Ya Wang, MD, PhD

Professor

Department of Radiation Oncology

Director

Division of Experimental Radiation Oncology

Overview

  • Dr. Wang is researching how human tumor cells respond to DNA damage, particularly to radiotherapy-induced DNA double strand breaks (DSBs).
  • Her research affects cancer diagnosis and treatment because to understand the mechanism underlying radiotherapy-induced DSBs will help to kill human tumor cells.
  • Dr. Wang's top research accomplishments is identifying that the DNA damage-induced checkpoint responses mainly facilitate homologues recombination repair and have little effects on non-homologous end-joining.
  • Dr. Wang is a member of the Cancer Genetics and Epigenetics research program at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University.

Biography

Ya Wang, MD, PhD, joined the Department of Radiation Oncology at Emory University School of Medicine in September, 2008 as Professor and Director of the Division of Experimental Radiation Oncology. Prior to joining Emory, Dr. Wang was Professor and Director of the Division of Experimental Radiation Oncology in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.

Dr. Wang received her MD and PhD in China (The Third Medical University in Chongqing and The Academy of Medical Science, in Beijing respectively) and completed her postdoctoral fellow training in the field of radiobiology at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.

Since Dr. Wang became an independent investigator in 1997, her lab has made major scientific contributions as follows: 1. Identify ATR/CHK1 as an ATM independent pathway that contributes to ionizing radiation-induced S and G2 checkpoint response. 2. Identify the checkpoint responses including the ATR/CHK1 and Hus1/Rad1/Rad9 pathways that mainly facilitate homologous recombination repair (HRR) but have little effect on non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ). 3. Identify that the NHEJ pathway actively inhibits checkpoint response. 4. Identify that high-LET radiation to kill more cells than low-LET radiation at the same dose is due to inefficient NHEJ but is independent of HRR. 5. Identify that miRNAs are involved in promoting ionizing radiation-induced cell transformation and carcinogenesis.

Currently, the research in Dr. Wang’s lab is to elucidate the mechanism by which mammalian cells respond to DNA double strand breaks (DSBs). The research is involved in combining molecular, cellular and animal biology approaches to develop new technology. Dr. Wang hopes that the work in her lab will contribute to improving cancer prevention and treatment.

Education

Dr. Wang received her MD from The Third Medical University, Changquing, China, where she later received her MS She received her PhD from the Academy of Medical Science, Beijing, China. Dr. Wang received her postdoctoral training at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Publications