Associate Professor, Genetics
Co-Leader, UNC Lineberger Immunology Research Program
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
- Phillip and Ruth Hettleman Prize for Artistic and Scholarly Achievement, UNC-Chapel Hill, 2022
- Emerging Leader Award, Mark Foundation for Cancer Research, 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
- Postdoctoral Fellowship in Cancer Immunology, Cancer Research Institute, 2009
- Summer undergraduate research fellowship, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, 1999
News and Stories
American Association for Cancer Research’s annual meeting to feature UNC Lineberger experts, research
UNC Lineberger faculty and trainees will be presenting their research findings and sharing their insights at education sessions during the American Association for Cancer Research’s annual meeting April 14-19.
NCI awards Earp, Pylayeva-Gupta five-year, $2.69 million pancreatic cancer research grant
The NCI has awarded has awarded Shelley Earp, MD, and Yuliya Pylayeva-Gupta, PhD, a research project grant to investigate approaches to overcome barriers to pancreatic cancer immunotherapies.
Pylayeva-Gupta awarded Hettleman Prize
UNC named UNC Lineberger’s Yuliya Pylayeva-Gupta, PhD, one of four recipients of the Phillip and Ruth Hettleman Prize for Artistic and Scholarly Achievement.
Biological pathways provide evidence for how to overcome barriers limiting cancer immunotherapies
UNC Lineberger researchers have found a possible way to overcome barriers that block anti-cancer immune responses. Their findings could have implications for treating solid tumors, including breast and pancreatic cancer.