Department of Cell and Cancer Biology

Kam C. Yeung, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Cell and Cancer Biology


B.S.   1986 Basic Medical Sciences University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL
Ph.D.   1990 Microbiology University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL
Post-Doc 1990-1992 Molecular Virology University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
Post-Doc 1992-1996 Biochemistry Howard Hughes Medical Institute/UMDNJ, Piscataway, NJ


Together with John Sedivy (Brown University) and Walter Kolch (Systems Biology Ireland & Conway Institute University College Dublin), we identified and named RKIP as one of the metastasis suppressor genes of breast and prostate cancer. Studies with transplantation mouse models demonstrated that RKIP inhibits cancer metastasis by modulating the expression of multiple metastasis genes. Unlike other classical tumor suppressor genes, which usually have complete loss-of-function mutations in tumor cells, RKIP is not mutated but merely silenced in cancer. Importantly, we demonstrated that the low expression levels of RKIP could be re-activated. In view of its role as a master modulator or expression of multiple metastasis genes and its expression being able to be re-active, RKIP represents a novel therapeutic target for patients afflicted with metastatic cancer. To utilize this potential, the major focus of the lab is to understand the molecular mechanism through which RKIP exerts its control over multiple metastasis genes. To have immediate therapeutic gains in treatment of cancer metastasis, we are also interested in developing methods to restore expression of RKIP in cancers.



Ongoing Research Support

Characterization of miRNA as negative regulator of the metastasis suppressor gene RKIP and target for anti-metastasis therapy in RKIP-deficient breast cancer
Fully Honest Corp Research Grant                                                               
08/01/18 - 07/31/23
Role: PI

Dasman Diabetes
RKIP and Metabolic Disease
Role: PI

Protein inhibitor of Raf-1 kinase
UT Foundation
Role: PI




 STUDENT OPENINGS: Not currently accepting students.



Last Updated: 4/21/23