.18386. eCollection 2017 Aug 1
  31. Choi W, McConkey D. Reply to Joshua A. Linscott, Angela B. Smith, and Jesse D. Sammon's Letter to the Editor re: Woonyoung Choi, Andrea Ochoa, David J. McConkey, et al. Genetic Alterations in the Molecular Subtypes of Bladder Cancer: Illustration in The Cancer Genome Atlas Dataset. Eur Urol 2017;72:354-65. Eur Urol. 2017 Nov 23. pii: S0302-2838(17)30979-X. doi: 10.1016/j.eururo.2017.11.003.

Review Articles

  1. Choi W, Song SW, Zhang W. Understanding cancer through proteomics. Technol Cancer Res Treat 1(4):211-230, 8/2002. PMID: 12625780.
  2. McConkey DJ, Choi W, Marquis L, Martin F, Williams MB, Shah J, Svatek R, Das A, Adam L, Kamat A, Siefker-Radtke A, Dinney C. Role of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in drug sensitivity and metastasis in bladder cancer. Cancer Metastasis Rev 28(3-4):335-44, 12/2009. PMID: 20012924.
  3. McConkey DJ, Lee S, Choi W, Tran M, Majewski T, Lee S, Siefker-Radtke A, Dinney C, Czerniak B. Molecular genetics of bladder cancer: Emerging mechanisms of tumor initiation and progression. Urol Oncol 28(4):429-40, Jul-Aug, 7/2010. PMCID: PMC2901550.
  4. McConkey DJ, Choi W, Dinney CP. New Insights into Subtypes of Invasive Bladder Cancer: Considerations of the Clinician. Eur Urol:00416-3, 5/2014. PMID: 24877661.
  5. Choi W, Czerniak B, Ochoa A, Su X, Siefker-Radtke A, Dinney C, McConkey DJ. Intrinsic basal and luminal subtypes of muscle-invasive bladder cancer. Nat Rev Urol 11(7):400-10, 7/2014. PMID: 24960601.
  6. McConkey D, Choi W, Dinney C. Reply to Mattias Aine, Fredrik Liedberg, Gottfrid Sjödahl, and Mattias Höglund's Letter to the Editor re: David J. McConkey, Woonyoung Choi, Colin P.N. Dinney. New Insights into Subtypes of Invasive Bladder Cancer: Considerations of the Clinician. Eur Urol 2014;66:609-10. Eur Urol., 9/2014. PMID: 25199718.
  7. McConkey DJ, Choi W, Ochoa A, Siefker-Radtke A, Czerniak B, Dinney CP. Therapeutic opportunities in the intrinsic subtypes of muscle-invasive bladder cancer. Hematol Oncol Clin North Am 29(2):377-94, 4/2015. PMID: 25836941.
  8. McConkey DJ, Choi W, Dinney CP. Genetic subtypes of invasive bladder cancer. Current Opinion in Urology 25(5):449-58, 9/2015. PMID: 26218634.
  9. Kamat AM, Hahn NM, Efstathiou JA, Lerner SP, Malmström PU, Choi W, Guo CC, Lotan Y, Kassouf W. Bladder cancer. Lancet. 2016 Dec 3;388(10061):2796-2810. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(16)30512-8. PMID: 27345655
  10. Li R, Choi W, Ferguson Rd JE, Metcalfe MJ, Kamat AM. New discoveries in the molecular landscape of bladder cancer. F1000Res. 2016 Dec 19;5:2875. doi: 10.12688/f1000research.10031.1.PMID: 28105319

Book Chapters, Monographs

  1. Choi W, Lang F, Zhang W. Functional Inactivation of p53 in Gliomas. In: Genomic and Molecular Neuro-oncology. Ed(s) Zhang and Fuller. Jones and Bartlett, 31-46, 2003.
  2. McConkey DJ, Choi W, Fournier K, Marquis L, Ramachandran V, Arumugam T. Human pancreatic cancer cell lines. In: Hand book of pancreatic cancer, 2009.



Awards & Honors

2008-2011, Career Development Award of the Bladder Cancer SPORE, NIH/NCI.

2015, Travel Scholarship Award, Oncology Meeting Innovations

2016, Cancer Res 69(14):5820-8, 7/2009 - Selected as one of “Influential Articles’ in ‘75th Anniversary Celebration’ of ‘Cancer Research’ (http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/site/misc/75th_anniversary/CR75_influential_articles.html 

2017, Developmental Research Program Grant, Greenberg Bladder Cancer Institute.