Herbert Yu, MD, PhD, MSc

Herbert Yu, MD, PhD, MSc

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Full Member, Population Sciences in the Pacific Program (Cancer Epidemiology), University of Hawaiʻi Cancer Center

Academic Appointment(s):
Professor (Researcher), University of Hawaiʻi Cancer Center
Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology, Yale University School of Public Health

MD (Preventive Medicine), Shanghai Medical University
PhD (Clinical Biochemistry), University of Toronto
MSc (Epidemiology), University of Toronto

Research Focus

Dr. Yu is a molecular epidemiologist, and his research focuses on gene-environment interaction in cancer development and molecular changes in tumor progression and disease prognosis. Being trained both in population science and laboratory medicine, Dr. Yu has extensive experience in conducting epidemiological studies and clinical investigations. He has completed numerous research projects focusing on a number of cancer sites, including the breast, ovary, endometrium, liver, lung, pancreas and prostate. His research covers a wide range of topics, including genetic susceptibility, sex steroid hormones, mitogenic growth factors, gene-environment interaction, genotype-phenotype interplay, lifestyle influences on epigenetic regulation, and biomarkers for disease prognosis and treatment response. Recently, Dr. Yu's research addresses changes in non-coding RNA in relation to tumor progression and their clinical implications. He has been involved in several NIH-funded clinical and epidemiological research projects to study molecular and genetic factors in association with cancer risk and tumor progression, including genome-wide association studies. Currently, he is responsible for two population-cased case-control studies of hepatocellular carcinoma and endometrial cancer. He also conducts clinical studies to investigate genetic and molecular markers in relation to clinical and pathological features of breast and ovarian cancers as well as survival outcomes of patients diagnosed with these cancers.

Selected Publications

Jung SY, Papp JC, Sobel EM, Pellegrini M, Yu H. (2023). Genetic variants of glucose metabolism and exposure to smoking in African American breast cancer. Endocr Relat Cancer; Jan 1. doi:10.1530/ERC-22-0184. PMID: 36705562.

Shi J, Kraft P, Rosner B, Benavente Y, Black A, Brinton LA, Chen C, Clarke MA, …, Yu H, Du M, de Vivo I. (2023). Risk prediction models for endometrial cancer: development and validation in an international consortium. J Natl Cancer Inst; Jan 23. doi:10.1093/jnci/djad014. PMID: 36688725.

Zhu T, Li Y, Feng T, Yang Y, Zhang K, Gao J, Quan X, Qian Y, Yu H, Qian B. (2022). D-limonene inhibits the occurrence and progression of LUAD through suppressing lipid droplet accumulation induced by PM2.5 exposure in vivo and in vitro. Respir Res; 23(1):338. doi: 10.1186/s12931-022-02270-9. PMID: 36496421. PMCID: PMC9741803.

Fu Y, Katsaros D, Biglia N, Wang Z, Pagano I, Tius M, Tiirikainen M, Rosser C, Yang H, Yu H. (2021). Vitamin D receptor upregulates lncRNA TOPORS-AS1 which inhibits the Wnt/b-catenin pathway and associates with favorable prognosis of ovarian cancer. Sci Rep; 11(1):7484. PMID: 33820921; PMCID: PMC8021562. doi:10.1038/s41598-021-86923-7.

Liu J, Tang W, Budhu A, Forgues M, Hernandez MO, Candia J, Kim Y, Bowman ED, Ambs S, Zhao Y, Tran B, Wu X, Koh C, Surana P, Liang TJ, Guarnera M, Mann D, Rajaure M, Greten TF, Wang Z, Yu H, Wang XW. (2020). A viral exposure signature defines early onset of hepatocellular carcinoma. Cell; 182(2):317-328. doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2020.05.038. PMID: 32526205.

Publication list via PubMed

Active Grants

Mishra, Shetty, Yu, MPIs
National Cancer Institute
1 U01CA230690-01
"Pathway specific functional biomarkers for the early detection of liver cancer"
2018 – 2023