Yaohua Yang, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Public Health Sciences at the University of Virginia (UVA) School of Medicine and a resident faculty at the Center for Public Health Genomics (CPHG). He currently serves as Scientific Leader of Microbiome and Cancer Epidemiology Research Program (Macer) at the UVA Comprehensive Cancer Center. Prior to joining UVA in November 2022, he was a Research Instructor at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center from 2020 to 2022.
Dr. Yang’s research primarily focuses on the human microbiome and the genetic/molecular epidemiology of cancer. His past and current research have discovered novel microbial features, genetic variants, polygenic risk scores, epigenetic biomarkers, genes, protein biomarkers, and metabolites that are associated with cancer risk, through integrative analyses of metagenome, genome, DNA methylome, transcriptome, proteome, and metabolome data. His research goal is to apply a multidisciplinary approach to investigate microbiome-host interactions, genetics, epigenetics, and gene-environment interaction in cancer etiology, with an overarching goal of translating gained knowledge to early detection, risk assessment, primary prevention, and prognosis of human malignancies.
Dr. Yang is supported by the NCI R00 award and the UVA development funds. Since joining UVA, he has been extending his research interests. He has multiple projects to identify biomarkers that related to N6-methyladenosine (m6A) and chromatin accessibility for cancers and other complex diseases. Has also established collaborations with clinicians to investigate the multi-omics of lower airway microbiome in prognosis and responses to immunotherapy of lung cancer patients. Dr. Yang is actively seeking highly motivated students, postdocs, and visiting scholars to join the team.
Assistant Professor of Public Health Sciences
Scientific Leader of Microbiome and Cancer Epidemiology Research (MACER) Program
Ph.D., Computational Genomics & Bioinformatics, The Chinese Academy of Sciences, 2016
Postdoc, Cancer Epidemiology, Vanderbilt Epidemiology Center, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, 2016–2020
Research Instructor, Medicine, Vanderbilt Epidemiology Center, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, 2020–2022
Tel: 615 300 7696
Address: 560 Ray C. Hunt Dr, UVA Ivy Translational Research Building, Room 4408, Charlottesville, VA 22903
Genetics, Epidemiology, Multi-omics, Microbiome, Bioinformatics, Statistical modeling
Genetic and molecular epidemiology of cancer
Host-microbiome interactions in cancer development, prognosis, and therapeutic responses
Interplay between microbiome and metabolome in disease etiology
Selected Publications (#co-first authors):
Yang Y, Tao R, Shu X, Cai Q, Wen W, Gu K, Gao YT, Zheng Y, Kweon SS, Shin MH, Choi JY. Incorporating polygenic risk scores and nongenetic risk factors for breast cancer risk prediction among Asian women. JAMA Netw Open. 2022 Mar 1;5(3):e2149030-.
Yang Y, Long J, Wang C, Blot WJ, Pei Z, Shu X, Wu F, Rothman N, Wu J, Lan Q, Cai Q. Prospective study of oral microbiome and gastric cancer risk among Asian, African American and European American populations. Int J Cancer. 2022 Mar 15;150(6):916-27.
Zhu J#, Yang Y#, Kisiel JB, Mahoney DW, Michaud DS, Guo X, Taylor WR, Shu XO, Shu X, Liu D, Li B. Integrating genome and methylome data to identify candidate DNA methylation biomarkers for pancreatic cancer risk. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2021 Nov;30(11):2079-87.
Wu L#, Yang Y#, Guo X, Shu XO, Cai Q, Shu X, Li B, Tao R, Wu C, Nikas JB, Sun Y. An integrative multi-omics analysis to identify candidate DNA methylation biomarkers related to prostate cancer risk. Nat Commun. 2020 Aug 6;11(1):3905.
Yang Y, Wu L, Shu XO, Cai Q, Shu X, Li B, Guo X, Ye F, Michailidou K, Bolla MK, Wang Q. Genetically predicted levels of DNA methylation biomarkers and breast cancer risk: data from 228 951 women of European descent. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2020 Mar 1;112(3):295-304.
Yang Y, Wu L, Shu X, Lu Y, Shu XO, Cai Q, Beeghly-Fadiel A, Li B, Ye F, Berchuck A, Anton-Culver H. Genetic Data from Nearly 63,000 Women of European Descent Predicts DNA Methylation Biomarkers and Epithelial Ovarian Cancer RiskDNA Methylation Biomarkers and Epithelial Ovarian Cancer. Cancer Res. 2019 Feb 1;79(3):505-17.
Yang Y, Zheng W, Cai Q, Shrubsole MJ, Pei Z, Brucker R, Steinwandel M, Bordenstein SR, Li Z, Blot WJ, Shu XO. Racial differences in the oral microbiome: data from low-income populations of African ancestry and European ancestry. mSystems. 2019 Dec 17;4(6):e00639-19.
Yang Y, Shu X, Shu XO, Bolla MK, Kweon SS, Cai Q, Michailidou K, Wang Q, Dennis J, Park B, Matsuo K. Re-evaluating genetic variants identified in candidate gene studies of breast cancer risk using data from nearly 280,000 women of Asian and European ancestry. EBioMed. 2019 Oct 1;48:203-11.
Yang Y, Cai Q, Shu XO, Steinwandel MD, Blot WJ, Zheng W, Long J. Prospective study of oral microbiome and colorectal cancer risk in low-income and African American populations. Int J Cancer. 2019 May 15;144(10):2381-9.
Yang M#, Yang Y#, Chen Z, Zhang J, Lin Y, Wang Y, Xiong Q, Li T, Ge F, Bryant DA, Zhao JD. Proteogenomic analysis and global discovery of posttranslational modifications in prokaryotes. Proc Natl Acad Sci. 2014 Dec 30;111(52):E5633-42.