Guang Yao, PhD

Cancer Biology Program


Dr. Yao has a broad background in cancer systems biology, with specific training and expertise in cancer pathway modeling and experimental testing. His Ph.D. training at UW-Madison was in cancer biology with additional emphasis on computational biology. By coupling modeling and experiments, his postdoctoral work at Duke demonstrated the first natural bistable system in mammalian cells, the Rb-E2F bistable switch that controls cell quiescence and proliferation, and help identified oncogenic pathway signatures as a guide to targeted therapies. He focuses his work at studying gene regulation and cell signaling networks by integrating experimental biology with quantitative science, to dissect complex biological systems in cancer.

Cancer Focus

Dr. Yao has developed a series of single-cell experimental systems, coupled with mathematical and statistical modeling, to address critical questions regarding mammalian cell fate decisions – particularly those related to cell proliferation and quiescence. In this endeavor, he has developed close and effective collaborations with modelers, computational scientists, optical scientists, statisticians and clinical physicians, to better understand cellular mechanisms underlying cancer dormancy, drug resistance, and metastasis.