W.K. Alfred Yung, MD
National Brain Tumor Society (NBTS) has announced the appointment of W.K. Alfred Yung, MD, as Special Advisor to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Dr. Yung, the outgoing Chair of the Neuro-Oncology Department at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, will play an important role in guiding and informing new and ongoing research and science policy–related efforts at the organization.
Dr. Yung currently holds the title of Professor of Neuro-Oncology and Cancer Biology and is the Margaret and Ben Love Chair of Clinical Cancer Care at MD Anderson. Dr. Yung is a member of the Glioblastoma Moon Shot team, part of MD Anderson’s Moon Shots Program. He has also recently been named to the Blue Ribbon Panel of experts selected to advise the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative being led by Vice President Joe Biden.
Dr. Yung served as Chair of the Department of Neuro-Oncology from 1999 until stepping down in late 2015. He also has led MD Anderson’s Brain Tumor SPORE (Specialized Programs of Research Excellence). He is also Professor of Neurology at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston McGovern Medical School and serves on the faculty of The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston. Dr. Yung is the former Editor-in-Chief of Neuro-Oncology and the co-Chair of the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Brain Malignancies Steering Committee. Dr. Yung currently sits on the Strategic Scientific Advisory Council for the Defeat GBM (glioblastoma multiforme) Research Collaborative, an initiative of NBTS, where he also serves as Scientific Director for the program.
His research program at MD Anderson spans more than 2 decades and includes basic, translational, and clinical research. Along with 28 years of continuous funding by the NCI, his work has also been funded by philanthropy and industry grants. The overall objective of his research program is to develop new therapeutic approaches to block the regulatory mechanisms of brain cancer cells. Parallel with Dr. Yung’s laboratory research focus is his work as principal investigator on the NCI-sponsored Brain Tumor Consortium phase I and II trials of several newly developed agents and novel combinations of targeted inhibitors designed to attack multiple pathways of cancer.
Dr. Yung received his medical degree from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. He completed his internship and residency at the University of California, San Diego, and his chief residency and fellowship at Cornell University School of Medicine and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
“I am extremely happy to join the National Brain Tumor Society as Special Advisor to the CEO, as this organization is truly committed to creating a path to brain tumor treatments through focused and creative research initiatives,” said Dr. Yung. “I have been involved with a number of National Brain Tumor Society initiatives over the years, and now I have the distinct opportunity to help advise on critical research and scientific programs from the inside. I can’t wait to work with this dedicated staff.” ■