Lily Yang, MD, PhD


Titles and Roles

Professor, Surgery, and Radiology and Imaging Sciences
Emory University School of Medicine
Nancy Panoz Chair of Surgery in Cancer Research
Emory University School of Medicine
Director, Surgical Oncology Nanomedicine Research Lab
Emory University School of Medicine
Research Program
Discovery and Developmental Therapeutics


Lily Yang, MD, PhD is a professor of surgery and radiology and a prominent researcher. Dr. Yang's research experiences include tumor immunology, cancer stem cells, cancer gene therapy, apoptosis resistance, molecular targeted cancer therapy, nanoparticle imaging probes, and theranostic nanoparticles for targeted cancer therapy and imaging. 

Dr. Yang is a member of the Discovery and Developmental Therapeutics Research Program at Winship Cancer Institute. She holds professional memberships with American Association for Cancer Research, American Society of Nanomedicine and National Cancer Institute Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer. She is also a Chartered Member in the Study Section of the Development of Therapeutics at NIH.


Dr. Yang received her medical training in China at West China University of Medical Sciences and at the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine. She received her PhD in molecular and cellular biology at Brown University. She had postdoctoral trainings in the Gene Therapy Laboratories at University of Southern California and in the Department of Genetics and Molecular Medicine Center at Emory University.


Dr. Yang's research projects focus on the development of novel cancer nanotechnologies and imaging methods to address the major challenges in clinical oncology of early cancer detection, targeted drug delivery, overcoming drug resistance, assessment of therapeutic response using non-invasive imaging, and image-guided surgery.

Recently, Dr. Yang and Huabei Jiang, PhD, of the University of Florida, received a multiple PI R01 grant from the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering of the NIH. The grant will fund a four-year project to develop and test a multimodal imaging system and targeted nanoprobes for image-guided treatment of breast cancer. The study is a response to chemotherapy being largely ineffective for over 60% of patients with triple negative breast cancer. 


Dr. Yang is a member of the editorial boards of a variety of scientific journals, such as ApoptosisNanomedicine: NanotechnologyBiology and MedicineTheranosticsBreast Cancer-Targets and TherapyAmerican Journal of Nuclear Medicine, and Molecular Imaging. She has served as a scientist reviewer for multiple NIH study sections, the Breast Cancer Research Program of the Department of Defense, the National Science Foundation, and the California Breast Cancer Research Program as well as many other national and international funding agents.

  • PublicationsPublication Date


Dr. Yang received an Avon Scholar Award for Breast Cancer Research and is the Nancy Panoz Chair of Surgery in Cancer Research. She received the 2015 Emory 1% Award which recognizes Emory faculty whose National Institutes of Health (NIH) proposals have been ranked in the top 1% by NIH reviewers. In 2015 and 2019, she was named to the MilliPub Club, which recognizes current Emory faculty who have published one or more individual papers throughout their careers that have garnered more than 1,000 citations.

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