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. He completed an Odyssey postdoctoral fellowship 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 55 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

1. Wang Y, Wang Z, Xu J, Li J, Li S, Zhang M, Yang D#. Systematic Identification of Non-coding Pharmacogenomic Landscape in Cancer, Nat Commun, 2018, Accepted (#: corresponding author).
2. Wang Z, Yang B, Zhang M, Guo W, Wu Z, Jia L, Wang Y, Li S, Xie W, Yang D#. LncRNA epigenetic landscape analysis identifies EPIC1 as an oncogenic lncRNA that interacts with MYC and promotes cell cycle progression in cancer, Cancer Cell. 2018 Apr 9;33(4):706-720.e9. PMID: 29622465 (#: corresponding author).
3. Gu Y, Wang R, Han Y, Zhou W, Zhao Z, Chen T, Zhang Y, Peng F, Liang H, Qi L, Zhao W, Yang D#, Guo Z#, A landscape of synthetic viable interactions in cancer, Brief Bioinform. 2017 Jan 17. pii: bbw142. doi: 10.1093/bib/bbw142. PMID: 28096076 (#: corresponding author)
4. Zhang M, Liu G, Xue F, Edwards R, Sood A, Zhang, W, Yang D#, Copy number deletion of RAD50 as a predictive marker of BRCAness and PARP inhibitor response in BRCA wild-type ovarian cancer, Gynecol Oncol.2016 Apr;141(1):57-64. doi: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2016.01.004. (#: corresponding author)
5. Yang D, Khan S, Sun Y, Hess K, Shmulevich I, Sood AK, Zhang W. Association of BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations with survival, chemotherapy sensitivity, and gene mutator phenotype in patients with ovarian cancer. JAMA. 2011 Oct 12;306(14):1557-65. PubMed PMID: 21990299; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4159096.
6. 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. 2013 Feb 11;23(2):186-99. PubMed PMID: 23410973; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3603369.
7. 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 the miR-200 family. Clin Cancer Res. 2014 Feb 15;20(4):878-89. PubMed PMID: 24352645. (*: equal contributions)
8. Chen K*, Yang D*, Li X*, Sun B, Song F, Cao W, Brat DJ, Gao Z, Li H, Liang H, Zhao Y, Zheng H, Li M, Buckner J, Patterson SD, Ye X, Reinhard C, Bhathena A, Joshi D, Mischel PS, Croce CM, Wang YM, Raghavakaimal S, Li H, Lu X, Pan Y, Chang H, Ba S, Luo L, Cavenee WK, Zhang W, Hao X. Mutational landscape of gastric adenocarcinoma in Chinese: implications for prognosis and therapy. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015 Jan 27;112(4):1107-12. PubMed PMID: 25583476; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4313862. (*: equal contributions)

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
2015 New Investigator Award, RPCI-UPCI Ovarian Cancer SPORE, Pittsburgh, PA

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

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