Da Yang

Associate Professor

Dr. Da Yang is a pharmacological and bioinformatic researcher with extensive experience in multiple areas of computational biology and pharmacology. Dr. Yang’s group are capable of using bioinformatics and experimental tools study the drug resistance and drug metabolism and disposition.

Instances of his success include: (1) developed algorithms to precisely infer the gene regulatory network in disease; (2) designed and implemented a novel strategy to identify driving genes in immunotherapy and chemotherapy response; (3) integrative identification of novel biomarkers for cancer diagnosis, prognosis, chemotherapy response.

Dr. Yang’s publications have been cited 18429 times (google.scholar) since 2017. His group are publishing on top-ranked journals, such as Cancer Cell, Science Advances, Nature Communications, Theranostics and Briefs in Bioinformatics. Notably, one of paper is awarded as one of the best 10 papers published by Cancer Cell in 2018.

In research funding, Dr. Yang is the Principal Investigator of two five-year NIH R01 grant, one four-year American Cancer Society Research Scholar grant, and one foundation grant (the Shear Family Foundation). Dr. Yang has completed multiple merit-based University of Pittsburgh internal grants and one foundation grant (Elsa U. Pardee Foundation).

Dr. Yang has established important connections and engaged in collaborative work with numerous scientists and other individuals both inside and outside the University. Because of his achievement in research, Dr. Yang has received the Research Scholar Award (2018) by the American Cancer Society and Team Science Award (2020) by American Association of Cancer Research.

Research Interests

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

Honors / Awards
"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
2018 Research Scholar Award, the American Cancer Society
2018 Cancer Cell 2018 Best Paper Award
2020 AACR Team Science Award (TCGA program RNA-team leader)
2020 Hillman Fellow for Innovative Developmental Cancer Research"
Recent Publications

Zhao Y, Wang Y, Yang D, Suh K, Zhang M. A Computational Framework to Characterize the Cancer Drug Induced Effect on Aging Using Transcriptomic Data. Front Pharmacol. 2022;13:906429. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2022.906429. eCollection 2022. PubMed PMID: 35847024; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC9277350
Xie Y, Sun R, Gao L, Guan J, Wang J, Bell A, Zhu J, Zhang M, Xu M, Lu P, Cai X, Ren S, Xu P, Monga SP, Ma X, Yang D, Liu Y, Lu B, Xie W. Chronic Activation of LXRα Sensitizes Mice to Hepatocellular Carcinoma. Hepatol Commun. 2022 May;6(5):1123-1139. doi: 10.1002/hep4.1880. Epub 2022 Jan 3. PubMed PMID: 34981658; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC9035576.
Wan Z, Sun R, Liu YW, Li S, Sun J, Li J, Zhu J, Moharil P, Zhang B, Ren P, Ren G, Zhang M, Ma X, Dai S, Yang D, Lu B, Li S. Targeting metabotropic glutamate receptor 4 for cancer immunotherapy. Sci Adv. 2021 Dec 10;7(50):eabj4226. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.abj4226. Epub 2021 Dec 10. PubMed PMID: 34890233; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC8664261.
Xi Y, Li Y, Xu P, Li S, Liu Z, Tung HC, Cai X, Wang J, Huang H, Wang M, Xu M, Ren S, Li S, Zhang M, Lee YJ, Huang L, Yang D, He J, Huang Z, Xie W. The anti-fibrotic drug pirfenidone inhibits liver fibrosis by targeting the small oxidoreductase glutaredoxin-1. Sci Adv. 2021 Sep 3;7(36):eabg9241. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.abg9241. Epub 2021 Sep 1. PubMed PMID: 34516906; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC8442864.
Xu P, Xi Y, Zhu J, Zhang M, Luka Z, Stolz DB, Cai X, Xie Y, Xu M, Ren S, Huang Z, Yang D, York JD, Ma X, Xie W. Intestinal Sulfation Is Essential to Protect Against Colitis and Colonic Carcinogenesis. Gastroenterology. 2021 Jul;161(1):271-286.e11. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2021.03.048. Epub 2021 Apr 2. PubMed PMID: 33819483; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC8238844.
Zhang M, Yang D, Gold B. Origins of nonsense mutations in human tumor suppressor genes. Mutat Res. 2021 Jul-Dec;823:111761. doi: 10.1016/j.mrfmmm.2021.111761. Epub 2021 Aug 16. PubMed PMID: 34461460.
Wang X, Yang D. The regulation of RNA metabolism in hormone signaling and breast cancer. Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2021 Jun 1;529:111221. doi: 10.1016/j.mce.2021.111221. Epub 2021 Mar 10. Review. PubMed PMID: 33711334; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC8262629.
Liu B, Zhou M, Li X, Zhang X, Wang Q, Liu L, Yang M, Yang D, Guo Y, Zhang Q, Zheng H, Wang Q, Li L, Chu X, Wang W, Li H, Song F, Pan Y, Zhang W, Chen K.Interrogation of gender disparity uncovers androgen receptor as the transcriptional activator for oncogenic miR-125b in gastric cancer. Cell Death Dis. 2021 May 4;12(5):441. doi: 10.1038/s41419-021-03727-3. PubMed PMID: 33947843; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC8096848.
Guo W, Wang Y, Yang M, Wang Z, Wang Y, Chaurasia S, Wu Z, Zhang M, Yadav GS, Rathod S, Concha-Benavente F, Fernandez C, Li S, Xie W, Ferris RL, Kammula US, Lu B, Yang D. LincRNA-immunity landscape analysis identifies EPIC1 as a regulator of tumor immune evasion and immunotherapy resistance. Sci Adv. 2021 Feb;7(7). doi: 10.1126/sciadv.abb3555. Print 2021 Feb. PubMed PMID: 33568470; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7875530.
Wu Z, Li S, Tang X, Wang Y, Guo W, Cao G, Chen K, Zhang M, Guan M, Yang D. Copy Number Amplification of DNA Damage Repair Pathways Potentiates Therapeutic Resistance in Cancer. Theranostics. 2020;10(9):3939-3951. doi: 10.7150/thno.39341. eCollection 2020. PubMed PMID: 32226530; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7086350.
Deng X, Li S, Kong F, Ruan H, Xu X, Zhang X, Wu Z, Zhang L, Xu Y, Yuan H, Peng H, Yang D, Guan M. Long noncoding RNA PiHL regulates p53 protein stability through GRWD1/RPL11/MDM2 axis in colorectal cancer. Theranostics. 2020;10(1):265-280. doi: 10.7150/thno.36045. eCollection 2020. PubMed PMID: 31903119; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6929633.
Yan J, Tung HC, Li S, Niu Y, Garbacz WG, Lu P, Bi Y, Li Y, He J, Xu M, Ren S, Monga SP, Schwabe RF, Yang D, Xie W. Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Signaling Prevents Activation of Hepatic Stellate Cells and Liver Fibrogenesis in Mice. Gastroenterology. 2019 Sep;157(3):793-806.e14. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2019.05.066. Epub 2019 Jun 3. PubMed PMID: 31170413; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6707837.
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 (#: corresponding author).
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).
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)
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)
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.
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.
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)
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)

"“MiR-506 is a master regulator of EMT and HR pathways in ovarian cancer” RPCI-UPCI SPORE IAB Meeting, 4/13-4/15/2016, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY,
“Systematic Identification of Non-coding Pharmacogenomic Landscape in Women’s Cancer”, 6/2/2018, ASCO-NCI GYN SPORE Workshop, Chicago
“A Comprehensive Noncoding Landscape Of Cancer Pharmacogenomics”, 4/26/2019, Department of Pathology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
“LncRNAs as master regulator for cancer progression and chemotherapy response”, 5/2/2019, the 5th Great Lakes Breast Cancer Symposium, Columbus, OH
“Integrative Analyses Identify LncRNAs as Master Regulators for Cancer Immune Evasion and Drug Response”, 7/24/2019, The Institute of Immuno-oncology, Columbus, OH
“Unleash the Power of Multi-omics to Characterize the Pharmacogenomic Landscape of Disease”. 8/26/2020, Tulane University. 6823 St. Charles Avenue New Orleans, LA"