43871-Yeh, Elizabeth

Elizabeth S. Yeh, PhD

Associate Professor of Pharmacology & Toxicology

MS A519
Indianapolis, IN
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Dr. Elizabeth Yeh received a PhD in Pharmacology from Duke University where she studied cellular transformation in order to understand how normal cells become cancerous. Dr. Yeh went on to do a postdoctoral fellowship in Cancer Biology at the University of Pennsylvania. Her postdoctoral research focused on protein kinase signaling and in vivo modeling of breast cancer. From 2013-2019, Dr. Yeh was a facutly member in the Department of Cell and Molecular Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics at the Medical University of South Carolina. In 2019, she joined the faculty in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at Indiana University. Research in the Yeh Lab focuses on the study of a protein kinase called HUNK, which stands for Hormonally Upregulated Neu-associated Kinase. Prior studies in the lab indicate a role for HUNK in refractory HER2-positive breast cancer as well as in the development of metastatic breast cancer.

Key Publications

Herrera, H, Dilday, T, Uber, A, Scott, D, Zambrano, JN, Wang, M, Angel, PM, Mehta, AS, Drake, RR, Hill, EG, and Yeh, ES. (2019) Core-fucosylated tetra-antennary N-glycan containing a single N-acetyllactosamine branch is associated with poor survival outcome in breast cancer. Int J Mol Sci. 20, 2528.

Zambrano, JN, Williams, CJ, Williams, CB, Hedgepeth, L, Burger, P, Dilday, T, Eblen, ST, Armeson, K, Hill, EG, and Yeh, ES (2018) Staurosporine, an inhibitor of Hormonally Up-regulated Neu-associated Kinase. Oncotarget 9:35962-35973.

Yeh, ES, Williams, CJ, Williams, CB, Bonilla, IV, Klauber-DeMore, N, and Phillips, SL. (2017) Dysregulated Connexin 43 in HER2-positive drug resistant breast cancer cells enhances proliferation and migration. Oncotarget. 8:109358-109369.

Zambrano, JN, Neely, BA, and Yeh, ES (2017) Hormonally Up-regulated Neu-associated Kinase: A novel target for breast cancer progression. Pharmacol Res. 119: 188-197.

Phelps-Polirer, K, Abt, MA, Smith, D, and Yeh, ES (2016) Co-targeting of JNK and HUNK in HER2-positive Breast Cancers Resistant to Trastuzumab and Lapatinib. PlosOne 11 (4): e0153025.

Grek, CL, Rhett, JM, Bruce, JS, Abt, MA, Ghatnekar, GS, and Yeh, ES (2015) Targeting connexin 43 with α–connexin carboxyl-terminal (ACT1) peptide enhances the activity of targeted inhibitors in breast cancer. BMC Cancer, 15: 296.

Yeh, ES, Abt, MA, and Hill, EG. (2015) Regulation of Cell Survival by HUNK Mediates Breast Cancer Resistance to HER2 Inhibitors. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment. 149 (1), 91-8.

Titles & Appointments

  • Associate Professor of Pharmacology & Toxicology
  • Education
    2004 PhD Duke University
    1999 BA Johns Hopkins University
  • Research

    The main research project in the laboratory is centered on the study of a protein kinase called, Hormonally Upregulated Neu-associated Kinase (HUNK), which has been characterized to play a vital role in promoting therapeutic resistance and metastasis  in breast cancer. These studies have focused on HER2-positive and triple-negative breast cancers, which predominantly manifest with over-activated Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR, and HER2), either via overexpression or amplification. As these subtypes are significantly more aggressive than the Estrogen Receptor-positive (ER+) subtype of breast cancer, these studies are significant because they implicate HUNK as a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of the more aggressive breast cancers and in particular, those that have developed chemotherapeutic resistance to targeted inhibitors of EGFR/HER2.

    While these studies provided impetus for studying HUNK as a breast cancer target for pharmacological inhibition, HUNK’s intracellular function is almost completely unknown. Additionally, neither physiologically relevant substrates nor chemical inhibitors have been identified for this protein kinase. Therefore, my lab has focused much of its efforts on investigating intracellular roles for HUNK as well as identifying substrates for this protein kinase.

  • Awards
    Desc: Trustee Teaching Award
    Scope: University
    Date: 2023-05-01

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