by Roya Naqvi
Yun Yen, M.D., Ph.D., has been named director of the Department of Clinical & Molecular Pharmacology in City of Hope’s Division of Medical Oncology & Therapeutics Research. Yen, a professor of medical oncology at City of Hope, also was appointed associate director for Translational Research and co-director, with Richard Jove, Ph.D., of the institution’s Developmental Cancer Therapeutics program.
Board-certified in internal medicine and medical oncology, Yen is recognized for research into the drug target ribonucleotide reductase (RR), a rate-limiting enzyme in DNA synthesis. Over-expression of RR is associated with cancer development. Conversely, RR inhibition can block DNA syntheses and cause tumor cell death.
Yen’s clinical interests are in phase I trial development and hepatobiliary cancer treatment. Hepatobiliary cancer, which affects the liver, bile ducts and biliary tract, is increasing in incidence nationally, according to the American Cancer Society.
Yen and his research team are attempting to develop new drug treatments through a multidisciplinary approach, encompassing medical oncology, surgery and radiation oncology.
"Yun Yen’s appointment provides the desirable balance between laboratory and clinical sciences that will foster translational research leading to new therapeutic approaches," said Ted Krontiris, M.D., Ph.D., executive vice president, Medical & Scientific Affairs. "In his new role, he will help us expand and integrate these activities across our cancer center."
Yen earned his medical degree at the Taipei Medical College in Taipei, Taiwan, and his Ph.D. in pathology and cell biology at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.
He is a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s Cancer Research Committee, the American Medical Association, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network’s Esophageal/ Gastric Cancer Committee and the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation. He also serves as chair of the board of the Asian American Cancer Foundation.