Faculty Profile, National Health Research Institutes, Taiwan

Faculty Profiles


Winston C. Y. Yu, Ph.D.

Investigator
National Institute of Cancer Research
winston@nhri.org.tw

EDUCATION

Ph.D., Department of Animal Science, University of Minnesota, USA, 1979
M.S., Department of Animal Science, Oklahoma State University, USA, 1971
B.S., Department of Animal Science and Technology, National Taiwan University, Taiwan, 1968

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCES

  • Investigator, National Institute of Cancer Research, National Health Research Institutes, Taiwan (2006-present)

  • Adjunct Professor, Graduate Institute of Life Sciences, National Defense Medical Center, Taiwan (2001-present)

  • Investigator and Secretary General, National Health Research Institutes, Taiwan (1996-2006)

  • Secretary General, Preparatory Office of National Health Research Institutes, Taiwan (1995-1996)

  • Associate Scientist, Cancer Research Group. Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Academia Sinica, Taiwan (1990-1995)

  • Administrator, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Academia Sinica, Taiwan (1990-1992)

  • Visiting Associate Professor, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Academia Sinica, Taiwan (1987-1990)

  • Assistant Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA (1984-1988)

  • Research Associate, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA (1981-1984)

  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow of Biochemistry, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA (1978-1981)

RESEARCH INTERESTS

Natural human diploid cells have a limited life span and undergo limited population doublings. Replicate senescence and apoptosis are thought to be the key processes to maintain the normal organization and function of all tissues and organs. Obviously, they are also the key regulating mechanisms of tumor suppression because of their function in preventing the outgrowth of cells that have acquired enough mutations in genes rendering them cancerous. The interest of Dr. Yus laboratory is to find these pathways that will lead to apoptosis and to identify the roles of those genes that are involved. Information obtained will also be used to design cancer therapeutic strategies.

RESEARCH ACTIVITIES & ACCOMPLISHMENTS

In their quest of the knowledge on apoptotic and senescent regulatory mechanisms, Dr. Yu has adopted HPV elicited cervical cancers as the model of study. Highrisk type HPVs have been identified as causative agents of over 90? of cervical cancers whereas the low-risk type HPVs are responsible for benigh tumor formation. Two gene products of HPVs namely E6 and E7 are the key viral oncoproteins with the ability to immortalized normal epithelial cells. All along, Dr. Yus group has identified and confirmed that DYRK1A is one of the candidate anti-apoptotic factor. The action of DYRK1A is through the FKHR regulated pathway. Furthermore, they have identified TIEG1, a tumor suppressor as suggested, also plays an important role in HPV induced immortalization process. High-risk HPV E7 carries the function of promoting TIEG1 degradation (Manuscript submitted). In addition to initiators, c-myc has also been suggested as a facilitator in tumorigenesis. Indeed, Dr. Yus laboratory has demonstrated that c-myc interacts and form a specific complex with HPV-16 E7. The interaction of the high-risk type HPV E7 with c-myc can augment c-myc transactivation activity, but this does not occur with low-risk type HPV E7. While carrying on its function, the stability of HPV E7 is important. Dr. Yus group has identified USP11 as the key factor mediating E7 degradation through an ubiquitin associated pathway.

HONORS & AWARDS

  • Distinguished Leadership Award for Internationals, University of Minnesota, USA (2006)

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS

  1. Chang HS, Lin CH, Yang CH, Yen MS, Lai CR, Chen YR, Liang YJ and Yu WCY. Increased expression of dyrk1a in HPV16 immortalized keratinocytes enables evasion of apoptosis. International Journal of Cancer, 120(11):2377-85, 2007.

  2. Wang YW, Chang HS, Lin CH and Yu WCY. HPV-18 E7 conjugates to c-Myc and mediates its transcriptional activity. International Journal of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, 39(2):402-12, 2007.

  3. Chang HS, Lin CH, Chen YC and Yu WCY. Using siRNA technique to generate transgenic animals with spatiotemporal and conditional gene knockdown. American Journal of Pathology, 165(5):1535-1541, 2004.

  4. Wang CY, Liang YJ, Lin YS, Shih HM, Jou YS and Yu WCY. YY1AP, A Novel Co-activator of YY1. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 279(17):17750-17755, 2004.

  5. HuangNE, Lin CH, Lin YS and Yu WCY. Modulation of YY1 activity by SAP30. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, 306:267-275, 2003.