Dr. Yee holds the John H. Kersey Chair in Cancer Research at University of Minnesota. He was previously co-leader of the Women's Cancer Program. He was named Director of the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota in 2007. Dr. Yee received his MD in 1981 from the University of Chicago. He received his internal medicine training and was Chief Medical Resident at the University of North Carolina. His medical oncology training was done at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland. Prior to coming to Minnesota, he held faculty positions at Georgetown University Medical Center and the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.
His laboratory is interested in understanding the contribution of insulin-like growth factor (IGF) action to the breast cancer malignant phenotype. We have shown that IGF-I can stimulate cell growth, enhance survival, and stimulate motility and adhesion. Activation of specific substrates, insulin receptor substrate-1 (IRS-1) and IRS-2 are associated with either cell proliferation or cell motility. A major focus of the laboratory is to elucidate the signals downstream of these two adaptor proteins that account for the observed phenotype. In breast cancer, development of therapeutics designed to target specific growth regulatory molecules has proven to be remarkably successful in the clinic. Since the IGFs regulate several important breast cancer phenotypes, the second focus of the laboratory is to develop anti-IGF strategies that have potential as cancer therapeutics. Our long-term goal is to improve breast cancer treatment by understanding and targeting the key components of the IGF system.