David S. Yu, MD, PhD



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

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


David S. Yu, MD, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Emory University School of Medicine. 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 Genetics and Epigenetics research progam at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University. He 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 Emory Graduate Program in Cancer Biology and Graduate Program in Genetics and Molecular Biology.


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 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 Nature Cell, Molecular Cell & EMBO, and PNAS.

  • PublicationsPublication Date


Dr. Yu 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.

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