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Ying Wang, PhD

Senior Principal Scientist
Epidemiology Research

Woman, sleeveless black top with white and blue embellishments, shoulder-length dark brown hair with copper highlights

How I Became a Cancer Researcher

I studied biology as an undergraduate because I’d loved animals since I was a little kid. My efforts to lose weight for many years led me to my graduate work—I studied human well-being from the perspective of nutritional sciences. Eventually, as I further understood that diet and obesity play important roles in the development of many types of cancer, I was drawn to the field of nutrition and cancer epidemiology.”

At ACS since 2013

As Senior Principal Scientist, Ying Wang, PhD, is leading a multidisciplinary area of research – metabolomics – to better understand the role of biologic, lifestyle, and environmental factors on cancer risk and survival, capitalizing on her expertise in basic science, statistics, and cancer epidemiology. She focuses on prostate cancer.

Wang works closely with American Cancer Society (ACS) Population Science colleagues in nutritional epidemiology to understand the role of diet in cancer risk and survival and contributes to the development and update of the nutrition guidelines for cancer prevention and survivors.

Research focus and accomplishments

My primary research focuses on diet, physical activity, obesity, and metabolic profiles in relation to prostate cancer incidence and survival. I led or co-led several projects on modifiable risk factors and prostate cancer survival, which significantly contributed to the limited evidence in this area of research.

I also led or co-led several pioneering works in the metabolomics field to identify biomarkers related to cancer risk and biomarkers of food intake, dietary patterns, adiposity, and other lifestyle and environmental factors. I was recently funded by a major ACS gift donor to study metabolomic profiles in relation to lung cancer risk and identify early detection biomarkers, which could potentially facilitate traditional lung cancer screening.

I contribute to the development of high-quality dietary assessment tools and use dietary biomarkers to improve diet assessment in the two large ACS cohort studies, CPS-II and CPS-3.


For a full list of Dr. Yang's publications, visit her Google Scholar page.  


Work before ACS

  • Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Connecticut, Research Assistant

Professional organizations

  • American Association for Cancer Research (AACR)
  • American Society for Nutrition (ASN)
  • Consortium of Metabolomics Studies (COMETS), Steering Committee Member
  • Metabolomics Society


  • Postdoctoral fellow: Nutrition and Cancer Epidemiology, American Cancer Society, 2013-2015
  • PhD: Nutritional Sciences, University of Connecticut, 2009-2012
  • MS: Statistics, University of Connecticut, 2010-2012
  • BS: Bioengineering, China Agricultural University, 2005-2009

Personal life 

I live in Atlanta with my husband and two kids. I love cooking and hiking.