NEWS | July 3, 2012

New vice chair of research joins the pathology and laboratory medicine department


Yu-Jui Yvonne Wan, a national leader in the study of liver diseases whose work focuses on the role of retinoids and their receptors in control of liver function, joined the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine as professor and vice chair of research on July 1.

Yu-Jui Yvonne Wan © UC Regents
Yu-Jui Yvonne Wan

Wan also will serve as scientific director of a new biorepository program, working with Senior Associate Dean for Research Lars Berglund to develop a master plan to expand and unite current biorepositories into a comprehensive tissue-banking service spanning the health system. She also will participate in the Human Anatomical Specimen and Tissue Oversight Committee chaired by Executive Associate Dean Fred Meyers and will report to Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Chair Lydia Pleotis Howell.

"Dr. Wan is an award-winning researcher and mentor with more than 30 years' experience in academic medicine," Howell said. "Her work on retinoic acid, vitamin A and related nuclear receptors is advancing knowledge of liver cell differentiation, proliferation, metabolism and disease processes, including cancer, metabolic syndrome, obesity, alcoholic liver disease and cardiovascular disease. In addition, her emphasis on translational research and education complements existing efforts under way in our stem cell biology, cancer and pharmacogenomics programs. The department and I are excited to have Dr. Wan lead integration of our clinical and research faculty into multidisciplinary collaborations that will create innovative solutions to scientific and health-care problems."

Wan came from the University of Kansas Medical Center, where she was a professor of pharmacology, toxicology and therapeutics, program leader of the Cancer Biology Program and director of the Liver Center. Before that, she was a professor of pathology at UCLA. She is recognized for establishing the Human Liver Depository, which has become an indispensible resource for scientists worldwide seeking liver tissue, serum and blood for studies. The repository contains more than 1,500 liver specimens with extensive corresponding patient data.

Wan has received many honors and awards, including the 2010 Chancellor's Club Research Award from the University of Kansas, SIG Elsevier Mentoring Award from the Society of Toxicology, California's Distinguished Women in Research Award and Richard Weitzman Award. She received her doctorate in pathology from Hahnemann University (now Drexel University College of Medicine) and began her career in the pathology department at UCLA.

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