By Amy Widner
Edward T.H. Yeh, M.D., FACC, joined the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) College of Medicine Nov. 1 as Chair of the Department of Internal Medicine and the Nolan Family Distinguished Chair in Internal Medicine.
Yeh succeeds James Marsh, M.D., who will serve as a senior cardiologist on the faculty until his retirement in January. Marsh had been chair since 2004 and leaves UAMS with a distinguished history of leadership and advancing UAMS’ mission in education, clinical care and research.
Yeh also has been nominated by UAMS for the Arkansas Research Alliance (ARA) Scholar Award. As an ARA Scholar, he will lead research that improves health in Arkansas while fostering economic opportunity.
Yeh is a renowned cardiologist and leading expert in the field of onco-cardiology. He currently directs the Center for Precision Medicine and holds the Frances T. McAndrew Chair in Oncology at the University of Missouri School of Medicine, where he also chaired the Department of Medicine from 2016-2019.
“Dr. Yeh brings exceptional clinical, research and academic leadership experience to UAMS,” said Christopher T. Westfall, M.D., College of Medicine dean and UAMS executive vice chancellor. “His unique expertise will also serve as a strong asset in our work to obtain National Cancer Institute designation for UAMS, an effort led by Winthrop P. Cancer Institute Director Michael Birrer, M.D., Ph.D.”
From 2000 to 2016, Yeh served as professor and founding chair of the Department of Cardiology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, where he made seminal contributions to understanding the relationships between cancer, chemotherapy agents and heart disease. In 2012, his laboratory discovered that Topoisomerase 2b is the molecular basis of anthracycline-induced cardiotoxicity, upending decades of belief that toxicity to this chemotherapy drug was due solely to reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation.
Earlier, Yeh made important contributions in biochemistry, including the discovery of two ubiquitin-like proteins, SUMO/Sentrin and NEDD8. Both of these proteins are important in regulation of hypoxia-inducible factor stability, DNA repair, heart and lymphoid development, cancer pathogenesis, and sudden death and seizure disorders. Yeh has published extensively and lectured internationally on these and other topics in cardiology and medicine.
Yeh received his medical degree from the University of California, Davis. He completed residency training in internal medicine at Children’s Hospital, San Francisco, and Boston VA Medical Center. He continued his training with a research fellowship in immunology at Harvard Medical School, followed by a clinical fellowship in rheumatology at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Yeh later completed a clinical fellowship in cardiology at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center (UTHSC).
Yeh served as an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard in 1987-1992. He joined UTHSC as an associate professor of medicine in 1992 and was promoted to professor in 1998. He was recruited to the University of Missouri as chair of medicine in 2016.
Yeh is certified in internal medicine and cardiovascular diseases. He is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology and an elected member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Association of American Physicians and the American Society for Clinical Investigation.