University of California, San Diego, USA

Jing Yang is a Professor of Pharmacology and Pediatrics at University of California, San Diego. She obtained her PhD with Dr. Sally Kornbluth in Molecular Cancer Biology at Duke in 1999.  Her graduate research focused on understanding how regulated nuclear transport of the key mitotic regulators, the Cdc2/Cyclin B kinase and the Cdc25 phosphatase, controls entry into mitosis.  In 2000, Dr. Yang became a Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Robert Weinberg at Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and identified a critical role of the Twist1 transcription factor and Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition (EMT) in tumor metastasis. Dr. Yang joined the faculty of University of California, San Diego as an Assistant Professor in 2006 and was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 2012 and professor in 2016.

Dr. Yang’s research focuses on understanding the molecular basis of tumor metastasis. Her laboratory combines cell and molecular biology tools, mouse tumor models, functional genomics, and 2D/3D imaging techniques to uncover the genes and the signaling pathways responsible for tumor metastasis. Her group has identified EMT, invadopodia-mediated extracellular matrix degradation, matrix stiffening, and epithelial polarity as being critical for tumor invasion and metastasis and continues to address the dynamic involvement of these programs in metastasis.  Dr. Yang’s achievements have been recognized by many awards, including NIH Director’s New Innovators Award, American Cancer Society Research Scholar, Kimmel Scholar award, and Metastasis Research Society Young investigator award. She is the current president of the EMT International Association.