David S. Yu, MD, PhD



Dr. Yu's research laboratory is working towards identifying innovative therapies for cancer care.

Titles and Roles

Jerome Landry MD Chair of Cancer Biology and Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology
Emory University School of Medicine
Director, Division of Cancer Biology, Department of Radiation Oncology
Emory University School of Medicine
Vice Chair for Biology Research, Department of Radiation Oncology
Emory University School of Medicine
Radiation Oncologist
Head and Neck Cancer
Breast Cancer
Lung Cancer
Research Program
Cell and Molecular Biology


David S. Yu, MD, PhD, is the Jerome Landry MD Chair of Cancer Biology and a Professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Emory University School of Medicine. He also serves as Director of the Division of Cancer Biology and Vice Chair for Biology Research.

A board certified radiation oncologist, Dr. Yu specializes in the treatment of head and neck cancer, breast cancer, and lung cancer. As a Georgia Cancer Coalition Distinguished Cancer Clinician and Scientist, Dr. Yu's goal is to translate insights gained from interactions with his patients and his research in the laboratory to innovative therapies to improve the quality of care for patients with cancer.

Dr. Yu is a member of the Cell and Molecular Biology Research Program at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University. He is also a member of the ASTRO Radiation and Cancer Biology Committee Research Council, ASTRO Research Evaluation Committee Research Council, American Society for Clinical Investigation, American Society of Clinical Oncology, American Association for Cancer Research, Radiation Research Society and Radiological Society of North America among others. At Emory, he is a member of the Emory Graduate Programs in Cancer Biology and Genetics and Molecular Biology, and the Emory MD/PhD Program.


Dr. Yu received his MD from the University of Texas at Southwestern Medical School and PhD from the University of Cambridge prior to completing residency training in Radiation Oncology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. During his residency training, Dr. Yu was an American Board of Radiology Holman Research Pathway fellow.


Dr. Yu is actively engaged in both clinical and science research, including, understanding how cells respond to replication stress and how to utilize this knowledge for improvements in cancer diagnosis and treatment.

In his laboratory at Emory, Dr. Yu is examining the role of sirtuin deacetylases, and more generally the acetylome, in orchestrating the replication stress response. He is working to identify novel components of the replication stress response, which mediate sensitivity of cancer cells to DNA damaging agents, utilizing high throughput loss of function genetic screens. His lab is also focused on understanding mechanistically how novel replication stress response proteins function using cell biological, genetic, and biochemical approaches to define the functions of these proteins. He hopes to translate insights gained from mechanistic analyses to improvements in the clinic. By exploiting defects in the replication stress response, he hopes to utilize novel replication stress response proteins as biomarkers for clinical response and outcome to specific cancer treatments and as novel therapeutic targets to personalize cancer therapy.


Dr. Yu has authored a number of publications in high impact journals, including Nature, Cell, Molecular Cell, Cell Reports, and PNAS. He is associate editor of International Journal of Radiation Biology.

  • PublicationsPublication Date


Dr. Yu received the Michael Fry Research Award from the Radiation Research Society in 2014, which recognizes the most outstanding junior scientist who has made exceptional contributions to the field of radiation research. Dr. Yu is currently funded by NIH/NCI R01, Department of Defense, and foundation awards.

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