Dr. Yang is an Assistant Professor at Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and a member of the Center for Pharmacogenetics, University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy. Dr. Yang received his MD from the Harbin Medical University in China and his PhD in pharmacology and genomics. He completed an Odyssey postdoctoral fellowship with Dr. Wei Zhang at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Dr. Yang has been intensively involved in the Cancer Genome Atlas Project (TCGA), which is an unprecedented effort to build comprehensive genomic and epigenetic maps of human cancers types.
The research of Dr. Yang’s laboratory is focusing on using integrated genomic and functional studies to identify mechanisms of resistance to cancer therapeutics, and to develop novel approaches/markers to enable personalized cancer medicine. Currently, ongoing works involves (i) the mechanistic studies of resistance to cancer therapeutics, especially the targeted therapy for the pathways with the most prevalent genomic alterations in human solid tumors (ii) the characterization of genetic and epigenetic alternation of non protein-coding components (ncRNAs) of the genome, such as miRNA and lncRNA genes in solid tumor. His approaches have proved successful in several instances, including the identification of miR-506 as a tumor suppressor miRNA inhibiting Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal (EMT) and cell cycle pathway and the discovery of BRCA2 gene mutations leading to the genome instability and cisplatin response in ovarian cancer.
Dr. Yang has published 35 scientific papers. His research has aroused a great deal of interest and has been extensively covered nationally and internationally by both leading academic media (e.g., Nature Review Cancers and NCI Cancer Bulletin) and business media (e.g., LA Times and Bloomberg). He has received the Bristol-Myers Squibb Award in Clinical/Translational Research (2013) in addition to being a two-time recipient of the The Diane Denson Tobola Fellowship in Ovarian Cancer Research (2012, 2013).