Department of Medicine
Faculty Profiles by Division

Department of Medicine

Faculty Profiles

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photo Yvonne Chao, MD, PhD


Assistant Professor of Medicine


Phone: 412-623-7703

Office: Hillman Cancer Center Research Pavilion
5117 Centre Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Phone: 412-623-7703
Fax: 412-623-7768
Administrative Assistant:
Carmella Campbell
Address: Hillman Cancer Center Research Pavilon
5117 Centre Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Phone: 412-623-7770
Fax: 412-623-7768
Education and Training
MD, University of Pittsburgh
PhD, University of Pittsburgh
BS, Brown University
Fellowship, University of North Carolina
Residency, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
Research Interest
Because metastases account for the majority of mortality from cancer, my research interests center on elucidating the pathobiology of metastasis and using these discoveries to develop therapeutic targets. I am also interested in developing more sophisticated models of cancer metastasis that better incorporate the tumor microenvironment. In my research career thus far I have developed novel models and techniques for studying metastasis that have revealed mechanisms of how the liver, lymph node, and immune microenvironments may uniquely impact cancer cells. We are currently exploring the roles of a class of non-coding RNAs called small nucleolar RNAs (snoRNAs) in metastasis from lymph nodes.
Clinical Interest
I am a medical oncologist at the Pittsburgh VA, with a focus on thoracic oncology.
Selected Publications:
Chao YL, Zhu Y, Wiedner HJ, Tsai YH,, Wilkinson L,, Porrello A, Van Swearingen AED, Carey L, Holley CL, Pecot CV. Snord67 promotes lymph node metastasis through U6-mediated alternative splicing in breast cancer. bioRxiv. 2020; doi:10.1101/2020/08.28.272617.
Chao YL, Leslie PL*,, Tsai YH,, Ghosh SK, Porrello A,, Van Swearingen A,, Harrison EB,, Cooley BC, Parker JS, Carey L,, Pecot CV. Histone deacetylase 11 inhibition promotes breast cancer metastasis from lymph nodes. Nature Communications. 2019.
Chao YL, Pecot CV. Immunotherapy combinations emerging in non-small-cell lung cancer. Immunotherapy. 2018; Jun;10(8): 627-629.
Porrello A, Leslie PL,, Harrison EB, Gorentla BK, Kattula S, Ghosh SK, Azam SH, Holtzhausen A,, Chao YL, Hayward MC, Waugh TA, Bae S, Godfrey V,, Randell SH, Oderup C,, Makowski L,, Weiss J,, Wilkerson MD, Hayes DN, Earp HS,. Factor XIIIA-expressing inflammatory monocytes promote lung squamous cancer through fibrin cross-linking. Nature Communications. 2018; May 18;9(1): 1988.
Chao YL, Anders CK. TYMS gene polymorphisms in breast cancer patients receiving 5-fluorouracil-based chemotherapy. Clinical Breast Cancer ournal. 2018; 18(3): e301-e304.
Chao YL, Anders CK. Systemic therapy in the setting of central nervous system metastases in breast cancer. Clinical Breast Cancer. 2017; Rep 9: 217.
Chao YL, Wu Q, Acquafondata M, Dhir R,, Wells A. Partial Mesenchymal to Epithelial Reverting Transition in Breast and Prostate Cancer. Cancer Microenviron. 2012; Apr;5(1): 19-28.
Chao YL, Wu Q, Shepard C, Wells A. Hepatocyte induced re-expression of E-cadherin in breast and prostate cancer cells increases survival and chemoresistance. Clin Exp Metastasis. Clinical & Experimental Metastasis. 2012; Jan;29(1): 39-50.
Wells A, Chao Y,, Grahovac J, Wu Q, Lauffenburger DA. Epithelial and mesenchymal phenotypic switchings modulate cell motility in metastasis. Frontiers in Bioscience. 2011; Jan 1; 16: 815-37.
Notable Achievements
Best Fellows Oral Abstract and Travel Award, International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer, 2020
San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium Basic Science Scholar Award, 2019
International Congress on Cancer Metastasis Trainee Award, 2019
Pope Clinical Trainee Award, University of North Carolina, 2019
AACR Molecular Biology in Clinical Oncology workshop, 2018
John Pope “Tomorrow’s Best Hope” Fellowship Award, University of North Carolina, 2018
American Physician Scientists Association Travel Award, 2011
Scholar in Training Award, American Association of Cancer Research, 2010
American Society for Clinical Pathology Award for Academic Excellence and Achievement, 2010
Young Investigator Award, Academy of Clinical Laboratory Physicians and Scientists, 2009