David S. Yu, MD, PhD


Dr. Yu's specialties are treating head and neck, breast and lung cancers.

Titles and Roles

Assistant Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology
Emory University School of Medicine
Radiation Oncologist
Head and Neck Cancer
Breast Cancer
Lung Cancer
Research Program
Cancer Genetics and Epigenetics


Dr. Yu is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Emory University School of Medicine. The goal of his work 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 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. He graduated with honors from Stanford University with a BS in Biology.


Dr. Yu is a Georgia Cancer Coalition Distinguished Cancer Clinician and Scientist. He is currently funded by a NIH/NCI R01, a NIH/NCI K08, a DOD PRCRP Discovery Award, a PanCAN/AACR Career Development Award and a Georgia Cancer Coalition Distinguished Cancer Scholar Award. During his residency training, Dr. Yu was an American Board of Radiology Holman Research Pathway fellow. He received the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) Resident Clinical/Basic Science Research Award and Radiologic Society of North America Roentgen Resident/Fellow Research Award. In 2014, he received the Michael Fry Award from the Radiation Research Society recognizing junior scientists who have made extraordinary contributions to the field of radiation research.

Dr. Yu is a member of the ASTRO Radiation and Cancer Biology Committee Research Council, ASTRO Research Evaluation Committee Research Council, American Society of Clinical Oncology, American Association for Cancer Research, Radiation Research Society and RSNA, among others. He is also a member of the Winship Cancer Institute Cancer Genetics and Epigenetics Progam, Emory Graduate Program in Cancer Biology and Graduate Program in Genetics and Molecular Biology.


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 many publications in high impact journals, including NatureCellMolecular CellEMBO, and PNAS.

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