Douglas Yee, MD

Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology (Joint Appointment), Division of Hematology, Oncology and Transplantation

Douglas Yee

Contact Info

Office Phone 612-626-8487

Lab Phone 612-625-2838

Mailing Address:
Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota
420 Delaware Street SE
MMC 806
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Administrative Assistant Name
Jean Jacoby

Administrative Phone

Administrative Email

Administrative Fax Number

Medical School, University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, Chicago, IL

Internal Medicine Residency, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC

Oncology Fellowship, National Cancer Institute, Medicine Branch, Bethesda, MD


Dr. Yee holds the John H. Kersey Chair in Cancer Research. He was previously co-leader of the Women's Cancer Program. He was named Director of the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota in 2007. Dr. Yee received his MD in 1981 from the University of Chicago. He received his internal medicine training and was Chief Medical Resident at the University of North Carolina. His medical oncology training was done at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland. Prior to coming to Minnesota, he held faculty positions at Georgetown University Medical Center and the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.


  • Breast Cancer

Awards & Recognition

  • Mpls.St. Paul Magazine "Top Doctor" (2012-2015)
  • "Best Doctors for Women," Minnesota Monthly Magazine (2011, 2014)
  • Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences (1990)

Professional Associations

  • Director, Masonic Cancer Center (2007-present)
  • Tickle Family Land Grant Chair in Breast Cancer Research (1999-2009)
  • John H. Kersey Chair in Cancer Research (2008-present)
  • Komen for the Cure Scientific Advisory Council (2010)


Research Summary/Interests

Growth regulation of breast cancer
Our laboratory is interested in understanding the contribution of insulin-like growth factor (IGF) action to the breast cancer malignant phenotype. We have shown that IGF-I can stimulate cell growth, enhance survival, and stimulate motility and adhesion. Activation of specific substrates, insulin receptor substrate-1 (IRS-1) and IRS-2 are associated with either cell proliferation or cell motility. A major focus of the laboratory is to elucidate the signals downstream of these two adaptor proteins that account for the observed phenotype. In breast cancer, development of therapeutics designed to target specific growth regulatory molecules has proven to be remarkably successful in the clinic. Since the IGFs regulate several important breast cancer phenotypes, the second focus of the laboratory is to develop anti-IGF strategies that have potential as cancer therapeutics. Our long-term goal is to improve breast cancer treatment by understanding and targeting the key components of the IGF system.


  • Hui SK, Fairchild GR, Kidder LS, Sharma M, Bhattacharya M, Jackson S, Le C, Yee D. Skeletal remodeling following clinically relevant radiation-induced bone damage treated with zoledronic acid. Calcif Tissue Int. 2012 Jan;90(1):40-9.
  • Potter DA, Yee D, Guo Z, Rodriguez M. Should diabetic women with breast cancer have their own intervention studies? Endocr Relat Cancer. 2012 Feb 13;19(1):C13-7.
  • Becker MA, Ibrahim YH, Cui X, Lee AV, Yee D. The IGF Pathway Regulates ER{alpha} through a S6K1-Dependent Mechanism in Breast Cancer Cells. Mol Endocrinol. 2011 Mar;25(3):516-28.
  • Hui SK, Khalil A, Zhang Y, Coghill K, Le C, Dusenbery K, Froelich J, Yee D, Downs L. Longitudinal assessment of bone loss from diagnostic computed tomography scans in gynecologic cancer patients treated with chemotherapy and radiation. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2010 Oct;203(4):353.e1-7. Epub 2010 Aug 3.PMID: 20684943
  • Giovannucci E, Harlan DM, Archer MC, Bergenstal RM, Gapstur SM, Habel LA, Pollak M, Regensteiner JG, Yee D. Diabetes and cancer: a consensus report. CA Cancer J Clin. 2010 Jul-Aug;60(4):207-21. Epub 2010 Jun 16.PMID: 20554718
  • Yee D. How to train your biomarker. Clin Cancer Res. 2010 Jun 15;16(12):3091-3. Epub 2010 Jun 8.PMID: 20530694
  • Yee D. Adaptor proteins as targets for cancer prevention. Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2010 Mar;3(3):263-5. Epub 2010 Feb 23.PMID: 20179300
  • Zhang H, Fagan DH, Zeng X, Freeman KT, Sachdev D, Yee D. Inhibition of cancer cell proliferation and metastasis by insulin receptor downregulation. Oncogene. 2010 Apr 29;29(17):2517-27. Epub 2010 Feb 15.PMID: 20154728
  • Blaes AH, Gaillard P, Peterson BA, Yee D, Virnig B. Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors may be protective against cardiac complications following anthracycline chemotherapy. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2010 Jul;122(2):585-90. Epub 2010 Jan 8.PMID: 20058065
  • Sachdev D, Zhang X, Matise I, Gaillard-Kelly M, Yee D. The type I insulin-like growth factor receptor regulates cancer metastasis independently of primary tumor growth by promoting invasion and survival. Oncogene. 2010 Jan 14;29(2):251-62. Epub 2009 Oct 19.PMID: 19838209
  • Miller BS and Yee D. The type I IGF receptor (IGF1R) as a therapeutic target in cancer. Cancer Res, in press.
  • Yee D. 2006. Targeting insulin-like growth factor pathways. Br J Cancer 94:465-468.
  • Sachdev D, Singh R, Fujita-Yamaguchi Y, Yee D. 2006. Down-regulation of insulin receptor by antibodies against the type I insulin-like growth factor receptor: implications for anti-insulin-like growth factor therapy in breast cancer. Cancer Res 66:2391-2402.
  • Kirstein MN, Brundage RC, Elmquist WF, Remmel RP, Marker PH, Guire DE, Yee D. 2006. Characterization of an in vitro cell culture bioreactor system to evaluate anti-neoplastic drug regimens. Breast Cancer Res Treat 96:217-225.
  • Farooqui M, Geng ZH, Stephenson EJ, Zaveri N, Yee D, Gupta K. 2006. Naloxone acts as an antagonist of estrogen receptor activity in MCF-7 cells. Mol Cancer Ther 5:611-620.
  • Zhang X, Lin M, van Golen KL, Yoshioka K, Itoh K, Yee D. 2005. Multiple signaling pathways are activated during insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) stimulated breast cancer cell migration. Breast Cancer Res Treat 93:159-168.
  • Zhang S, Kamaraju S, Hakuno F, Kabuta T, Takahashi S-I, Sachdev D, Yee D. 2004. Motility response to insulin-like growth factor-I in MCF-7 cells is associated with IRS-2 activation and integrin expression. Breast Canc Res Treat, 83:161-170.
  • Hoang CD, Zhang X, Scott PD, Guillaume TJ, Maddaus MA, Yee D, Kratzke RA. 2004. Selective activation of insulin receptor substrate-1 and -2 in pleural mesothelioma cells: association with distinct malignant phenotypes. Cancer Res 64:7479-7485.
  • Sachdev D, Hartell JS, Lee AV, Zhang X, Yee D. 2004. A dominant negative type I insulin-like growth factor-1 inhibits metastasis of human cancer cells. J Biol Chem 279:5017-5024.



Breast Center

Board Certifications

  • Internal Medicine
  • Medical Oncology

Clinical Interests

Breast cancer