Timothy YAP

PRESENT TITLE AND AFFILIATION

Primary Appointment

Associate Professor, Department of Investigational Cancer Therapeutics, Division of Cancer Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX

Medical Director, Institute for Applied Cancer Science, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX

Associate Director, Translational Research, Khalifa Institute for Personalized Cancer Therapy, Division of Cancer Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX

Dual/Joint/Adjunct Appointment

Associate Professor, Department of Thoracic/Head and Neck Medical Oncology, Division of Cancer Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX

Dr Timothy Yap is a Medical Oncologist and Physician-Scientist based at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. He is an Associate Professor in the Department for Investigational Cancer Therapeutics (Phase I Program), and the Department of Thoracic/Head and Neck Medical Oncology. Dr Yap is the Medical Director of the Institute for Applied Cancer Science, a drug discovery biopharmaceutical unit where drug discovery and clinical translation are seamlessly integrated. He is also the Associate Director of Translational Research in the Institute for Personalized Cancer Therapy, which is an integrated research and clinical trials program aimed at implementing personalized cancer therapy and improving patient outcomes. Prior to his current position, Dr Yap was a Consultant Medical Oncologist at The Royal Marsden Hospital in London, UK and National Institute for Health Research BRC Clinician Scientist at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, UK.

Dr Yap gained his BSc degree with First Class Honors in Immunology and Infectious Diseases at Imperial College London, UK, and was awarded the Huggett Memorial Prize. His BSc laboratory research involved an immunogenetics study into the human T-cell lymphotropic virus under the supervision of Professor Charles Bangham. He subsequently went on to attain his Medical degree from Imperial College London, UK, before completing general medical training in Oxford.

Dr Yap undertook a Clinical Fellowship in the Phase I Drug Development Unit at the Royal Marsden Hospital with Professors Stan Kaye and Johann de Bono, before completing a PhD in Molecular Pharmacology in the Division of Cancer Therapeutics at The Institute of Cancer Research with Professors Michelle Garrett and Paul Workman under a Cancer Research UK Fellowship. His PhD laboratory research focused on the preclinical and clinical development of AKT inhibitors, and associated predictive and pharmacodynamic biomarkers. Dr Yap completed his specialist training in medical oncology at the Royal Marsden Hospital and was awarded a National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Academic Clinical Lectureship in Medical Oncology. He was subsequently appointed as Consultant Medical Oncologist and NIHR Biomedical Research Centre Clinician Scientist jointly in the Phase I Drug Development Unit, Lung Cancer Unit and Cancer Biomarkers Laboratory at the Royal Marsden Hospital and The Institute of Cancer Research in London, UK.

Dr Yap’s main research focuses on the first-in-human and combinatorial development of molecularly targeted agents and immunotherapies, and their acceleration through clinical studies using novel predictive and pharmacodynamic biomarkers. His main interests include the targeting of the DNA damage response (DDR) with novel therapeutics, such as ATR and PARP inhibitors, as well as the development of novel immunotherapeutics. His laboratory interests included the development of patient-derived xenografts (PDXs) and circulating plasma DNA as predictive biomarkers of response for novel targeted agents and immunotherapies in clinical trials.

Dr Yap is and/or has been Principal Investigator for multiple clinical trials evaluating novel strategies for targeting the DNA damage response in cancer, such as PARP and ATR inhibitors, metabolic targets including OXPHOS, epigenetic targets such as EZH2, as well as the blockade of key signaling pathways, with a focus on PI3K/AKT pathway inhibitors. Dr Yap is Lead Investigator for the AKT inhibitor arm of the UK National Lung Matrix Trial, which is one of the largest precision medicine trials in any cancer globally.

Dr Yap leads immuno-oncology clinical and associated translational studies, including novel agents targeting PD-1/PD-L1, ICOS, IDO, LAG3, TIM3, STING, TGFbeta, adenosine A2A receptor and fucosylation. He was previously the UK Chief Investigator for the CheckMate 331 Phase III trial in relapsed small cell lung cancer and the KEYNOTE-158 Phase II biomarker study in advanced solid tumors and multiple novel immunotherapy combination phase I trials.

His laboratory interests include the analysis of patient tumors, circulating plasma DNA and circulating tumour cells as predictive biomarkers of response for novel immunotherapies and molecularly targeted agents in clinical trials. Dr Yap has previously received grants from the British Lung Foundation, Academy of Medical Sciences and US Prostate Cancer Foundation to support his research into the molecular profiling of such specimens from patients to personalize their treatments.

In the past, Dr Yap has been a recipient of the McElwain Prize in Medical Oncology from the UK Association of Cancer Physicians and the Young Investigator Award from the US Prostate Cancer Foundation. He has also received five ASCO Foundation merit awards, the AACR-AstraZeneca International Scholar Award, AACR-Pezcoller Foundation Scholar Award, as well as awards from the EORTC and ETOP. Dr Yap is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Hematology & Oncology and Current Problems in Cancer. He has published more than a hundred articles in peer-reviewed journals, including the New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of Clinical Oncology, Cancer Discovery, Science Translational Medicine and Nature Reviews Cancer, as well as multiple book chapters.

Dr Yap currently serves on the Scientific Program Committees of the 2018 AACR Annual Meeting, 2018 International Congress on Targeted Anticancer Therapies (TAT) and ESMO Asia 2018 Congress. Dr Yap previously served a three-year term on the ASCO Annual Meeting Scientific Program Committee (Developmental Therapeutics and Translational Research – Clinical Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics Committee), as well as the Scientific Program Committees for the AACR Annual Meeting, ESMO Annual Congress, and the AACR-NCI-EORTC Molecular Targets Conference.

He is currently an active member of the ESMO OncologyPRO Working Group, and previously a member of the UK NCRI Lung Cancer Clinical Studies Group, the EORTC Lung Cancer Group and the EAPM Sub-Committee on Clinical Trials Framework. Dr Yap previously served as co-leader of the Molecular Biology Module on The Institute of Cancer Research MSc Oncology Course and was a founding member of the UK ECMC Junior Investigator Network Group. He serves on the Faculty of the ASCO/AACR Methods in Clinical Cancer Research Workshop in Vail, and ECCO-AACR-EORTC-ESMO Workshop on Methods in Clinical Cancer Research in Zeist.

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    University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center