Faculty Profile

Lily Yang, PhD

Lily Yang, MD, PhD

(Primary Appointment) Professor of Surgery and Nancy Panoz Chair of Surgery in Cancer Research, Department of Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine

(Primary Appointment) Director, Surgical Oncology Nanomedicine Research Lab, Emory University School of Medicine

(Secondary Appointment) Professor, Department of Radiology and Imaging Services, Emory University School of Medicine

(Joint Appointment) Faculty Member, Graduate Programs, Molecular & Systems Pharmacology (MSP), Cancer Biology Program (CB), Emory University School of Medicine

Telephone: 404.778.4269

Email: lyang02@emory.edu

Year Joined Emory as a Faculty Member: 1997


Dr. Yang holds multiple NIH grants and is a translational cancer researcher who specializes in the development of novel cancer imaging and targeted therapeutic agents. Her research experiences include tumor immunology, cancer stem cells, cancer gene therapy, apoptosis resistance, molecular targeted cancer therapy, nanoparticle imaging probes, and theranostic nanoparticles for targeted cancer therapy and imaging. Dr. Yang is a member of the Cancer Cell Biology Research Program at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, and holds professional memberships with American Association for Cancer Research, American Society of Nanomedicine, and National Cancer Institute Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer. Her research projects focus on the development of novel cancer nanotechnologies and imaging methods to address the major challenges in clinical oncology of early cancer detection, targeted drug delivery, overcoming drug resistance, assessment of therapeutic response using non-invasive imaging, and image-guided surgery.


View Dr. Yang's publications in PubMed.


  • MD, Department of Medicine, West China University of Medical Sciences, Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China, 1978-1983

  • Master of Medicine, Microbiology and Immunology, Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine, Beijing, China, 1983-1986

  • Research Associate, Department of Immunology, Beijing Institute for Cancer Research, Beijing, China, 1986-1988
  • PhD, Program in Molecular and Cell Biology & Biochemistry, Brown University, Providence, RI, 1988-1993

  • Postdoctoral Associate, Brown University-Rhode Island Hospital, 1993

  • Research Associate and Director of Animal Study, University of Southern California School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA, 1993-1995

  • Research Associate, Emory, 1995-1996

  • Research Fellow, Group Leader For Anti-Angiogenesis Pre-Clinical Study, Aventis Gencell, Hayward, CA, 1998-1999

Honors and Awards

  • Avon Scholar Award for Breast Cancer Research, 2001-2002

  • Honorary Professor, Beijing Anzhen Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China, 2011

  • Top Reviewer, Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology and Medicine, 2011

  • Inducted into Emory's Millipub Club for being co-author of a paper that was cited more than 1,000 times in the literature, 2015

  • Inducted into the 1% Club of Emory University, which recognizes faculty whose NIH proposals have been ranked in the top 1% or more by NIH reviewers, 2015

Current Editorships

  • Editorial Board, Apoptosis

  • Editorial Board, Breast Cancer – Targets and Therapy

  • Associate Editorial Board, American Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging

  • Editorial Board, Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology Research

  • Editorial Board, Theranostics

Current Organizational Memberships

  • American Association for Cancer Research

  • National Cancer Institute Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer

  • American Society of Nanomedicine

  • World Molecular Imaging Society

Current Research Interests

  • Development of multifunctional nanoparticles for targeted and image-guided cancer therapy

  • Novel targeted MR imaging probes for cancer detection

  • Targeted nanoparticle drug delivery approaches overcoming tumor stroma barrier and improving therapeutic effects

  • Theranostic nanoparticles targeting drug resistant tumor cells for effective cancer therapy