MUSC Hollings Cancer Center

Noted Researcher Xue-Zhong Yu, MD, Joins MUSC Hollings


Dr. Yu to Hold the Robert K. Stuart Distinguished Endowed Chair within the SmartState Cancer Stem Cell Biology and Therapy Center of Economic Excellence

April 18, 2013 Charleston, SC – One of the country’s leading researchers in hematopoietic stem cell therapy, Xue-Zhong Yu, MD, has joined the faculty of the Medical University of South Carolina. Dr. Yu will hold the Robert K. Stuart, MD, Distinguished Endowed Chair in Hematology/Oncology, the second chair within the SmartState Cancer Stem Cell Biology and Therapy Center of Economic Excellence. Dr. Yu is a professor in MUSC’s Department of Microbiology and Immunology and Department of Medicine.

The focus of Dr. Yu’s research is the biology of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) and graft-versus-leukemia (GVL) after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT).  The ultimate goal of these studies is to prevent or treat GVHD while preserving GVL effect, which could greatly enhance the therapeutic potential of HSCT. 

“I look forward to joining the excellent team of faculty members at the Hollings Cancer Center and MUSC’s Department of Microbiology and Immunology,” Dr. Yu said. “My commitment is to promote significant and innovative research in the field of transplantation and tumor immunology, and to provide outstanding professional training to others.”

Dr. Yu received a Bachelor of Science degree in Medicine (an MD equivalent) and a Master of Science in Immunology from Peking University Health Sciences Center in Beijing, China.  After his residency in Nanchang China, he completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington. Most recently, Dr. Yu held full member/professor positions at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute and the University of South Florida’s College of Medicine.

Throughout his career, he has also been awarded more than $11 million in grant awards as a principal investigator or co-investigator and received numerous honors and awards.

“We are fortunate to recruit Dr. Yu to MUSC.  He has held positions at two of the best cancer centers in the country and he is currently supported by multiple R01 grants from the National Institutes of Health”, said Stephen Lanier, PhD, associate provost for Research at MUSC. “There is no doubt that Dr. Yu will have a major impact on the continued expansion of our research and technology development programs in the Hollings Cancer Center and across the state."

Zihai Li, MD, PhD, chairman of MUSC’s Department of Microbiology and Immunology, holds the other chair in the SmartState Cancer Stem Cell Biology and Therapy Center of Economic Excellence.

“We are very happy to have someone of Dr. Yu’s caliber joining our department. Dr. Yu has an impressive portfolio of research, and we are eager to explore how his discoveries can be translated into patient care,” Dr. Li said. “His work could eventually lead to a better understanding and control of GVHD so that stem cell transplantation can be done safely to save the lives of many people suffering from blood cancers or other diseases.”

Melvin Williams, a member of the Hollings Cancer Center Advisory Board and the SmartState Review Board,
said Dr. Yu is the tenth SmartState chair whose research focuses on cancer.

“The Center, a collaboration between Clemson University and the Medical University of South Carolina, has raised nearly $6.5 million in extramural funding beyond its required $5 million Center match.  The SmartState Program continues to be very committed to cancer research and improving cancer screening in South Carolina,” Williams said. “The SmartState Program works hand-in-hand with Hollings to develop new therapies for cancer, as well as to translate major cancer-related discoveries from the laboratory to the market.”


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