Yana Zavros, PhD

Shared Resource Director, Tissue Acquisition Cellular and Molecular Analysis
Cancer Biology Program

Biography

After earning her B.Sc. with honors from the University of Melbourne (Australia), Yana Zavros completed her Ph.D. in 1998 in the Department of Surgery. She completed her Howard Hughes Medical Institute postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Michigan. In 2007, Zavros joined Pharmacology and Systems Physiology at the University of Cincinnati as an Assistant Professor. There she pioneered organoid-based technologies aiming to generate patient-derived models to study underlying mechanisms driving initiation and progression of gastrointestinal cancers. In 2019, she moved to the University of Arizona as Professor of Cellular and Molecular Medicine. She is Associate Head of Research and director of the Tissue Acquisition and Cellular/Molecular Analysis Shared Resource.

Cancer Focus

The Zavros laboratory studies of the mechanisms that drive gastric epithelial regeneration and Helicobacter pylori-induced disease using in vitro and in vivo organoid systems. The laboratory has also developed patient-derived gastric and pancreatic cancer organoids from tumors and biopsies, which are used in personalized drug screens to predict individual therapy response. Organoid/immune cell co-cultures and humanized mouse models are specifically used to identify the mechanisms by which cancer and immune cells foster an immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment.