Vicky Yamamoto, Ph.D.
Cancer Scientist, Department of Otolaryngology/ Head and Neck Surgery, Keck School of Medicine of USC, Los Angeles, CA.
Dr. Vicky Yamamoto is a cancer scientist at Keck School of Medicine of USC in the Department of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery with more than 10 years of research experience ranging from developmental neurobiology and stem cell to molecular targeted therapy. Prior joining the Department of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery at Keck School of Medicine of USC, Dr. Yamamoto worked at Mount St. Mary’s College, The Scripps Research Institute, the Maxine Dunitz Neurosurgical Institute at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and California Institute of Technology. She has significant teaching experience and mentored numerous students.
Dr. Yamamoto’s pioneering work on mammalian Ryk was conducted at the laboratory of Professor David Baltimore, a Nobel laureate-1975, at California Institute of Technology. In this project, Drs. Baltimore, Yamamoto and the team have demonstrated that a Wnt co-receptor is required for stimulation of neurite outgrowth. The significant finding was published in a prestigious journal, Cell (Cell Press). This work opened new possibilities for scientists to investigate the role of Wnt signaling in cellular growth and differentiation in the central nervous system. Dr. Yamamoto received a prestigious fellowship from California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) to investigate the role of cleavage of Wnt co-receptor Ryk in regulating neuronal differentiation during cortical neurogenesis. She published her results in Developmental Cell (Cell Press), which identified a key mechanism that regulates the development of stem cells into neurons.
Dr. Yamamoto’s current research at Keck School of Medicine of USC in the Department of Head and Neck Surgery focused on a) The effect of Wnt small molecule inhibitor in enhancing chemo-radiation sensitivity of cancer cells. b) Investigating the roles of cancer stem cells in head and neck cancer progression and metastasis. c) IL-6/STAT3 signaling as a therapeutic target and for early diagnosis.
She has been a recipient of many prestigious awards including: an industry award, the young investigator award from Society for Brain Mapping & Therapeutics (SBMT), a pre-doctoral fellowship from The Edwin Everest Foundation, CIRM pre-doctoral fellowship from California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, as well as numerous awards from Mount St. Mary’s College including President’s Medal, Sister Rebecca Doan’s award, community service award, and the honors certificate. She graduated with Magna Cum Laude from Mount St. Mary’s College with a BS in biological sciences and a BA in chemistry. She received a PhD in biochemistry and molecular biology from Keck School of Medicine of USC.
Dr. Yamamoto has been a founding member of the board of the Society for Brain Mapping and Therapeutics (SBMT). She has served on many committees including publication committee as a member of the editorial board and co-chaired the industry committee of SBMT where she provided a liaison with near 3,000 industry partners of the society. Dr. Yamamoto is also an active board member of the Brain Mapping Foundation.