Yi Yang

Yi Yang Profile Picture
Training Group:

Molecular Signaling and Cancer Biology

Mentor / Lab:

Dr. Stephen Konieczny

Specific Research Area / Project:

Thrombin-Dependent pathways drive pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma disease

Undergraduate Institution:

Wuhan Institute of Technology, China

Research Profile:

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is the most common type of pancreatic cancer, and it is a lethal disease. Patients with PDAC have a 5-year overall survival rate of only 7%. One of the reasons for this high mortality rate is the strong metastasis potential of PDAC, referring to the propensity of pancreatic cancer cells to migrate and form tumors in other organs. Thrombosis is associated with pancreatic cancer and has been shown to promote cancer cell metastasis in the clinic. My research is focused on characterizing the mechanisms by which thrombin-dependent molecular pathways promote PDAC progression and metastasis using a transgenic mouse model that mimics human PDAC disease. I hope that my research will provide a better understanding of the mechanism linking thrombin to tumor progression and will lead to novel therapeutic targets in pancreatic cancer treatment.

Yi Yang Research Picture

About Me:

I volunteered once at Spring Fest on campus and helped put on some PULSe science events for kids. One event called “dress up like a scientist” brought me back to my childhood. I remember being part of a similar event when I was younger. I saw the same excitement on all the kids faces that I had felt years ago when someone helped me put on lab coat for the first time. When I was a kid, I always wanted to be a scientist, and here I am. People ask me, “Why do you want to be a scientist?” My answer is simple, “Because scientists are doing cool stuff.” Being a scientist is not an easy job. We have an obligation to pass along what we know and have learned to others. It might start with teaching kids how to make elephant toothpaste as part of PULSe Science in School and then continue on to teaching junior and senior students basic molecular biology as a TA and presenting new research findings to the public. From the past and looking into the future, I am still the kid that dreamed of being a scientist and looking forward to put my own lab’s lab coat on in future.


  • . Zhou Z, Yang Y, Konieczny S, Irudayaraj J. Rapid and unbiased extraction of chromatin associated RNAs from purified native chromatin. 2015. (In press) Li Y, Jaramillo-Lambert AN, Yang Y, Williams R, Lee NH, Zhu W. And-1 is required for the stability of histone acetyltransferase Gcn5. Oncogene. 2012;31(5):643-52.
  • Li Y, Jaramillo-Lambert A, Hao J, Yang Y, Zhu W. The stability of histone acetyltransferase general control non-derepressible (Gcn) 5 is regulated by Cullin4-RING E3 ubiquitin ligase. The Journal of Biological Chemistry. 2011;286(48):41344-52.


  • Yi Yang, Cheryl L. Rewerts, Matt Flick, Stephen F. Konieczny. “Thrombin-Dependent Pathways Drive Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma Disease” American Pancreas Association Annual Meeting. San Diego, CA. 2015
  • Yi Yang, Cheryl L. Rewerts, Matt Flick, Stephen F. Konieczny. “Thrombin-Dependent Pathways Drive Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma Disease” Purdue Cancer center research day. West Lafayette, IN. 2015


  • PULSe Student Seminar Chair 2015~present
  • PULSe Diversity and Inclusion Co-Chair 2013~2014
  • PULSe Science in Schools volunteer 2013~2014

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