Dr. Grace Lu-Yao Joins Jefferson


Headshot of Dr. Grace Lu-YaoGrace Lu-Yao, PhD, MPH, recently joined the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson as part of the center’s growing population science program. She is now serving as the Associate Director for Population Science at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson and the Vice Chair and professor in the department of medical oncology at the Sidney Kimmel Medical College, with a joint appointment at Jefferson College of Population Health.

Population science combines cross-cutting themes of cancer etiology, control, and prevention, with the intent of improving public health on a broad scale. Dr. Lu-Yao’s recruitment follows the launching of the Center of Excellence in Cancer Risk, Prevention, and Control, led by Drs. Veda Giri of Thomas Jefferson University and Ann Klassen of Drexel University. The Center of Excellence is making strides in reducing the burden of cancer in Philadelphia and beyond.

“Under Dr. Lu-Yao’s expert guidance, our population science program will enhance use of cancer registries to determine patterns and trends of cancer incidence and mortality within our area, and carry out epidemiologic studies to identify additional risk factors and prevention strategies for those groups and communities,” said Karen Knudsen, PhD, director of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson.

Dr. Lu-Yao is a fellow of the American College of Epidemiology and a well-recognized cancer epidemiologist with expertise in outcomes research. Many of her research findings on cancer surveillance, screening, and treatment for prostate cancer have provided benchmark references that facilitate decision-making in cancer treatment. Her studies have been published in highly respected medical journals and featured in major news media such as the New York Times, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, and others. Dr. Lu-Yao’s seminal study on the use of hormone-blocking therapy for early-stage prostate cancer showed that this approach did not prolong survival or reduce the need for additional therapies. This new insight has great potential to reduce treatment cost and adverse effects, and improve the quality of life of millions of patients.

Before joining Jefferson, she was a professor at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.