Burton Yang

University of Toronto, Canada

Burton Yang received his Ph.D. degree from the University of Manitoba in 1992, followed by a postdoctoral training in Manitoba Institute of Cell Biology. He moved to Harvard Medical School for a second postdoctoral training in 1993. Dr. Yang took a position as a Scientist in Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and an Assistant Professor at the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, University of Toronto in 1995. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 2001 and professor in 2007. Dr. Yang is currently a Career Investigator for Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario. Dr. Yang’s group has been working on the extracellular matrix, especially in the area of proteoglycan. Dr. Yang’s group undertakes the approaches of RNA interference including siRNAs and microRNAs to study the roles of matrix molecules in angiogenesis. It now appears that some of the microRNAs discovered in the human genome contribute to the development of cancer. Dr. Yang has developed a system to study the role of microRNA in tumor growth and angiogenesis in vitro and in vivo. His group has demonstrated that one of the microRNA (miR-378) enhanced tumor cell survival and tumor growth. They have also showed that expression of versican 3 untranslated region modules organ adhesion in transgenic mice. Furthermore, transgenic mice expressing miR-17 are shown to grow slower of the heart and other organs and fibronectin appears to be a target associated mediating miR-17 functions. Dr. Yang’s group is studying the mechanism associated with this effect.

Biography Updated on 21 March 2011

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