California Pacific Currents 2000
Li-Xi Yang, MD, PhD: Biomedical Researcher Fighting Cancer and Serious Infection
Li-Xi Yang, MD, PhD brings a broad medical and scientific perspective to the investigation that he leads at the California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute. With graduate education in pharmacology, radiation biology, organic chemistry, and toxicology — all sciences fundamental to the study of medicine — as well as advanced training in internal medicine and radiation oncology.
Dr. Yang's knowledge of organic compounds combined with understanding their function in the human body allows him to pursue one of his major goals: improving therapy for patients who have cancer and other serious medical problems. With an interest in developing radiosensitizers — drugs that make tumors more vulnerable to radiation therapy — he set out to alter well-characterized compounds to synthesize effective new agents based on his novel drug designs.
His successes include development of second-generation metronidazole compounds that fight bacterial and parasitic infections. Recently optioned to Novavax , a biopharmaceutical company, the new compound, an analog to the existing drug metronidazole, is expected to be effective in treating infections such as Helicobacter pylori, the bacteria implicated in the development of ulcers. Craig Wright, MD, chief scientific officer of Novavax, believes that the new compound may be useful in treating strains of H. pylori that are resistant to metronidazole.