Top doctor and brain tumor researcher will advise organization on science, policy, and medical issues
National Brain Tumor Society (NBTS), the largest nonprofit dedicated to the brain tumor community in the United States, today announced the appointment of W.K. Alfred Yung, MD, as Special Advisor to the CEO. Dr. Yung, the outgoing Chair of the Neuro-Oncology Department at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, will play an important role in guiding and informing new and ongoing research and science-policy related efforts at the organization.
“Dr. Yung has been a friend and advisor to the National Brain Tumor Society for a number of years and is a true giant in the field of neuro-oncology.” said David F. Arons, JD, CEO, National Brain Tumor Society. “Dr. Yung’s new engagement with NBTS will help us gain momentum during this historic period of progress in brain tumor research and drug development to ensure we fully capitalize on the era of precision medicine. We are honored for Dr. Yung to join us.”
Dr. Yung currently holds the title of Professor of Neuro-Oncology and Cancer Biology, and is the Margaret and Ben Love Chair of Clinical Cancer Care at MD Anderson. Dr. Yung is a member of the Glioblastoma Moon Shot team, part of MD Anderson’s Moon Shots Program. He has also recently been named to the Blue Ribbon Panel of experts selected to advise the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative being led by Vice President Joe Biden.
Dr. Yung had served as Chair of the Department of Neuro-Oncology since 1999, until stepping down in late 2015. He also has led MD Anderson’s Brain Tumor SPORE. He is also Professor of Neurology at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston McGovern Medical School and serves on the faculty of The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston. Dr. Yung is the former Editor-in-Chief of Neuro-Oncology, co-Chair of NCI’s Brain Malignancies Steering Committee, and has been named as one of the Best Doctors in America every year from 1992 to the present.
Dr. Yung’s research program at MD Anderson spans more than two decades and includes basic, translational, and clinical research. Along with 28 years of continuous funding by NCI, his work has also been funded by philanthropy and industry grants. Dr. Yung has published over 300 peer-reviewed articles in many high impact journals covering diverse laboratory and clinical research topics. The overall objective of his research program is to develop new therapeutic approaches to block the regulatory mechanisms of brain cancer cells. Parallel with Dr. Yung’s laboratory research focus, is his work as principal investigator on the NCI-sponsored Brain Tumor Consortium phase I and II trials of several newly developed agents and novel combinations of targeted inhibitors designed to attack multiple involved pathways of cancer.
Dr. Yung received his undergraduate degree from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, in 1971, graduating summa cum laude. For his medical training, he attended the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine and received his MD degree in 1975. Internship and residency training followed at the University of California, San Diego from 1975-1978, and chief residency and fellowship at Cornell University School of Medicine and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center from 1978-1981.
“I am extremely happy to join the National Brain Tumor Society as Special Advisor to the CEO, as this organization is truly committed to creating a path to brain tumor treatments through focused, and creative research initiatives,” said Dr. Yung. “I have been involved with a number of National Brain Tumor Society initiatives over the years, and now, I have the distinct opportunity to help advise on critical research and scientific programs from the inside. I can’t wait to work with this dedicated staff.”
Dr. Yung currently sits on the Strategic Scientific Advisory Council for the Defeat GBM Research Collaborative an initiative of NBTS, where he also serves as Scientific Director for the program.