Dr. Rihab Yassin leads the Cancer Cell Biology Branch (CCBB), which supports and directs research that defines the biological basis for the differences between normal cells and cancerous cells, with a major emphasis on studies that reveal processes and molecular targets with potentials for therapeutic or preventive interventions. She manages a portfolio of grants focusing on gastroesophageal cancers, tumor-initiating cells and stem cells, and cell plasticity.
Dr. Yassin is interested in new research approaches to understand the early biology of cancer and cell transitions during the development of cancer. She says, “Knowing how the cell behaves before it becomes cancerous is very important and stepping back to the beginning can teach us important information about cancer cell evolution.”
Along with her DCB work, Dr. Yassin promoted and supported research on the biology of radiogenic thyroid cancer in children and young adults that stemmed from the Chernobyl nuclear plant accident. She was also involved in the establishment of biospecimen resources for cancer biology studies.
In addition to her DCB work, Dr. Yassin is a member of several NCI and trans-NIH committees.
Dr. Yassin also helps manage DCB cooperative agreement programs:
- Barrett's Esophagus Translational Research Network (BETRNet)
- Program on the Origins of Gastroesophageal Cancers
- Translational and Basic Science Research in Early Lesions (TBEL)
Before becoming a Branch Chief, Dr. Yassin was a Program Director in CCBB and managed a portfolio focusing on cancer cell signaling and tumor suppression. Prior to the NIH, she worked as the National Program Manager for the Biomedical Laboratory Research and Development Service at the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs.
- Ph.D, Cell Physiology and Biophysics , University of Connecticut