Dr. Joanna Yi's translational research focuses on the pre-clinical identification and development of new, targeted small molecules for the treatment of childhood cancers with the purpose of evaluating them in clinical trials. She is especially interested in epigenetic drugs and combining them with other active agents.
Dr. Yi wants to discover new, less toxic, targeted drugs by combining the translational drug discovery techniques of the Center for Drug Discovery at Baylor College of Medicine, with the clinical developmental therapeutics program of Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Center. In the laboratory, Dr. Yi is working with investigators within the Cancer Center to identify and characterize small molecules with clinical promise in challenging pediatric cancers. This includes screening several targets in Ewing sarcoma and AML against the CDD's >5 billion compound library. She is eager to oversee the screening of any validated oncology target through this unique academic resource and hopes investigators outside TXCH will contact her to set this up. Additionally, as many cancers seen in children do not have mutations detected by DNA sequencing, Dr. Yi has applied an alternate drug discovery approach to pediatric acute myeloid leukemia (AML), which is looking at the control the expression of genes driving the leukemia. She has already found a druggable target, which hopefully is one of many new targets she can screen for new drugs to eventually bring to children with AML. She also is developing tests of “on-target” effect of these compounds to be used in clinical trials.
Pre-clinical targeted drug development
Clinical application of new targeted drugs and combinations
Developing pharmacodynamics biomarker assays