William Chan

William Chan

Chair, Department of Pharmaceutics and Medicinal Chemistry
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At Pacific Since: 1996

William K. Chan, PharmD, PhD graduated from University of California, San Francisco in 1986 with a doctor of pharmacy and a doctor of philosophy in 1991. He then received post-doctoral training at University of California, Davis in 1992 for one year in environmental toxicology. He followed this with another post-doctoral fellowship at Northwestern University Medical School for four years in molecular pharmacology. In 1996, Dr. Chan joined the faculty at University of the Pacific as Assistant Professor. In the future, he hopes to continue gaining funding for his lab to make new discoveries that benefit the community, as well as have more opportunities for collaboration with his fellow faculty members on and off campus.

Dr. Chan enjoys University of the Pacific for its beautiful campus and good working environment. He also enjoys teaching, Pacific's student-centered learning environment, and Pacific's support of faculty research. In his spare time, Dr. Chan enjoys playing racquetball.


PharmD, University of California, San Francisco, 1986

PhD, University of California, San Francisco, 1991

PostDoc in Environmental Toxicology, University of California, Davis, 1992

PostDoc in Molecular Pharmacology, Northwestern University Medical School, 1993-1996

Teaching Interests

Teaching Philosophy
"Encourage conceptual understanding and develop critical thinking through discussion."

PHRM 113 — Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry

Research Focus

Research Summary
The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) is an important signaling molecule in response to human exposure of numerous environmental contaminants that are unavoidable in our daily diet and living. Understanding of how our body controls the AhR cellular levels is a fundamental knowledge of this receptor that affects our bodily response to toxins in the environment. Dr. Chan has discovered that a protein, known as p23, has the ability to decrease the amount of the receptor in the absence of ligand. In 2014 he received a grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIH), a division of the National Institutes of Health, for his research titled "Investigating the molecular mechanisms in controlling the aryl hydrocarbon receptor protein levels." This grant is funded over three years for $367,000 and will address mechanisms that control the AhR protein levels in human cells. Dr. Chan has been studying the AhR since 1993 and has received a total of four grants from the institute since 1999.

Research Interests

  • Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor and Arnt-dependent Pathways
  • Rational Drug Design
  • Cytochrome P450 Mediated Drug Interactions
  • Recombinant Protein Expression

Scholarly Activity

Yang, Y. and Chan, W. K. (2021) Glycogen synthase kinase 3 beta regulates the human aryl hydrocarbon receptor cellular content and activity. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 22, 6097.

Wang, Y., Yang, D., Chang, A., Zhao, B., Denison, M., Chan, W. K. and Xue, L. (2011) Synthesis of a ligand-quencher conjugate for the ligand binding study of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor using a FRET assay, Med. Chem. Res. Feb 4, doi:10.1007/s00044-011-9575-7.

Park, M. S., Chu, F., Xie, J., Wang, Y., Bhattacharya, P. and Chan, W. K. (2011) Identification of cyclophilin-40 interacting proteins reveals potential cellular function of cyclophilin-40, Anal. Biochem. 410, 257-265.

Krueger. A., Parker, A., Ren, J., Chan, W. K. and Russell, S. C. (2011) Characterization of disulfide bridges in E. coli expressed AhRC∆553 via SDS-PAGE & AP-MALDI-MS. CSUPERB Abstract, Jan.

Nguyen, P. M., Wang, D., Li, Y. and Chan, W. K. (2011) p23 co-chaperone is essential for the optimal function of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor in Hepa1c1c7 cells by modulating the AhR content. FASEB Abstract, Washington D.C., April.

Wang, Y., Li, Y., Wang, D. and Chan, W. K. (2011) The aryl hydrocarbon receptor nuclear translocator-interacting peptide 1 suppresses hypoxia inducible factor-1 alpha signaling via an Arnt-dependent mechanism. FASEB Abstract, Washington D.C., April.