W.K. Alfred Yung, MD

W.K. Alfred Yung, MD

Dr. Yung is professor of Neuro-oncology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, where he held the Margaret and Ben Love Chair of Clinical Cancer Care and dual appointment as professor of Cancer Biology. He is also a faculty member at the UT Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences in Houston.

 He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis and his medical degree from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. Internship and residency training followed at the University of California, San Diego. He completed chief residency and a fellowship at Cornell University School of Medicine and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Dr. Yung joined MD Anderson as assistant professor in 1981 and rose quickly through the faculty ranks.

He was co-director (1999-2015) of the MDACC Brain Tumor Center, which he expanded with co-director Raymond Sawaya, M.D.  Dr.

Yung has led the department of Neuro-Oncology as ad interim chair (1999-2002) and as chair (2002-2015).  During his tenure, the department has expanded to 24 faculty who have achieved much under his guidance, including development of a National Cancer Institute (NCI)-funded Brain Tumor Clinical Trial Consortium, a Brain Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE), and the groundbreaking D24 smart oncolytic virus program.

Dr. Yung’s extensive experience and expertise in brain tumor research has included more than three decades of basic, translational and clinical studies at MD Anderson. Published more than 350 peer-reviewed journals, his research aims to develop new therapeutic approaches to block the regulatory mechanisms of brain cancer cells. His primary focus is on development of molecular therapeutic strategies targeting the EGFR and PTEN/PI3 kinase pathways and tumor resistant mechanisms that are crucial to the progression of human glioma. Dr. Yung’s many significant contributions to his field include discovery of the PTEN gene with Peter Steck; leading the study that led to FDA approval of temozolomide for glioblastoma and co-leadership of the registration study which led to approval of the drug bevacizumab for recurrent glioblastoma; development and funding of the National Cancer Institute (NCI)-funded Brain Tumor SPORE; building of the D24 smart oncolytic virus program; leadership in the NCI- funded CNS tumor clinical trial consortia and creation of the GBM Agile, a global adaptive clinical trial platform.

Dr. Yung served as Editor-in-Chief of Neuro-Oncology (2007-2014), and co-chair of the NCI Brain Malignancy Steering Committee (2011-2017). He was appointed to Vice President Biden’s Cancer Moonshot Blue Ribbon Panel in 2016. He is currently serving as Special Scientific Advisor of National Brain Tumor Society (NBTS), Chair of SAB for Asia Foundation for Cancer Research (AFCR), member of SAC for Ludwig Institute of Cancer Research (LICR), member of SAB for DNATrix, ILCT Inc, Quadriga, Denovo Biopharm, and a member of the MDACC Cancer Moonshot Leadership Committee.