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Wai-Kwan Alfred Yung, M.D.

Present Title & Affiliation

Primary Appointment

Professor, Department of Neuro-Oncology, Division of Cancer Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
Department Chair, Department of Neuro-Oncology, Division of Cancer Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX

Bio Statement

Dr. Wai-Kwan Alfred Yung is a Professor of Neuro-Oncology and Cancer Biology, as well as the Margaret and Ben Love Chair of Clinical Cancer Care. He has served as Chair of the Department of Neuro-Oncology since 1999. He is also the director of the Brain Tumor SPORE and co-director of the Brain Tumor Center at MD Anderson. Dr. Yung has extensive experience and expertise in the field of brain tumor research.  His research program spans more than two decades and includes basic, translational, and clinical research. Along with 28 years of continuous funding by NCI, his work has also been funded by foundations and industry grants. The overall objective of his research program is to develop new therapeutic approaches to block the regulatory mechanisms of brain cancer cells. His primary research interest focuses on development of molecular therapeutic strategies targeting the EGFR and PTEN/PI3 kinase pathways and their parallel regulatory mechanisms that are crucial to human glioma genesis and progression. The translational research effort has included the development of oncolytic adenoviral vectors and pre-clinical studies of many small molecular inhibitors targeting the PTEN/P13K and EGFR pathways. Dr. Yung has published over 300 peer-reviewed articles in many high impact journals covering diverse laboratory and clinical research topics. He serves on the scientific advisory board ofseveral pharmaceutical companies and private foundations.  He is the current editor-in-chief of Neuro-Oncology and co-chair of the NCI Brain Malignancy Steering Committee.

Education & Training

Degree-Granting Education

1975 University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, MD, Medicine
1971 University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, BS, Biochemistry

Postgraduate Training

1978-1981 Fellowship, Neuro-Oncology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, NY, NY
1978-1979 Chief Resident, Neurology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, NY, NY
1975 Residency, Neurology, University of California, San Diego, CA

Board Certifications

1/1980 American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology


Other Appointments/Responsibilities

Co-Chair, NCI Brain Malignancies Steering Committee, Rockville, MD, 2010-present


Advisory Board Member, Merck & Company, North Wales, PA, 2010-present
Consultant, Terry Fox Research Institute, Vancouver, BC, Canada, 2009-present
Consultant, The National Brain Tumor Society, Boston, MA, 2009-present
Scientific Advisory Board, Eden Therapeutics Inc., Cambridge, MA, 2008-present
Scientific Advisory Board, DNAtrix, Houston TX, 2005-present

Institutional Committee Activities

Member, Molecular Testing Evaluation Committee, 2010-present
Steering Committee Member, Institute of Personalized Cancer Therapy (IPCT), 2009-present
Member, 2005-Present, Chair, Global Academic Oversight Steering Committee, 2009-present
Member, Experimental Diagnostic Imaging Search Committee, 5/2008-2009
Member, Search Committee, Department of Neurosurgery, 2008-present
Member, Pharmaceutical Development Center (PDC) Oversight Committee, 2007-present
Member, Division of Cancer Medicine CTRC Steering Committee, 2006-present
Chair, Multidisciplinary Research Advisory Committee, 2002-present
Co-Chair, Brain Tumor Center Executive Committee, 1999-present

Honors and Awards

1992-present Best Doctors in America

Professional Memberships

American Academy of Neurology
Member, 1988-present
American Association for Cancer Research
Member, 1998-present
American Association for the Advancement of Science
Member, 1998-present
American Society of Clinical Oncology
Program Chair, 1997-1999
Society for Neuro-Oncology
Member, 1994-present

Selected Publications

Peer-Reviewed Original Research Articles

1. Koul D, Fu J, Shen R, LaFortune TA, Wang S, Tiao N, Kim YW, Liu JL, Ramnarian D, Yuan Y, Garcia-Echevrria C, Maira SM, Yung WK. Antitumor activity of NVP-BKM120- a selective pan class 1 PI3 Kinase inhibitor showed differential forms of cell death based on P53 status of glioma cells. Clin Cancer Res 18(1):184-95, 1/1/2012. e-Pub 11/7/2011. PMID: 22065080.
2. Atkinson JM, Shelat AA, Carcaboso AM, Kranenburg TA, Arnold LA, Boulos N, Wright K, Johnson RA, Poppleton H, Mohankumar KM, Féau C, Phoenix T, Gibson P, Zhu L, Tong Y, Eden C, Ellison DW, Priebe W, Koul D, Yung WK, Gajjar A, Stewart CF, Guy RK, Gilbertson RJ. An integrated in vitro and in vivo high-throughput screen identifies treatment leads for ependymoma. Cancer Cell 20(3):384-99, 9/2011. PMID: 21907928.
3. Guan S, Shen R, Lafortune T, Tiao N, Houghton P, Yung WK, Koul D. Establishment and characterization of clinically relevant models of ependymoma: a true challenge for targeted therapy. Neuro Oncol 13(7):748-58, 7/2011. e-Pub 6/2011. PMCID: PMC3129270.
4. de Groot JF, Lamborn KR, Chang SM, Gilbert MR, Cloughesy TF, Aldape K, Yao J, Jackson EF, Lieberman F, Robins HI, Mehta MP, Lassman AB, Deangelis LM, Yung WK, Chen A, Prados MD, Wen PY. Phase II Study of Aflibercept in Recurrent Malignant Glioma: A North American Brain Tumor Consortium Study. J Clin Oncol 29(19):2689-95, 7/2011. e-Pub 5/2011. PMCID: PMC3139373.
5. Kim YW, Liu TJ, Koul D, Tiao N, Feroze AH, Wang J, Powis G, Yung WK. Identification of novel synergistic targets for rational drug combinations with PI3 kinase inhibitors using siRNA synthetic lethality screening against GBM. Neuro Oncol 13(4):367-75, 4/2011. PMID: 21430111.
6. Groves MD, Hess KR, Puduvalli VK, Colman H, Conrad CA, Gilbert MR, Weinberg J, Cristofanilli M, Yung WK, Liu TJ. Biomarkers of Disease: Cerebrospinal fluid Vascular Endothelial Growth factor (VEGF) and Stromal cell derived factor (SDF-1) levels in patients with neoplastic meningitis (NM) due to breast cancer, lung cancer and melanoma. J Neurooncol 94(2):229-34, 9/2009. e-Pub 3/7/2009. PMID: 19267183.
7. Wen PY, Yung WK, Lamborn KR, Norden AD, Cloughesy TF, Abrey LE, Fine HA, Chang SM, Robins HI, Fink K, Deangelis LM, Mehta M, Di Tomaso E, Drappatz J, Kesari S, Ligon KL, Aldape K, Jain RK, Stiles CD, Egorin MJ, Prados MD. Phase II study of imatinib mesylate (Gleevec(R)) for recurrent meningiomas (North American Brain Tumor Consortium Study 01-08). Neuro Oncol 11(6):853-60, 3/2009. e-Pub 3/2009. PMCID: PMC2802405.
8. Powis G, Ihle NT, Yung WK. Inhibiting PI-3-K for glioma therapy. Cell Cycle 8(3). e-Pub 2/1/2009. PMID: 19164951.
9. Gomez-Manzano C, Holash J, Fueyo J, Xu J, Conrad CA, Aldape KD, de Groot JF, Bekele BN, Yung WK. VEGF Trap induces antiglioma effect at different stages of disease. Neuro Oncol 10(6):940-5, 12/2008. e-Pub 8/2008. PMID: 18708344.
10. Cancer Genome Atlas Research Network [Yung WK]. Comprehensive genomic characterization defines human glioblastoma genes and core pathways. Nature 455(7216):1061-8, 10/2008. e-Pub 9/2008. PMCID: PMC2671642.
11. de Groot JF, Gilbert MR, Aldape K, Hess KR, Hanna TA, Ictech S, Groves MD, Conrad C, Colman H, Puduvalli VK, Levin V, Yung WK. Phase II study of carboplatin and erlotinib (Tarceva, OSI-774) in patients with recurrent glioblastoma. J Neurooncol 90(1):89-97, 10/2008. e-Pub 6/2008. PMID: 18581057.
12. de Groot JF, Yung WK. Bevacizumab and irinotecan in the treatment of recurrent malignant gliomas. Cancer J 14(5):279-85, Sep-Oct, 9/2008. PMID: 18836331.
13. Chang SM, Lamborn KR, Kuhn JG, Yung WK, Gilbert MR, Wen PY, Fine HA, Mehta MP, DeAngelis LM, Lieberman FS, Cloughesy TF, Robins HI, Abrey LE, Prados MD, North American Brain Tumor Consortium. Neuro-Oncology clinical trial design for targeted therapies -- Lessons learned from the North American Brain Tumor Consortium. Neuro Oncol 10(4):631-642, 8/2008. e-Pub 6/2008. PMCID: PMC2666238.
14. Prados MD, Yung WKA, Wen PY, Junck L, Cloughesy T, Fink K, Chang S, Robins HI, Dancey J, Kuhn J.. Phase I trial of gefitinib and temozolomide in patients with malignant gliomas: A North American Brain Tumor Consortium Study. Cancer Chemother Pharmacol 61((6)):1059-1067, 5/2008. e-Pub 8/2007. PMID: 17694310.
15. Corn BW, Moughan J, Knisely JP, Fox SW, Chakravarti A, Yung WK, Curran WJ Jr, Robins HI, Brachman DG, Henderson RH, Mehta MP, Movsas B. Prospective evaluation of quality of life and neurocognitive effects in patients with multiple brain metastases receiving whole-brain radiotherapy with or without thalidomide on Radiation Therapy Oncology (RTOG) Trial 0118. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 71((1)):71-8, 5/2008. e-Pub 12/2007. PMID: 18164829.
16. Groves MD, Glantz MJ, Chamberlain MC, Baumgartner KE, Conrad CA, Hsu S, Wefel JS, Gilbert MR, Ictech S, Hunter KU, Forman AD, Puduvalli VK, Colman H, Hess KR, Yung WK. A multicenter Phase II trial of intrathecal topotecan in patients with meningeal malignancies. Neuro Oncol 10(2):208-215, 4/2008. e-Pub 3/2008. PMCID: PMC2613823.
17. Puduvalli VK, Giglio P, Groves MD, Hess KR, Gilbert MR, Mahankali S, Jackson EF, Levin VA, Conrad CA, Hsu SH, Colman H, de Groot JF, Ritterhouse MG, Ictech SE, Yung WK. Phase II trial of irinotecan and thalidomide in adults with recurrent glioblastoma multiforme. Neuro Oncol 10(2):216-222, 4/2008. e-Pub 2/26/2008. PMCID: PMC2613824.
18. Lamborn KR, Yung WK, Chang SM, Wen PY, Cloughesy TF, DeAngelis LM, Robins HI, Lieberman FS, Fine HA, Fink KL, Junck L, Abrey L, Gilbert MR, Mehta M, Kuhn JG, Aldape KD, Hibberts J, Peterson PM, Prados MD, North American Brain Tumor Consortium. Progression-free survival: An important end point in evaluating therapy for recurrent high-grade gliomas. Neuro Oncol 10(2):162-170, 4/2008. e-Pub 3/2008. PMCID: PMC2613818.
19. deGroot JF, Piao Y, Lu L, Fuller Gn, Yung WK. Knockdown of GluR1 expression by RNA interference inhigits glioma proliferation. J Neurooncol 88(2):121-33, 3/2008. e-Pub 3/2008. PMID: 18317690.
20. Alonso MM, Gomez-Manzano C, Jiang H, Bekele NB, Piao Y, Yung WK, Alemany R, Fueyo J. Combination of the oncolytic adenovirus ICOVIR-5 with chemotherapy provides enhanced anti-glioma effect in vivo. Cancer Gene Ther 14(8):756-61, 6/2007. e-Pub 6/2007. PMID: 17557108.


1. Yung WK. Moving toward the next steps in angiogenesis therapy? Neuro Oncol 10(6):939, 12/2008. e-Pub 11/2008. PMID: 18981258.

Grant & Contract Support

Title: An Integrative Pipeline for Analysis and Translational Application of TCGA Data
Funding Source: NIH/NCI
Role: Co-Principal Investigator
Duration: 9/1/2009 - 8/31/2014
Title: Preclinical testing of BKM120 mono and combination therapy for gliomas
Funding Source: Novartis Pharmaceuticals
Role: Principal Investigator
Duration: 1/26/2009 - 1/31/2010
Title: SPORE in Brain Cancer
Funding Source: NIH/NCI
Role: Principal Investigator
Duration: 9/1/2008 - 8/31/2013
Title: Deciphering synergistic combinatorial targets in glioblastoma
Funding Source: NIH/NCI
Role: Principal Investigator
Duration: 9/8/2006 - 6/30/2012
Title: NABTC Central Operation Grant - Data Management Core
Funding Source: NIH/NCI
Role: Principal Investigator
Duration: 1/1/2004 - 12/31/2008
Title: Radiation Therapy Oncology Group
Funding Source: NIH/NCI
Role: Principal Investigator
Duration: 1/1/2004 - 12/31/2008
Title: NABTC Clinical Center
Funding Source: NIH/NCI
Role: Investigator
Principal Investigator: Mark R. Gilbert, M.D.
Duration: 2/7/1998 - 12/31/2008

Last updated: 3/12/2013