Associate Professor, Genetics
Area of Interest
The principal goal of my research program is to investigate mechanisms by which tumors co-opt the immune system to facilitate emergence and progression of cancer. I am particularly interested in biology of pancreatic cancer, where non-cell-autonomous pathways elicited by oncogenic Kras and tumor suppressor p53 can modify stromal and immune responses that promote tumorigenesis. I use genetically engineered mouse models of pancreatic cancer, featuring activation of oncogenic KRAS in pancreatic epithelium, to investigate immunological mechanisms relevant to pathogenesis of this deadly disease. This area of research is especially pertinent in the context of KRAS-driven carcinogenesis, where the driving oncogene is to this day considered an undruggable target.
Awards and Honors
- Mark Foundation for Cancer Research Emerging Leader Award, 2022
- Pathway to Leadership Award, American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and Pancreatic cancer Action Network (PanCAN), 2013
- Young Investigator Travel Award, American Pancreatic Association, 2010
- Cancer Research Institute Postdoctoral Fellowship in Cancer Immunology, 2009
- Howard Hughes Medical Institute summer undergraduate research fellowship, 1999
News and Stories
Leading researchers provide insights on aggressive cancers at scientific symposium
UNC Lineberger’s 45th annual Scientific Symposium featured talks on the latest research on pancreatic cancer, tumor microenvironments, metastatic disease and immunotherapy.
Mark Foundation awards Pylayeva-Gupta three-year, $750,000 research grant
Yuliya Pylayeva-Gupta, PhD, is a recipient of The Mark Foundation for Cancer Research Emerging Leader Award. The funding will support her research focused on reprogramming B cell fate and function in cancer.
Advancing pancreatic cancer research and care
Pancreatic cancer is an extremely challenging cancer to treat and has an increasing incidence in the United States. Fortunately, pancreatic cancer research is being conducted at UNC Lineberger.
U.S. Army awards grant to Pylayeva-Gupta for study of immune system in pancreatic cancer
The U.S. Army has awarded a $559,799 grant to UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center researcher Yuliya Pylayeva-Gupta, PhD, to investigate the role of the immune system in promoting pancreatic cancer’s spread.