Muh-Hwa Yang


National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University, Taipei, Taiwan


Senior Vice President


Ph.D., Institute of Clinical Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei,  Taiwan


M.D.,   Faculty   of   Medicine,   National   Yang-Ming   University,   Taipei,  Taiwan 


  • Scientific Advisory Board of ERA-NET Cofound TRANSCAN-3: Sustained collaboration of national and regional programs in cancer research (2021-2026)

  • Top 1% Scientists (by ESI) and Membors of the Advisory Board of Universal Scientific Education and Research Network (USERN) (2021-2024)

  • Scientific Committee of ESMO Asia Congress (2021, 2022)

  • Outstanding Research Achievement Award of 60th Anniversary, Taipei Veterans   General Hospital (2019) 

  • Distinguished Thesis, Taipei Veterans General Hospital (2009, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020)

  • Oustanding Research Award, National Science Council/Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan (2013-2015, 2016-2018)

  • Dr. Chien-Tien Hsu Memorial Award for Outstanding Cancer Research, Taiwa Oncology Society, Taiwan (2015)

  • Scientific paper award, Y.Z. Hsu Scientific and Technology Memorial Foundation (2015)

  • Award for Junior Research Investigators, Academia Sinica, Taiwan (2011)

  • Young Scientist Research Award, Tien-Te Lee Biomedical Foundation, Taiwan (2011)

  • Dr.  Ta-Cheng  Tung  Memorial  Award  for  Basic  Cancer  Research, Taiwan Oncology Society, Taiwan (2009)

  • Ta-Yu Wu Memorial Award, National Science Council, Taiwan (2008)


My major research interest is to study the pleiotropic effects of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) during cancer metastasis. EMT is a major mechanism in development and cancer metastasis. However, the knowledge about EMT beyond the induction of cellular disaggregation and migration is limited. Our lab focuses on the multifaceted role of the EMT during cancer progression, including the induction of cancer stemness (Nat Cell Biol 2010, Cell Rep 2016, Theranostics 2020), mesenchymal movement in 3-dimensional culture system (Nat Cell Biol 2012; Oncogene 2016), symmetrical division of cancer stem cells (Nat Cell Biol 2014), modulation of cancer cytokinome (Cancer Cell 2014) and exosomes (Neoplasia 2018; J Hemetol Oncol 2019; Int J Cancer 2019), and collective cell migration (Nat Cell Biol 2019). We also delineate the role of tumor-associated macrophages in regulating epithelial plasticity for tumor colonization (Nat Commun 2018). In addition to basic cancer biology, I was trained as a hematologist-oncologist and I am also interested in the field of clinical cancer treatment. My major experience is in the treatment of head and neck cancer, which is one of the most devastating male cancers in Taiwan due to habitual betel nut consumption. We also have the translational researches regarding the therapeutic resistance in head and neck cancer (Clin Cancer Res 2010; Clin Cancer Res 2017) and multikinase inhibitors for modulating microenvironments to enhance response (J Immunother Cancer 2021).



  1. Ou DL, Chen CW, Hsu CL, Chung CH, Feng ZR, Lee BS, Cheng AL, Yang MH*,  Hsu C*. Regorafenib enhances antitumor immunity via inhibition of p38 kinase/Creb1/Klf4 axis in tumor-associated macrophages. J Immunother Cancer 2021; 9:e001657.doi: 10.1136/jitc-2020-001657.

  2. Chen CC, Hsu CC, Chen SL, Lin PH, Chen JP, Pan YR, Huang CE, Chen YJ, Chen YY, Wu YY, Yang MH*. RAS mediates BET inhibitor-endued repression of lymphoma migration and prognosticates a novel proteomics-based subgroup of DLBCL through its negative regulator IQGAP3. Cancers 2021; 13: 5024.

  3. Chou MY, Yang MH*. Interplay of immunometabolism and epithelial–mesenchymal transition in the tumor microenvironment. Int J Mol Sci 2021; 22: 9878.

  4. Chen TH, Chang PM, Yang MH*. Combination of pembrolizumab and lenvatinib is a potential treatment option for heavily pretreated recurrent and metastatic head and neck cancer. J Chin Med Assoc 2021; 84:361-7.

  5. Hung YP, Shao YY, Hsu C, Hsu CH, Lee JM, Yang MH*, Chao Y. The unique characteristic in peripheral immune cells in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma. J Formos Med Assoc 2021; 120: 1581-90. 

  6. Hung YP, Shao YY, Lee JM, Hsu C, Hsu CH, Yang MH*, Chao Y*. Potential of circulating immune cells as biomarkers of nivolumab treatment efficacy for advanced hepatocellular carcinoma. J Chin Med Assoc 2021; 84: 144-50. 

  7. Liao TT, Lin CC, Jiang JK, Yang SH, Teng HW, Yang MH*. Harnessing stemness and PD-L1 expression by AT-rich interaction domain-containing protein 3 in colorectal cancer. Theranostics 2020; 10: 6095-6112.   

  8. Liao TT, Yang MH*. Hybrid Epithelial/Mesenchymal State in Cancer Metastasis: Clinical Significance and Regulatory Mechanisms. Cells 2020; 9:623 (review article).

  9. Sun NY, Yang MH*. Metabolic reprogramming and epithelial-mesenchymal plasticity: opportunities and challenges for cancer therapy. Front Oncol 2020 DOI: 10.3389/fonc.2020.00792 (review article).

  10. Chien SH, Liu HM, Chen PM, Ko PS, Lin JS, Chen YJ, Lee LH, Hsiao LT, Chiou TJ, Gau JP, Yang MH, Liu CY. The landscape of BCR-ABL mutations in patients with Philadelphia chromosome-positive leukaemias in the era of second-generation tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Hematol Oncol 2020 Feb 3. doi: 10.1002/hon.2721

  11. Grünwald V, Chirovsky D, Cheung WY, Bertolini F, Ahn MJ, Yang MH, Castro G, Berrocal A, Sjoquist K, Kuyas H, Auclair V, Guillaume X, Joo S, Shah R, Harrington K; GLANCE H&N STUDY Investigators. Global treatment patterns and outcomes among patients with recurrent and/or metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma: Results of the GLANCE H&N study. Oral Oncol 2020;102:104526.

  12. Yan X, Cao N, Chen Y, Lan HY, Cha JH, Yang WH, Yang MH*. MT4-MMP promotes invadopodia formation and cell motility in FaDu head and neck cancer cells. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 2020; 522:1009-1014.

  13. Chen TH, Chang PM, Yang MH*. Novel immune-modulating drugs for advanced head and neck cancer. Head Neck 2019;41(Suppl 1):46-56 (review article).

  14. Lai SC, Su YT, Chi CC, Kuo YC, Lee KF, Wu YC, Lan PC, Yang MH, Chang TS, Huang YH. DNMT3b/OCT4 expression confers sorafenib resistance and poor prognosis of hepatocellular carcinoma through IL-6/STAT3 regulation. J Exp Clin Cancer Res 2019; 38: 474. 

  15. Lee TL, Chiu PH, Li WY, Yang MH, Wei PY, Chu PY, Wang YF, Tai SK. Nerve-tumour interaction enhances the aggressiveness of oral squamous cell carcinoma. Clin Otolaryngol 2019; 44: 1087-1095. 

  16. Lai CH, Tsai WS, Yang MH, Chou TY, Chang YC. A two-dimensional immunomagnetic nano-net for the efficient isolation of circulating tumor cells in whole blood. Nanoscale 2019; 11: 21119-21127.

  17. Lu HJ, Hsieh CC, Yeh CC, Yeh YC, Wu CC, Wang FS, Lai JM, Yang MH, Wang CH, Huang CF, Chang PM. Clinical, pathophysiologic, and genomic analysis of the outcomes of primary head and neck malignancy after pulmonary metastasectomy. Sci Rep 2019; 9: 12913.

  18. Yen CC, Chen SC, Hung GY, Wu PK, Chua WY, Lin YC, Yen CH, Chen YC, Wang JY, Yang MH, Chao Y, Chang MC, Chen WM. Expression profiledriven discovery of AURKA as a treatment target for liposarcoma. Int J Oncol 2019; 55: 938-948. 

  19. Ho WT, Chang JS, Chou SF, Hwang WL, Shih PJ, Chang SW, Yang MH, Jou TS, Wang IJ. Targeting non-muscle myosin II promotes corneal endothelial migration through regulating lamellipodial dynamics. J Mol Med (Berl) 2019; 97: 1345-1357.

  20. Chen MH, Chang SC, Lin PC, Yang SH, Lin CC, Lan YT, Lin HH, Lin CH, Lai JI, Liang WY, Lu ML, Yang MH, Chao Y. Combined microsatellite instability and elevated microsatellite alterations at selected tetranucleotide repeats (EMAST) might be a more promising immune biomarker in colorectal cancer. Oncologist 2019; 24: 1534-1542. 

  21. Yen CC, Chen LT, Li CF, Chen SC, Chua WY, Lin YC, Yen CH, Chen YC, Yang MH, Chao Y, Fletcher JA. Identification of phenothiazine as an ETV1targeting agent in gastrointestinal stromal tumors using the Connectivity Map. Int J Oncol 2019 ;55: 536-546. 

  22. Cheng WC, Liao TT, Lin CC, Yuan LE, Lan HY, Lin HH, Teng HW, Chang HC, Lin CH, Yang CY, Huang SC, Jiang JK, Yang SH, Yang MH*, Hwang WL*. RAB27B-activated secretion of stem-like tumor exosomes delivers the biomarker microRNA-146a-5p, which promotes tumorigenesis and associates with an immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment in colorectal cancer. Int J Cancer 2019;145:2209-2224.

  23. Li CF, Chen JY, Ho YH, Hsu WH, Wu, LC, Lan HY, Hsu DS, Tai SK, Chang YC*, Yang MH*. Snail-induced claudin-11 prompts collective migration for tumor progression. Nat Cell Biol 2019; 21:251-262.  

  24. Hwang WL*, Lan HY, Cheng WY, Huang SC, Yang MH*. Tumor stem-Like cells-derived exosomal RNAs prime neutrophils for facilitating tumorigenesis of colon cancer. J Hematol Oncol 2019;12:10.

  25. Lee CC, Lin JC, Hwang WL, Kuo YJ, Chen HK, Tai SK, Lin CC, Yang MH*. Macrophage-secreted interleukin-35 regulates cancer cell plasticity to facilitate metastatic colonization Nat Commun 2018; 9: 3763. 

  26. Pan YR, Chen CC, Chan YT, Wang SJ, Chien FT, Chen YL, Liu JL, Yang MH*. STAT3-coordinated migration facilitates the dissemination of diffuse large B-cell lymphomas. Nat Commun 2018 9:3696.

  27. Hsieh CH, Tai SK, Yang MH*. Snail-overexpressing cancer cells promotes M2-like polarization of tumor-associated macrophages by delivering miR-21-abundant exosomes. Neoplasia 2018; 20:775-788. 

  28. Chen YQ, Lan HY, Wu YC, Yang WH, Chiou A*, Yang MH*. Epithelial-mesenchymal transition softens head and neck cancer cells to facilitate migration in 3D environments. J Cell Mol Med 2018; 22:3837-3846. 

  29. Chen HH, Yu HI, Yang MH, Tarn WY. DDX3 activates CBC-eIF3-mediated translation of uORF-containing oncogenic mRNAs to promote metastasis in HNSCC. Cancer Res 2018; 78: 4512-4523. 

  30. Huang KH, Sung IC, Fang WL, Chi CW, Yeh TS, Lee HC, Yin PH, Li AF, Wu CW, Shyr YM, Yang MH*. Correlation between HGF/c-Met and Notch1 signaling pathways in human gastric cancer cells. Oncol Rep 2018; 40: 294-302.

  31. Cheng YJ, Tsai MH, Chiang CJ, Tsai ST, Liu TW, Lou PJ, Liao CT, Lin JC, Chang JT, Tsai MH, Chu PY, Leu YS, Tsai KY, Terng SD, Chien CY, Yang MH, Hao SP, Wang CC, Tsai MH, Chen HHW, Kuo C, Wu YH. Adjuvant radiotherapy after curative surgery for oral cavity squamous cell carcinoma and treatment effect of timing and duration on outcome-A Taiwan Cancer Registry national database analysis. Cancer Med 2018 Jun 14. doi: 10.1002/cam4.1611.

  32. Lin MC, Shueng PW, Chang WK, Mu-Hsin Chang P, Feng HC, Yang MH, Lou PJ. Consensus and clinical recommendations for nutritional intervention for head and neck cancer patients undergoing chemoradiotherapy in Taiwan. Oral Oncol 2018;81:16-21 (review article).

  33. Chang PM, Chen CH, Yeh CC, Lu HJ, Liu TT, Chen MH, Liu CY, Wu ATH, Yang MH, Tai SK, Mochly-Rosen D, Huang CF. Transcriptome analysis and prognosis of ALDH isoforms in human cancer. Sci Rep 2018;8:2713.

  34. Chen SC, Liao TT, Yang MH*. Emerging roles of epithelial-mesenchymal transition in hematological malignancies. J Biomed Sci 2018;25:37 (review article). 

  35. Huang KH, Fang WL, Li AF, Liang PH, Wu CW, Shyr YM, Yang MH*. Caspase-3, a key apoptotic protein, as a prognostic marker in gastric cancer after curative surgery. Int J Surg 2018; 52:258-263. 

  36. Chen SC, Chang PM, Wang HJ, Tai SK, Chu PY*,