The research of Ping Yang, M.D., Ph.D., is focused on the epidemiology of complex diseases. It encompasses causes, risk factors, natural history, clinical course, treatment outcomes and quality of life.
Her team's research goals are to reduce cancer occurrence, diagnose cancer at a treatable stage, and design the best treatment plan for optimal quantity and quality of life.
Dr. Yang is principal investigator and co-investigator for many lung cancer research studies funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other sources. She was a co-leader of three NIH-funded research studies in human glioma — one within the Mayo Clinic Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) and two within the Gliogene consortium (international brain tumor study and international glioma case-control study).
- Genetic and clinical epidemiology of cancer. Dr. Yang's primary efforts have been on the genetic and clinical epidemiology of cancer, particularly lung cancer and brain tumors. Her team focuses on genetic and nongenetic components that need to be evaluated to better understand the etiology and clinical outcomes of lung cancer.
She initiated and has been leading the Epidemiology and Genetics of Lung Cancer Research Program at Mayo Clinic, which is designed to identify genomic, environmental and other host factors (such as chronic lung diseases) that are involved in disease risk and development, progression, and prognosis, as well as health-related quality of life.
Significance to patient care
Dr. Yang's team is now putting a greater emphasis on outcomes research, particularly patient-reported outcomes. The objective is to bridge the gap in the transition from a patient to a survivor by understanding deficits, defining needs and developing care models in lung cancer patients who completed cancer treatments.
The ultimate result is to accelerate the recovery process from a patient to a survivor — and from a survivor to a healthy member of society.
Related to population health, Dr. Yang's research within the framework of the Rochester Epidemiology Project continues to monitor trends in lung cancer morbidity and mortality in defined populations, provide new leads as to causes, estimate the attributable risks with known causes, and evaluate the effectiveness of screening and early detection efforts.
- Member, journal editorial board, Carcinogenesis; Journal of Clinical Oncology; Pharmacology & Pharmacy; Translational Respiratory Medicine
- Member, steering committee, International Lung Cancer Consortium
- Associate editor, Journal of Thoracic Oncology, 2012
- Article in Year Book of Oncology, Elsevier, 2007
- Article in Year Book of Pulmonary Disease, Elsevier, 2007