2012 Simons Chair of Medicine, Stony Brook University
2008 & 2009 Consumers' Research Council of America, Guide to America's Top Gastroenterologists
2008 Consumers' Research Council of America, Guide to America's Top Physicians
2007 Silver Pear Mentoring Award-Research, Department of Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA
2006 Distinguished Alumnus Award, UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, NJ
2004 Member, Association of American Physicians
1998 Member, American Society for Clinical Investigation
The focus of Dr. Yang's research is on understanding the molecular mechanisms that control proliferation and differentiation of the intestinal epithelial cells. In particular, his group has concentrated on the roles played by a number of Kruppel-like transcription factors in regulating these two important biological processes in the gut epithelium. One factor, called Kruppel-like factor 4 or KLF4, is a negative regulator of prolifertion that mediates the functions of two important tumor suppressors, APC and p53. The other, called KLF5, is pro-proliferative and mediates the activities of important proto-oncoproteins including RAS and WNT. The hypothesis that the two KLFs function in the larger network of tumor suppressor genes and oncogenes to regulate intestinal epithelial proliferation and differentiation. The knowledge derived from these studies may impact the mechanism of gut development and tumorigenesis.