Department of Medicine
Faculty Profiles by Division

Department of Medicine

Faculty Profiles

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photo Yana G. Najjar, MD



Phone: 412-623-2294

Office: 5117 Centre Avenue
Suite 1.32e
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Phone: 412-623-2294
Fax: 412-623-7704
Administrative Assistant:
Dianna Fennell
Address: 5117 Centre Avenue
Suite 1.19
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Phone: 412-623-1114
Fax: 412-623-1415
Education and Training
BS, Biology, American University of Beirut, 2005
MD, American University of Beirut, 2009
Post-Doctoral Fellowship, NIH, NCI, 2011
Residency, The Cleveland Clinic, 2014
Fellowship, UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, 2017
Research Interest
I aim to advance the treatment of melanoma by complementing clinical care with the principles of translational science. Specifically, my research focuses on immunotherapy in advanced melanoma and its impact on the tumor microenvironment and the peripheral immune system. My goal is to develop rational combinations of immunotherapy, targeted therapy and other agents that may potentially remodel the tumor microenvironment in order to render it less hostile to the host immune system.
Clinical Interest
My clinical interest is in the multidisciplinary care of patients with melanoma and the development of clinical trials, with a strong emphasis on translational endpoints and correlative analyses.
For my complete bibliography, Click Here.
Selected Publications:
Najjar, Y.G., Ding, F., Lin, Y., VanderWeele, R., Butterfield, L.H., Tarhini, A.A. Melanoma antigen-specific effector T cell cytokine secretion patterns in patients treated with ipilimumab. J Transl Med. 2017; 15(1): 39.
Najjar, Y.G., Rayman, P., Jia, X., Pavicic, P.G. Jr, Rini, B.I., Tannenbaum, C., Ko, J., Haywood, S., Cohen, P., Hamilton, T., Diaz-Montero, C.M., Finke, J. Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cell Subset Accumulation in Renal Cell Carcinoma Parenchyma Is Associated with Intratumoral Expression of IL1ß, IL8, CXCL5, and Mip-1a. Clin Cancer Res. 2016; 23(9): 2346-2355.
Najjar, Y.G., Kirkwood, J.M. Melanoma: A New Frontier in Personalized Medicine. Personalized Medicine in Oncology. 2016; 5(4): 152-156.
Najjar, Y.G., Kirkwood, J.M. Neoadjuvant treatment for melanoma: current challenges and future perspectives. Melanoma Management. 2016; 3(2): 149-159.
Najjar, Y.G., Kirkwood, J.M. Pembrolizumab: Pharmacology and Therapeutics Review. American Journal of Hematology and Oncology. 2014; 10(5): 17-19.
Najjar, Y.G., Finke, J.H. Clinical perspectives on targeting of myeloid derived suppressor cells in the treatment of cancer. Front Oncol. 2013; 3: 49.
Mkrtichyan, M., Najjar, Y.G., Raulfs, E.C., Liu, L., Langerman, S., Guittard, G., Ozbun, L., Khleif, S.N. B7-DC-Ig enhances vaccine effect by a novel mechanism dependent on PD-1 expression level on T cell subsets. J Immunol. 2012; 189(5): 2338-2347.
Najjar, Y.G., Rini, B.I. Novel agents in renal carcinoma: a reality check. Ther Adv Med Oncol. 2012; 4(4): 183-194.
Mkrtichyan, M., Najjar, Y.G., Raulfs, E.C., Abdalla, M.Y., Samara, R., Rotem-Yehudar, R., Cook, L., Khleif, S.N. Anti-PD-1 synergizes with cyclophosphamide to induce potent anti-tumor vaccine effects through novel mechanisms. Eur J Immunol. 2011; 41(10): 2977-2986.
Notable Achievements
Participant, AACR/ASCO Methods in Clinical Cancer Research Clinical Trials Workshop, 2016
T32 Training in Cancer Therapeutics Research, 2016
UPMC/UPCI Skin Spore Pilot Career Enhancement Project (CEP) Award, 2017
SITC Sparkathon, Awardee and Project Leader, 2017
Member, Women’s Task Force, UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, 2017
Department of Defense (DoD) Translational Team Science Award: Principal Investigator. CA170483, 2018
Director, UPMC Hillman Cancer Center Basic Research & Translational Seminar series, 2018
Member, Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy Program, UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, 2018
Vice-Chair , Protocol Review Committee, 2019