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).
Drug the undruggable: mechanistic studies of resistance to cancer chemotherapy using integrated genomics.
Reveal the dark matter in cancer: identification of genetic and epigenetic defects in ncRNAs and the subsequent disruption of their downstream effects
Selected peer-reviewed publications
1. Yang D, Sun Y, Hu L, Zheng H, Ji P, Pecot CV, Zhao Y, Reynolds S, Cheng H, Rupaimoole R, Cogdell D, Nykter M, Broaddus R, Rodriguez-Aguayo C, Lopez-Berestein G, Liu J, Shmulevich I, Sood AK, Chen K, Zhang W. “Integrated analyses identify a master microRNA regulatory network for the mesenchymal subtype in serous ovarian cancer”. Cancer Cell. (Impact Factor [IF]=24.755) 2013 Feb 11;23(2):186-99. Featured on the cover.
2. Yang D, Khan S, Sun Y, Hess K, Shmulevich I, Sood A and Zhang W. "Association between BRCA2 but not BRCA1 Mutations and Beneficial Survival, Chemotherapy Sensitivity, and Gene Mutator Phenotype in Patients with Ovarian Cancer." JAMA. (IF=30.026) 2011 Oct 12;306(14):1557-65. Highlighted by JAMA, Nature Reviews Cancer, Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology, NCI Cancer Bulletin, LA Times, Bloomberg, and U.S.News etc.
3. The Cancer Genome Atlas Research Network (include Yang D), Comprehensive and Integrative Genomic Characterization of Diffuse Lower Grade Gliomas. N Engl J Med. (Under Revision)
4. Liu G, Yang D, Pecot C, Sun Y, Li Xia, Ji P, Cogdell D, Hu L, Rodriguez-Aguayo C, Lopez-Berestein G, Shmulevich I, De Cecco L, Mezzanzanica D, Xue F, Sood A. Augmentation of response to chemotherapy by microRNA-506 through synthetic lethality in serous ovarian cancers. J Natl Cancer Inst. (Under Revision)
5. Du X*, Yang J*, Yang D*, Tian W, Zhu Z. The genetic basis for inactivation of Wnt pathway in human osteosarcoma. BMC Cancer (IF=3.33). 2014 Jun 18;14:450. *:equal contributions
6. The Cancer Genome Atlas Research Network (include Yang D), Comprehensive Molecular Characterization of Gastric Adenocarcinoma. Nature. (IF=38.597). 513, 202–209 (11 September 2014) doi:10.1038/nature13480
7. Guo F, Cogdell D, Hu L, Yang D, Sood AK, Xue F, Zhang W. “miR-101 suppresses the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition by targeting ZEB1 and ZEB2 in ovarian carcinoma.” Oncol Rep. (IF= 2.297) 2014 May;31(5):2021-8.
8. Guo F, Parker Kerrigan BC, Yang D, Hu L, Shmulevich I, Sood AK, Xue F, Zhang W. Post-transcriptional regulatory network of epithelial-to-mesenchymal and mesenchymal-to-epithelial transitions. J Hematol Oncol. (IF=4.46) 2014 Mar 5;7(1):19.
9. Liu G, Sun Y, Ji P, Li X, Cogdell D, Yang D, Kerrigan B, Shmulevich I, Chen K, Sood A, Xue F, and Zhang W. MiR-506 Suppresses Proliferation and Induces Senescence by Directly Targeting the CDK4/6-FOXM1 Axis in Ovarian Cancer. J Pathol. (IF=7.585) 2014 Mar 6. doi: 10.1002/path.4348.
10. Patel L, Parker B, Yang D, Zhang W. Translational genomics in cancer research: converting profiles into personalized cancer medicine. Cancer Biol Med. 2013 Dec;10(4):214-220
11. Song F*, Yang D*, Liu B*, Guo Y, Zheng H, Li L, Wang T, Yu J, Zhao Y, Niu R, Liang H, Winkler H, Zhang W, Hao X, Chen K” Integrated microRNA network analyses identify a poor-prognosis subtype of gastric cancer characterized by miR-200 family” Clin Cancer Res (IF=7.837) Dec 18, 2013; doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-13-1844 *:equal contributions
12. The Cancer Genome Atlas Research Network (include Yang D), John N Weinstein, Eric A Collisson, Gordon B Mills, Kenna R Mills Shaw, Brad A Ozenberger, Kyle Ellrott, Ilya Shmulevich, Chris Sander & Joshua M Stuart “The Cancer Genome Atlas Pan-Cancer analysis project” Nat Genet. (IF=35.209) 2013 Sep 26;45(10):1113-20.
13. Pecot C, Rupaimoole R*, Yang D*, Akbani R*, Ivan C, Lu C, Wu S, Han H, Shah M, Rodriguez-Aguayo C, Bottsford-Miller J, Liu Y, Kim S, Unruh A, Gonzalez-Villasana V, Huang L, Zand B, Moreno-Smith M, Mangala L, Taylor M, Dalton H, Sehgal V, Wen Y, Kang Y, Baggerly K, Lee J, Ram P, Ravoori M, Kundra V, Zhang X, Ali-Fehmi A, Gonzalez-Angulo A, Massion P, Calin G, Lopez-Berestein G, Zhang W, Sood A “Tumor Angiogenesis Regulation by the miR-200 Family.” Nat Commun. (IF=10.015) 2013 Sep 10;4:2427. *:equal contributions
14. Zheng H, Zhang L, Zhao Y, Yang D, Song F, Wen Y, Hao Q, Hu Z, Zhang W, Chen K. Plasma miRNAs as diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers for ovarian cancer. PLoS One. (IF=3.730) 2013 Nov 1;8(11)
15. Zhang Y, Xia J, Zhang Y, Qin Y, Yang D, Qi L, Zhao W, Wang C, Guo Z. Pitfalls in experimental designs for characterizing the transcriptional, methylational and copy number changes of oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes. PLoS One. (IF=3.730). 2013;8(3):e58163.
16. Chen X, Zhang J, Cheng W, Chang DY, Huang J, Wang X, Jia L, Rosen DG, Zhang W, Yang D, Gershenson DM, Sood AK, Bast RC Jr, Liu J. CA-125 level as a prognostic indicator in type I and type II epithelial ovarian cancer. Int J Gynecol Cancer. (IF=1.941) 2013 Jun;23(5):815-22.
17. Liu G, Yang D, Sun Y, Shmulevich I, Xue F, Sood AK, Zhang W.Differing clinical impact of BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations in serous ovarian cancer. Pharmacogenomics. (IF=3.857) 2012 Oct;13(13):1523-35.
18. The Cancer Genome Atlas Research Network (include Yang D), “Comprehensive Molecular Characterization of Human Colon and Rectal tumors.” Nature. (IF=38.597) 2012 Jul 18;487(7407):330-7.
19. Yang J*, Yang D*, Sun Y, Cogdell D, Hu L, Li H, Pang Y, Du X, Yang Y, Zhang J, Wang G, Trent J, Chen K, Sun B, Hao X, Zhang W. Genetic amplification of the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) pathway genes, including VEGFA, in human osteosarcoma. Cancer. (IF=5.201) 2011 Nov 1;117(21):4925-38. *:equal contributions
20. Gu Y*, Yang D*, Zou J, Ma W, Wu R, Zhao W, Zhang Y, Xiao H, Gong X, Zhang M, Zhu J, Guo Z. "Systematic interpretation of co-occurring mutation using large scale mutation profile". Molecular Cancer Therapeutics. (IF=5.599) 2010 Aug;9(8):2186-95. *:equal contributions
21. Yang D, Ylipää A, Yang J, Hunt K, Pollock R, Trent J, Yli-Harja O, Shmulevich I, Nykter M, Zhang W. "An integrated study of aberrant gene copy number and gene expression in GIST and LMS". Technol Cancer Res Treat. (IF=1.943) 2010 Apr;9(2):171-8
22. Zheng H, Song F, Zhang L, Yang D, Ji P, Wang Y, Almeida M, Calin GA, Hao X, Wei Q, Zhang W, Chen K. Genetic variants at the miR-124 binding site on the cytoskeleton-organizing IQGAP1 gene confer differential predisposition to breast cancer. Int J Oncol. (IF=2.657) 2011 Apr;38(4):1153-61.
23. Zhu J, Xiao H, Shen X, Wang J, Zou J, Zhang L, Yang D, Ma W, Yao C, Gong X, Zhang M, Zhang Y, Guo Z. "Viewing cancer genes from co-evolving gene modules." Bioinformatics. (IF=5.323) 2010 Apr 1;26(7):919-24.
24. Yang J, Yang D, Cogdell D, Du X, Hu L, Li H, Zheng H, Pang Y,Trent J, Chen K, Zhang W.. "APEX1 Gene Amplification and Its Protein Overexpression in Osteosarcoma: Correlation with Recurrence, Metastasis, and Survival". Technol Cancer Res Treat. (IF=1.943) 2010 Apr;9(2):161-9.
25. Wang Y, Yang D, Cogdell D, Hu L, Xue F, Broaddus R, Zhang W. “Genomic characterization of gene copy-number aberrations in endometrial carcinoma cell lines derived from endometrioid-type endometrial adenocarcinoma”. Technol Cancer Res Treat. (IF=1.943) 2010 Apr;9(2):179-89.
26. Yang J, Cogdell D, Yang D, Hu L, Li H, Zheng H, Du X, Pang Y, Trent J, Chen K, Zhang W. "Deletion of the WWOX gene and frequent loss of its protein expression in human osteosarcoma" Cancer Lett. (IF=4.258) 2010 May 1;291(1):31-8.
27. Wang D, Wang C, Zhang L, Xiao H, Shen X, Ren L, Zhao W, Hong G, Zhang Y, Zhu J, Zhang M, Yang D, Ma W, Guo Z. “Evaluation of cDNA Microarray Data by Multiple Clones Mapping to the Same Transcript”. OMICS: A Journal of Integrative Biology (IF=2.730). 2009, 13(6): 493-499.
28. Ma W, Yang D, Guo X, Gu Y, Zhao W, Gong X, Zhang M, Zhu J, Guo Z. "Coordinated functions involving multiple-function disease genes: a study for cancer". Genomics (IF=3.010), 94: 02, 2009, P 94-100
29. Yang D, Li Y, Xiao H, Guo Z, Liu Q, Zhu J, Zhang M, Wang D, Yang B. "Gaining confidence in biological interpretation of the microarray data: the functional consistence of the significant GO categories", Bioinformatics (IF=5.323), 24: 2, p.265-71, 2008.
30. Zhang M, Yao C, Guo Z, Zou J, Zhang L, Xiao H, Wang D, Yang D, Gong X, Zhu J. "Apparently low reproducibility of true differential expression discoveries in microarray studies". Bioinformatics (IF=5.323), 24:18, p. 2057-63 2008.
31. Yang D, Li Q, Hao X, Li C, Lv Y, Wang D, Zhong G, Zhang M, Guo Z. "Studying molecular mechanisms of depression by a rat model based on gene expression profiles and gene functional modules". Chinese Advanced Technology Letters, 17: 05 2007.
32. Guo Z, Li Y, Gong X, Yao C, Ma W, Wang D, Li Y, Zhu J, Zhang M, Yang D, Wang J, "Edge-based scoring and searching method for identifying condition-responsive protein-protein interaction sub-network", Bioinformatics (IF=5.323), 23: 16 p. 2121-2128, 2007.
33. Zhu J, Wang J, Guo Z, Zhang M, Yang D, Li Y, Wang D, Xiao G. “GO-2D: identifying 2-dimensional cellular-localized functional modules in Gene Ontology”. BMC Genomics (IF=4.397). 2007 Jan 24;8:30.
34. Wang D, Lv Y, Guo Z, Li X, Li Y, Zhu J, Yang D, Xu J, Rao S, Yang B, "Effects of replacing the unreliable cDNA microarray measurements on the disease classification based on gene expression profiles and functional modules". Bioinformatics (IF=5.323), 22: 23, p. 2883-9, 2006.
2011 Odyssey Fellowship, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
2012 Best Publication Award, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
2012 The Diane Denson Tobola Fellowship in Ovarian Cancer Research, Houston, TX
2012 The Harold C. and Mary L. Daily Endowment Fund Fellowship, Houston, TX
2013 The Diane Denson Tobola Fellowship in Ovarian Cancer Research, Houston, TX
2013 Bristol-Myers Squibb Award in Clinical/Translational Research, Houston, TX
2014 Outstanding Research Publication Award, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
1. “Integrated Analysis of Ovarian Cancer”, Advances in Oncology Institutional Grand Rounds, 9/28/12, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
2. “Integrated analyses identify a master microRNA regulatory network for the mesenchymal subtype in serous ovarian cancer”, 2013 Trainee Research Day, 6/12/2013, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
3. “A master microRNA regulatory network for serous ovarian cancer EMT”, Annual Postdoctoral Science Symposium, 8/1/2013, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
4. “MIRACLE analysis in melanoma”, TCGA melanoma workshop, 9/10/2013, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
5. “Integrated genomic analyses of ovarian cancer: moving from TCGA genomics data to translational research”, 12/20/2013, Peggy and Charles Stephenson Cancer Center, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, OK
6. “Integrated analyses identify a master microRNA regulatory network for the mesenchymal subtype in serous ovarian cancer”, 2013 Outstanding Publication Award, 1/14/2014, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
7. “From multi-dimension genomics data to personalized medicine: a case study of translational pharmacogenomics in ovarian cancer”, 2/19/2014, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
8. “Integrated Pharmacogenomics: a New Era of Personalized Medicine in Cancer”, 6/13/2014, School of Pharmacy, Fudan University, Shanghai, China
9. “Exome and whole-genome sequencing of gastric adenocarcinoma identifies poor prognostic HiC subtype and clinical actionable pathways”, 6/18/2014, Tianjin Medical University Cancer Institute & Hospital ,Tianjin, China
10. “From -omics to personalized medicine in ovarian cancer”, 6/21/2014, International Workshop on Cancer Systems Biology, Changchun, China
11. “Integrated Pharmacogenomics in ovarian cancer: moving from TCGA genomics data to translational medicine”, 6/26/2014, State Key Laboratory of Medical Genomics, Sino-French Research Center for Life Sciences and Genomics, Ruijin Hospital affiliated to Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine (SJTU-SM), Shanghai, China
12. “Systematic identification of therapeutic vulnerabilities in cancer from genomic profiles”, 7/25/2014, The Gulf Coast Consortia, BioScience Research Collaborative (BRC), 6500 Main at University Blvd, Houston, TX