Yang receives AACR career development award

UAB researcher awarded first joint AACR- TNBC Foundation Career Development Award focused specifically on triple negative breast cancer.

YungFrom left: Christine Wilson, Trustee for the Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation, Yang and Carlos L. Arteaga, immediate past president of the AACR. Photo by ACR/Todd Buchanan 2015Shih-Hsin (Eddy) Yang, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Radiation Oncology, has been awarded the 2015 American Association for Cancer Research-Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation Career Development Award for Clinical/Translational Research.

This award for $250,000 over three years represents a joint effort to encourage and support junior faculty to conduct triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) research and establish a successful career path in the field. This is the first year this grant has been awarded.

Yang, a scientist in the experimental therapeutics program at the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center will study how EGFR, a protein coding gene, acts to regulate DNA repair pathways and how the barrier of this pathway induces tumor susceptibility to PARP inhibitors, a type of medication used in cancer treatment.

This research is compatible with an ongoing UAB pilot clinical trial, headed by Andres Forero, M.D., professor of hematology/oncology and senior scientist at the UAB Cancer Center, using the two therapies to treat patients with metastatic and recurrent TNBC. Yang will study the effects of this combination treatment using cancer tissue samples from before and after the therapy.

“We hope the combination will be effective for patients with TNBC, and with better understanding of how these pathways interact, we can potentially find out what it is about a patient’s particular cancer that makes it sensitive to this combination treatment,” said Yang.