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Melinda Yates, PhD, is a UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center member with research interests in the mechanisms of endometrial cancer pathogenesis.

PhD
Associate Professor, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
UNC-Chapel Hill
Molecular Therapeutics

Area of Interest

I am particularly interested in the earliest molecular changes that occur in the endometrium during cancer development related to obesity and hereditary DNA mismatch repair defects. I have developed an extensive suite of preclinical tools (rodent models, organoids, and novel cell lines) to interrogate mechanisms of endometrial cancer pathogenesis, working in parallel with human tissue-based studies. My team has also implemented the use of spatial biology platforms to enable powerful new opportunities to define the biology of endometrial premalignancy in clinical specimens. My longer-term goal is to use these tools to define mechanisms related to environmental factors (obesity, hormones, and exposures linked with social determinants of health) that influence endometrial cancer development and disparities. My studies seek to identify opportunities to intercept cancer through the use of pharmacologic agents to prevent, block, or reverse endometrial cancer development.

Find publications on PubMed

Awards and Honors

  • President’s Faculty Excellence Award in Cancer Prevention or Outreach, MD Anderson Cancer Center, 2022
  • Faculty Recognition Award, University of Texas, MD Anderson, UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, 2022
  • Faculty Educator of the Quarter, University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center, 2020
  • Faculty Recognition Award, University of Texas, MD Anderson, UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, 2019
Headshot of Melinda Yates.