Dr. Yeung’s research focuses on the genetic mechanisms of tumorigenesis with emphasis on tumor suppressor genes and hereditary cancers. With over 20 such genes cloned in humans, the diversity of their functions and mechanisms highlights novel pathways of tumor initiation. Dr. Yeung’s work exploits a unique animal model of hereditary cancer to study the multi-step process of tumor development. Two such novel tumor suppressor genes of current interest relate to the disease tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC). Dr. Yeung’s laboratory utilizes genetic, cell biologic and biochemical approaches to dissect the function of these genes. Recent studies evaluate the concept of protein transport/sorting and its mechanistic link to cell cycle control. Another aspect of Dr. Yeung’s work deals with genetic factors that govern phenotypic heterogeneity. Genetic analyses are being carried out to identify quantitative trait loci that contribute to variation in tumor burden, multiplicity and metastatic potential. In collaboration with others, the role of TSC-related genes in cardiomyocytic proliferation and neuronal differentiation are also being investigated.
Other areas of interest include the study of liver tumorigenesis using various transgenic models, and mechanism of metastasis as it relates to the TSC/mTOR pathway.
Investigator: Dr. Yeung is a Professor of Surgery, and Adjunct Professor of Medicine and Pathology (Medical Genetics).