Dr. Yoo received her Ph.D. in Medical Science (Specific Major: Cancer Biology) at the Yonsei University Medical Center in South Korea. Her graduate school research focused on ­­­developing anti-cancer therapeutic oncolytic Adenoviruses and evaluating their therapeutic efficacy and molecular mechanisms of action.

She joined the laboratory of Dr. Balveen Kaur at The Ohio State University for her postdoctoral training to study host stromal responses elicited upon oncolytic HSV-1 (oHSV) treatment of malignant glioma. Her research has highlighted how oHSV-infected tumor cells can lead to the education of uninfected tumor and stromal cells in the tumor microenvironment and have uncovered some significant impact of these exchanges on response to oHSV treatment and tumor growth. Dr. Yoo was promoted as a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurological Surgery at The Ohio State University in 2015. Dr. Yoo joined the Department of Neurosurgery at University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston as an Assistant Professor in 2017.

Dr. Yoo has publihsed 44 research articles in scientific journals including Cancer Cell, Cell Reports, Clinical Cancer research, Cancer Research, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), and Oncogene.


Graduate School
Medical Science, Yonsei University, Seoul, South Korea
The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH

Areas of Interest

Research Interests

Dr. Yoo’s research focuses on developing therapeutic oncolytic herpes simplex viruses (oHSV) and understanding tumor microenvironment changes in response to oHSV therapy. oHSV therapy offers potential to increase patient survival and quality of life through tumor cell-specific replication and lysis of attenuated HSV-1 derived viruses. The recent FDA approval of oHSV, Talimogene Laherparepvec (T-Vec) for melanoma, underscores the importance of developing methods to harness this strategy for cancer therapy. Dr. Yoo and others have found that oHSV infection of tumor cells causes increased tumor proliferation, angiogenesis, and tumor associated macrophages (TAM) infiltration/activation. These changes by oHSV infection even benefit for tumor growth contrary to our purpose of using oHSV. Thus, elucidation of the changes in the tumor microenvironment after oHSV treatment can be utilized to optimize clinical translation of this therapeutic modality in patients.

Additionally, her current research focuses on evaluating how oHSV/HSV-encoded miRNAS regulate immune cell infiltration and activation, and its impact on anti-viral and anti-tumor immune responses in the oHSV-treated tumor microenvironment. This project studies how oHSV/oHSV-encoded miRNA regulate specific anti-viral mechanisms in the hopes of finding novel strategies to enhance oHSV therapy.

Dr. Yoo’s long-term research goal is to make a visible impact on the prognosis of cancer patients by advancing the translation of her findings to improve therapy. For this, she strives to link basic scientific findings to clinical applications and believes in team science.


  1. Alessandro Canella, Alessandra M. Welker, Ji Young Yoo, Jihong Xu, Fazly S. Abas, Divya Kesanakurti, Prabhakaran Nagarajan, Christine E. Beattie, Erik O Sulman, Joseph Liu, Joy Gumin, Frederick F. Lang, Metin N. Gurcan, Balveen Kaur, Deepa Sampath, and Vinay K. Puduvalli, Efficacy of Onalespib a Long-acting Second Generation HSP90 inhibitor as a Single Agent and in Combination with Temozolomide against Malignant Gliomas, Clinical Cancer Research, 2017, Epub ahead of print
  2. Alena Cristina Jaime-Ramirez, Jun-Ge Yu, Enrico Caserta, Ji Young Yoo, Jianying Zhang, Craig Hofmeister, John H. Lee, Bhavna Kumar, Quintin Pan, Pawan Kumar, Robert Baiocchi, Therodoros Teknos, Flavia Pichiorri, Balveen Kaur*, and Matthew Old*. Reolysin and Histon Deacetylase inhibition in the treatment of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, Molecular Therapy Oncolytics, 2017, 5, p87–96
  3. Tae Jin Lee, Ji Young Yoo, Dan Shu, Hui Li, Jianying Zhang, Jun-Ge Yu, Alena Cristina Jaime-Ramirez, Mario Acunzo, Giulia Romano, Ri Cui, Hui-Lung Sun, Zhenghua Luo, Matthew Old, Balveen Kaur, Pieuxian Guo*, and Carlo Croce*, RAN nanoparticle based targeted therapy for glioblastoma through inhibition of oncogenic miR-21, 2017, Molecular Therapy, Jul 5;25(7):1544-1555
  4. Alena Cristina Jaime-Ramirez, Nina Dmitrieva, Ji Young Yoo, Yeshavanth Kumar Banasavadi-Siddegowda, Jianying Zhang, Theresa Relation, Chelsea Bolyard, Jeffrey Wojton, and Balveen Kaur. Humanized Chondrotinase ABC sensitize glioblastoma cells to temozolomide, The Journal of Gene Medicine, 2017 Mar;19(3)
  5. Chelsea Bolyard*, W. Hans Meisen*, Yeshavanth Badasavadi-Siddegowda, Jayson Hardcastle, Ji Young Yoo, Eric S. Wohleb, Jeffrey Wojton, Jun-Ge Yu, Samuel Dubin, Maninder Khosla, Bo Xu, Christopher Alvarez-Breckenridge, Pete Pow-anpongkul, Flavia Pichiorri, Jianying Zhang, Matthew Old, Dan Zhu, Erwin G. Van Meir, Jonathan P. Godbout, Michael A. Caligiuri, Jianhua Yu, and Balveen Kaur. BAI1 orchestrates macrophage inflammatory response to HSV infection-implications for oncolytic viral therapy, Clinical Cancer Research, 2017 Apr 1;23(7):1809-1819
  6. Ji Young Yoo*(co-corresponding author), Alena Cristina Jaime-Ramirez, Chelsea Bolyard, Hongsheng Dai, Tejaswini Nallanagulagari, Jeffrey Wojton, Brian S. Hurwitz, Theresa Relation, Tae Jin Lee, Michael T. Lotze, Jun-Ge Yu, Jianying Zhang, Carlo M. Croce, Jianhua Yu, Michael A. Caligiuri, Matthew Old, Balveen Kaur*. Bortezomib treatment sensitizes oncolytic virus treated tumors to NK cell immunotherapy, 2016, Clinical Cancer Research, 2016 Nov 1;22(21):5265-5276, Featured on Cover. Highlights of this issue in Clinical Cancer Research, 2016 Nov1;22(21):5159, Accompanied by a Commentary ”Immunotherapy Gone Viral: Bortezomib and oHSV Enhance Antitumor NK-Cell Activity” in Clinical Cancer Research (2016 Nov 1;22(21):5164-5166).
  7. Feng Geng*, Xiang Cheng*, Xiaoning Wu, Ji Young Yoo, Chunming Cheng, Jeffrey Yunhua Guo, Xiaokui Mo, Peng Ru, Brian S Hurwitz, Sung-Hak Kim, Jose Ostero, Vinay Puduvalli, Etienne Lefai, Jianjie Ma, Ichiro Nakano, Craig Horbinski, Balveen Kaur, Anarb Chakravarti, and Deliang Guo, Inhibition of SOAT1 suppresses glioblastoma growth via blocking SREBP-1-mediated lipogenesis, 2016, Clinical Cancer Research, 2016 Nov 1;22(21):5337-5348.
  8. Peng Ru, Peng Hu, Feng Geng, Xiaokui Mo, Chunming Cheng, Ji Young Yoo, Xiang Cheng, Xiaoning Wu, Jeffrey Yunhua Guo, Ichiro Nakano, Etienne Lefai, Balveen Kaur, Arnab Chakravarti, and Deliang Guo, Feedback loop regulation of SCAP/SREBP-1 by miR-29 modulates EGFR signaling-driven glioblastoma growth, 2016 Aug 9;16(6):1527-35, Cell Reports
  9. Yeshavanth Kumar Banasavadi-Siddegowda, Luke Russell, Emma Frair, Vraiesh A. Karkhanis, Theresa Relation, Ji Young Yoo, Jianying Zhang, Said Sif, Jaime Imitola, Robert Baiocchi*, and Balveen Kaur*. PRMT5-PTEN molecular pathway regulates senescence and self-renewal of Glioblastoma Stem-like Cells, 2016, Jun 13, Oncogene, 2016 Jun 13. doi: 10.1038/onc.2016.199
  10. Chunming Cheng, Peng Ru, Feng Geng, Junfeng Liu, Ji Young Yoo, Xiaoning Wu, Xiang Cheng, Vanessa Euthine, Peng Hu, Jeffrey Yunhua Guo, Etienne Lefai, Balveen Kaur, Axel Nohturfft, Jianjie Ma, Anarb Chakravarti, and Deliang Guo, Glucose-mediated N-glycosylation of SCAP is essential for SREBP-1 activation and tumor growth, 2015 Nov 9;28(5):569-81 Cancer Cell
  11. Ji Young Yoo, Jun-Ge Yu, Azeem Kaka, Quintin Pan, Pawan Kumar, Bhavna Kumar, Jianying Zhang, Andrew Mazar, Theodoros N. Teknos, Balveen Kaur, and Matthew O. Old, ATN-224 enhances antitumor efficacy of oncolytic herpes simplex virus against both local and metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, 2015, Molecular Therapy Oncolytics, 2015, May 20;2:15008; doi:10.1038/mto.2015.8
  12. Il-Kyu Choi*, Hye Won Shin*, Eonju Oh, Ji Young Yoo, June Kyu Hwang, Kyungsub Shin, De-Chao Yu, and Chae-Ok Yun, Potent and long-term antiangiogenic efficacy mediated by FP3-expressing oncolytic adenovirus, International Journal of Cancer, 2015 Nov 1;137(9):2253-69
  13. Weon Sup Lee*, Bo-Jeong Pyun*, Sung-Woo Kim, Sang Ryeol Shim, Ji Young Yoo, Younggeon Jin, Juyoun Jin, Young-Guen Kwon, Chae-Ok Yun, Do-Hyun Nam, Keunhee Oh, Dong-Sup Lee, Sang Hoon Lee, and Jin San Yoo, TTAC-0001, a human monoclonal antibody targeting VEGFR-2/KDR, blocks tumor angiogenesis, mAbs Landes Bioscience, 2015 Sep 3;7(5):957-968
  14. Tae Jin Lee, Farzin Haque, Mario Vieweger, Ji Young Yoo, Balveen Kaur, Peixuan Guo, and Carlo Croce*, Functional assays for specific targeting and delivery of RNA nanoparticles to brain tumor, 2015, Methods in Molecular Biology, 2015;1297:137-52
  15. Tae Jin Lee, Farzin Haque, Dan Shu, Ji Young Yoo, Hui Li, Robert Yokel, Craig Horbinski, Tae Hyong Kim, Sung-Hak Kim, Chang-Hyuk Kwon, Ichiro Nakano, Balveen Kaur, Pieuxian Guo*, and Carlo Croce*, RNA nanoparticle as a vector for targeted siRNA delivery into glioblastoma mouse model, 2015, Oncotarget, 2015 Jun 20;6(17):14766-76
  16. Walter Hans Meisen, Eric Wohleb, Alena Cristina Jaime-Ramirez, Chelsea Bolyard, Ji Young Yoo, Luke Russell, Jayson Hardcastle, Kamaldeen Ayodele, Jianhua Yu, Michael Caligiuri, Jonathan Godbout, and Balveen Kaur, Macrophageand microglia secreted TNFα induces apoptosis in oncolytic virus infected cells and limits oncolytic virus replication and efficacy, Clinical Cancer Research, 2015 Jul 15;21(14):3274-85
  17. Jung-Sun Lee*, Eonju Oh, Ji Young Yoo, Kyeong Sook Choi, Mi Jin Yoon, and Chae-Ok Yun, Adenovirus expressing dual c-Met-specific shRNA exhibits potent antitumor effect through autophagic cell death accompanied by senescence-like phenotype in glioblastoma cells, Oncotarget, 2015 Feb 28;6(6):4051-65
  18. Chelsea M. Bolyard, Ji Young Yoo, Pin-Yi Wang, Uksha Saini, Kellie S. Rath, Timothy P Cripe, Jianying Zhang, Selvendiran Karuppaiyah, Balveen Kaur, Combining oncolytic viral therapy with doxorubicin to treat ovarian cancer, Clinical Cancer Research, 2014 Dec 15;20(24):6479-94
  19. Sung-Suk Suh, Ji Young Yoo, Ri Cui, Balveen Kaur, Kay Huebner, Taek-Kyun Lee, Rami I. Aqeilan, and Carlo M. Croce, FHIT gene Suppresses Metastasis and Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition (EMT) through Modulation of microRNAs in Lung Cancer, Plos Genetics, 2014, Oct 23;10(10):e1004652
  20. Amy Haseley Thorne, Walter H. Meisen, Luke Russell, Ji Young Yoo, Chelsea M. Bolyard, Justin D. Lathia, Jeremy Rich, Vinay K. Puduvalli, Hsiaoyin Mao, Jianhua Yu, Michael Caligiuri, Susheela Tridandapani, Balveen Kaur, Role of CCN1 in macrophage-mediated oncolytic herpes simplex virus clearance, Molecular Therapy, 2014 Sep;22(9):1678-87
  21. Ji Young Yoo, Brian S Hurwitz, Chelsea Bolyard, Jun-Ge Yu, Jianying Zhang, Karuppaiyah Selvendiran, Kellie S Rath, Shun He, Zachary Bailey, David Eaves, Timothy P Cripe, Deborah S. Parris, Michael A. Caligiuri, Jianhua Yu, Matthew Old, Balveen Kaur, Bortezomib-induced unfoled protein response increases oncolytic HSV-1 replication resulting in synergistic antitumor effects, Clinical Cancer Research, 2014, Jul 15;20(14):3787-98
  22. Hongryeol Park, Hyei Yoon Jung, Hyun-Jung Choi, Dong Young Kim, Ji Young Yoo, Chae-Ok Yun, Jeong-Ki Min, Young-Myoung Kim, and Young-Guen Kwon, Distinct roles of DKK1 and DKK2 in tumor angiogenesis, Angiogenesis, 2014, Jan;17(1):221-34
  23. Hiroaki Uchida, Marco Marzulli, Kenji Nakano, Willoam F. Goins, Chang-Sook Hong, Lucia Mazzacurati, Ji Young Yoo, Amy Haseley, Hiroshi Nakashima, Hyunjung Baek, Heechung Kwon, Izumi Kumagai, Masahide Kuroki, Balveen Kaur, E. Antonio Chiocca, Paola Grandi, Justus B. Cohen, and Joseph C. Glorioso, Effective Treatment of an Orthotopic Xenograft Model of Human Glioblastoma using an EGFR-Retargeted Oncolytic Herpes Simplex Virus, Molecular Therapy, 2013 Mar;21(3):561-9
  24. Ji Young Yoo, Jason Pradarelli, Amy Haseley, Jeffrey Wotjon, Azeem Kaka, Anna Brataz, Christopher Alvarez-Breckenridge, Jun-Ge Yu, Andrew Mazar, Theodoros N Teknos, E. Antonio Chiocca, Joseph C. Glorioso, Matthew Old, Balveen Kaur, Copper chelation enhances anti-tumor efficacy and systemic delivery of oncolytic HSV, 2012, Clinical Cancer Research, 2012 Sep 15;18(18):4931-4941
  25. Sung-Suk Suh, Ji Young Yoo, Gerard Nuovo, Young-Jun Jeon, Seokho Kim, Tae Jin Lee, TaeWan Kim, Arianna Bakacs, Hansjuerg Alder, Balveen Kaur, Rami I. Aqeilan, Flavia Pichiorri, and Carlo M. Croce, MicroRNAs/TP53 Feedback circuitry in gliomblastoma multiforme, 2012, Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 2012, Apr 3;109(14):5316-21
  26. Amy Haseley, Seon Boone, Jeffrey Wojton, Liansbo Yu, Ji Young Yoo, Jianhwa Yu, Kazuhiko Kurozumi, Joseph C. Glorioso, Michael A. Caligiuri, Balveen Kaur, Role of secreted ECM protein CCN1 in limiting oncolytic efficacy for glioma, 2012, Cancer Research, 2012, Mar 15;72(6):1353-62
  27. De-Chao Yu, Jung-Sun Lee, Ji Young Yoo, Hyewon Shin, Hongxin Deng, Yuquan Wei, Chae-Ok Yun, Soluble Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Decoy Receptor FP3 Exerts Potent Antiangiogenic Effects, Molecular Therapy, 2012, May;20(5):938-47
  28. Ji Young Yoo*, Amy Haseley*, Anna Bratasz, E. Antonio Chiocca, Zhang JY, Donna Cain, Kimerly Powell, Balveen Kaur, Antitumor efficacy of 34.5ENVE: a transcriptionally retargeted and “Vstat120”-expressing oncolytic virus, Molecular Therapy, 2012, Feb;20(2):287-97
  29. Song-Nan Zhang, Il-Kyu Choi, Jing-Hua Huang, Ji Young Yoo, Kyung-Ju Choi, and Chae-Ok Yun, Optimizing DC vaccination by combination with oncolytic adenovirus coexpressing IL-12 and GM-CSF, 2011, Molecular Therapy, 2011 Aug; 19(8): 1559-68
  30. Sung Hoon Choi, Hye Won Shin, Jun Yong Park, Ji Young Yoo, Do Young Kim, Weon Sang Ro, Chae-Ok Yun, Kwang-Hyub Han, Effects of the knockdown of hypoxia inducible factor-1α expression by adenovirus-mediated shRNA on angiogenesis and tumor growth in hepatocellular carcinoma cell lines, 2010, The Korean Journal of Hepatology, 2010, 16: 280-287
  31. Ji Young Yoo, Jihoon Ryu, Ran Gao, Tomoko Yaguchi, Sunil C. Kaul, Renu Wadhwa, and Chae-Ok Yun, Tumor suppression by apoptotic and anti-angiogenic effects of mortalin-targeting adeno-oncolytic virus, 2010, The Journal of Gene Medicine, Jul; 12(7):588-95.
  32. Il-Kyu Choi*, Young-Sook Lee, Ji Young Yoo*, A-Rum Yoon, Hoguen Kim, Daniela G. Seidler, Joo-Hang Kim, Chae-Ok Yun, Effect of decorin on overcoming the extracellular matrix barrier for oncolytic virotherapy, 2010, Gene Therapy, Feb;17(2): 191-201, Equally contributed
  33. Jaesung Kim*, Pyung-Hwan Kim*, Ji Young Yoo, A-Rum Yoon, Hye Jin Choi, Jin Sil Seong, Joo-Hang Kim, and Chae-Ok Yun, The Effect of E1B 19kDa Adenoviral Protein in Combination Therapy with Radiation, 2009, Gene Therapy, Sep;16(9):1111-1121
  34. Eun-Jung Kim, Ji Young Yoo, Young-Hwan Choi, Keun-Jae Ahn, Jong-Doo Lee, Chae-Ok Yun,and Mijin Yun, Imaging of Viral Thymidine Kinase Gene Expression by Replicating oncolytic Adenovirus and Prediction of Therapeutic Efficacy, 2008, Yonsei Med J, Oct; 49(5):811–818.
  35. Yoon-A Kang*, Hyun-Chul Shin*, Ji Young Yoo, Joo-Hang Kim, Jin-Soo Kim, and Chae-Ok Yun, Novel cancer antiangiotherapy using the VEGF promoter-targeted artificial Zinc Finger protein and oncolytic adenovirus, 2008, Molecular Therapy, Jun;16(6):1033-40
  36. Ji Young Yoo, Joo-Hang Kim, Jaesung Kim, Jing-Hua Huang, Song Nan Zhang, Yoon-A Kang, Hoguen Kim, and Chae-Ok Yun, Short hairpin RNA-expressing oncolytic adenovirus-mediated inhibition of IL-8: Effects on anti-angiogenesis and tumor growth inhibition, 2008, Gene Therapy, May;15(9):635-51
  37. Ji Young Yoo, Joo-Hang Kim, Young-Guen Kwon, Eok-Cheon Kim, Nam Kyu Kim, Hye Jin Choi, and Chae-Ok Yun, VEGF-specific short hairpin RNA-expressing oncolytic adenovirus elicits potent inhibition of angiogenesis and tumor growth, 2007, Molecular Therapy, 15(2):295-302, “Commentary” in Molecular Therapy, 15(2), p227-228, 2007
  38. Wan Seok Yang, Su Oh Park, A-Rum Yoon, Ji Young Yoo, Min Koung Kim, Chae-Ok Yun, Chul Woo Kim, Suicide cancer gene therapy using pore forming toxin, streptolysin O, 2006, Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, 5(6):1610-1619
  39. A-Rum Yoon, Joo-Hang Kim, Young-Sook Lee, Hoguen Kim, Ji Young Yoo, Joo-Hyuk Sohn, and Chae-Ok Yun, Markedly enhanced cytolysis by E1B 19kD-deleted oncolytic adenovirus in combination with cisplatin, 2006, Human Gene Therapy, 17(4):379-390.
  40. Chae-Ok Yun, A-Rum Yoon, Ji Young Yoo, Hoguen Kim, Minjung Kim, Taeyong Ha, and Joo-Hang Kim, CAR-binding ablation reduces adenovirus liver tropism and toxicity, 2005, Human Gene Therapy, 16(2):248-261.
  41. Jung Ro Lee, Kyun Oh Lee, Jin Ho Park, Ji Young Yoo, Jae Sook Kang, Hye Sook Jeon, Sun Young Kim, Young Mi Lee, Sun Tae Kim, Chae Oh Lim, Jeong Dong Park, Moo Je Cho, Sang Yeol Lee, Molecular and functional characterization of a PEX14 cDNA from rice, 2004, Plant Science, 166:123-130.
  42. Kyun Oh Lee, Jung Ro Lee, Ji Young Yoo, Ho Hee Jang, Geoung Chan Moon, Bae Gyo Jung, Yong Hun Chi, Soo Kwon Park, Seung Sik Lee, Chae Oh Lim, Dae-Jin Yun, Moo Je Cho, and Sang Yeol Lee, GSH-dependent peroxidase activity of the rice (Oryza sativa) glutaredoxin, a thioltransferase, 2002, Biochemical and biophysical Research Communications, 296:1152-1156
  43. Soo kwon Park, Jung Ro Lee, Seung Sik Lee, Hyo Jin Son, Ji Young Yoo, Jeong Chan Moon, Heun Young Kwon, Chae Oh Lim, Jeong Dong Pahk, Moo Je Cho, and Sang Yeol Lee, Partial purification and properties of a phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate hydrolyzing phospholipase C frome the soluble fraction of soybean sprouts, 2003, Cells. 13(3):377-384.
  44. Seung Sik Lee, Kyun Oh Lee, Bae Gyo Jung, Yong Hun Chi, Ji Young Yoo, Ji Yeon Lee, Jung Ro Lee, Soo Kwon Park, Soon Suk Kang, Ho Hee Jang and Sang Yeol Lee, Molecular characterization of a chinese cabbage cDNA encoding thioredoxin-h that is predominantly expressed in flowers, 2001, Journal of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 34(4):334-341.