Catherine F. Yang, PhD, MD (h.c.)

Catherine F. Yang, PhD

Vice President of Academic Affairs
Associate Dean of Medical Education
Dean of the College of Graduate Studies
Professor of Molecular Pharmacology/Medicinal Chemistry/Biomedical Sciences

Office: (916) 686-7438


  • PhD, Biochemistry, Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts
  • Postdoctoral, Pharmacology and Clinical Biochemistry, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
  • BS, Chemistry, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China


Dr. Yang is a Professor of Molecular Pharmacology at the Department of Basic Science of College of Medicine of California Northstate University (CNU). Before joining CNU, Dr. Yang was a Biochemistry/Pharmacology Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Rowan University for 23 years. She also held Professorships at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University in the Departments of Biomedical Sciences and Translational Biomedical Sciences. She has also held research and faculty positions at Harvard Medical School, the American Health Foundation, Boston Biomedical Research Institute, Tokyo University of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Pennsylvania and Zhejiang University of Technology. Dr. Yang had over 20 year teaching experiences in the areas of medicinal chemistry, molecular pharmacology and clinical biochemistry with twice awards of wall of fame for being selected as the best professor who impacts their career the most.

Dr. Yang's research has made strong contributions in elucidating mechanisms of tumor progression, and in the development of novel cancer drugs and antibiotics. She has led research groups studying proteolytic regulatory mechanisms in the advanced stages of prostate cancer, lung cancer and leukemia. Her in-depth research on type 2 diabetic metabolic regulation led to a dual function diabetes drug patent. Dr. Yang’s immunological research resulted in an allergy vaccine development that is currently under clinical trials at affiliated clinics. The specific approach of triggering induction of immunologic tolerance to external or autologous allergens, and induction of sensitization to infectious or tumor antigens, with targeted tissue delivery of particles sized to facilitate uptake by specific cell populations, will provide unique therapeutic platform for curing advancement stage cancer. Dr. Yang’s unique predictive biomarker studies have also spurred a nano-sensor development for an early cancer diagnosis.

Dr. Yang has published more than 70 research papers, several biotechnology books, and is an inventor of 10 patented inventions. She has also secured numerous grants from the NIH, NSF, Research Corporation and New Jersey Health Foundation as well as funding from many corporations and health foundations. She serves on various review boards of federal, private and health foundation funding agencies.

Research Interests

Dr. Yang research interest centers around the proteolytic regulation in various disease progression stages including aging. Her drug discovery programs specifically target against type 2 diabetes, prostate cancer, leukemia and lung cancer. Her current interest in developing allergy vaccines has been resulted in clinical trials at affiliated clinics.

Dr. Yang’s current research interest has been focused on medical education. Prior to joining CNU in 2016, Dr. Yang was involved in developing Rowan Cooper Medical School in the areas of curriculum model development, research programs and their facility design as well hospital affiliations. She has been overseeing the operation of the new medical education program at CNU for its’ innovative system-based curriculum in the vicinity of a very diverse population in Northern California that medical students can be trained to treat a broad spectrum of diseases. She has been really enjoying working with the faculty here at CNU who are truly passionate about training the students to be the next generation physicians.

Selected Publications

  • Yang, C. F. and Caputo, G., “Experiments in Biochemistry and Biotechnology” by Cengage Learning, 2020.
  • Wang, H., Tenerelli, P., Kotchoni, S., El-¬‐Shamy, A., Young, E., Casner, M., and Yang, C.F., “Drug Development and Approval”, book chapter in book entitled Advanced Pharmacology for Prescribers, Springer Publishing Company, 2020.
  • Yarbrough, T.L. and Yang, C., “Medical Education Program Highlights at California Northstate University College of Medicine”, Academic Medicine, AAMC, 2020, Vol 95, Issue, 9S, p S33-S37.
  • Wang C, Yuan W, Hu A, Lin J, Xia Z, Yang CF, Li Y, Zhang Z. “Dexmedetomidine Alleviated Sepsis Induced Myocardial Ferroptosis and Septic Heart Injury”. Mol Med Rep. 2020 Jul;22(1):175-184. doi: 10.3892/mmr.2020. 11114. Epub 2020 May 4. PMID: 32377745
  • Malhotra, A., Brady, D., Kreys, E., Silva, J., Feng, X. and Yang, C., “Development, implementation, and assessment of a comprehensive, integrated, and multimodal interprofessional education (CIM-IPE) program”, J. InterprofessionalEducation & Practice, 2020, 21, 100356.
  • Shim, K., Begum, R., Yang, C. and Wang, H., “Inflammation; Complement activation; Metabolic disorders; Obesity; Insulin resistance; Type 2 diabetic mellitus”, World Journal of Diabetes, 11, 26, 2019.
  • Coifman, R. E. and Yang, C. F., “Vaccine Delivery by Precipitation (VDBP) Induces Tolerance to Poison Ivy”, Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, (2019), 122, 331-352.
  • Kojtari, A., Babinec, J., Shah, v., Yang, C. and Ji, Hai-Feng, “Structure-Based Design of Tripeptide Derivatives of a-Aminoalkylphosphonate Esters for Prostate-Specific Antigen Inhibition”, Br J Phar Med Res, 2018, Vol 3, Issue 06, December 28.
  • Yang, C. F. and Li, W. X, “Novel Dipeptidyl Peptidases IV-based Inhibitors for Type 2 Diabetes Complex with Hypertension”, US Patent, PCT/EU, 2945930, Oct 10, 2018.
  • Coifman R & Yang C, “Immunotherapy compositions and methods of treatment”. European patent EP 2 525 819 B1 issued 6/6/2018.
  • Yang, C. F., LI, W., ELLIOTT, R. and Iltchenko, Ni., “Extraction And Purification Of Urushiol From Botanical Sources”, US, Patent, 9,580,373 B2, February 28, 2017.
  • Lizza, J. R., Patel, S. V., Yang, C. F. and Moura-Letts, G., “Direct Synthesis of Cyanopyrrolidinyl b-Amino Alcohols for the Development of Diabetes Therapeutics”, Eur J Organic Chemistry, 2016, 5160-5168.
  • Yin, A.C., Goldberg, K.H., Mupparapu, A., Retzbach, E. P., Yin, K., Yang, C. and Goldberg, G. S., “Low Molecular Weight Components in Aqueous Echinacea Purpurea Leaf Extract Inhibit Melanoma Cell Growth”, J. Cancer Biology and Therapeutics, 2016, 1(2): 109-117.
  • Goldberg, K. H., Yin, A.C. Mupparapu, A., Retzbach, E., Goldberg, G. and Yang, C. F., “Components in aquesou Hibiscu rosa-sinensis flower extract inhibit in vitro melanoma cell growth”, J. Trad. Comp. Medicine, 2016, 7(1): 45- 49.
  • Coifman, R. and Yang, C. F., “Method of Depositing Particles of a Substance in a Tissue”, US Patent, US 2015/0140040 A1, May 21, 2015.
  • Yang, C. F. and Li, W. X, “Novel Dipeptidyl Peptidases IV-based Inhibitors for Type 2 Diabetes Complex with Hypertension”, US, Patent, 9,115,082 B2, Aug. 25, 2015, PCT/US14/12180, 2015.
  • Coifman RE & Yang C: “Immunotherapy compositions and methods of treatment”. US patent US 9,107,901 B2 issued 8/18/2015.
  • Yang, C. F., book, “Experiments in Biochemistry and Biotechnology” by Cengage Learning, 2013.
  • Coifman, R., Yang, C. and Kloske, S., “New Generation of the Poison Ivy Vaccine in Clinical Study”, Garden State Focus, April, 2014, 20, 4, 11-13 (featured on cover page).
  • Hu, X., Duki, S., Forys, J., Hettinger, J., Buchicchio, J., Dobbins, T. and Yang, C., “Designing Silk-Silk Protein Alloy Materials for Biomedical Applications”, J. Visualized Experiments, 2014
  • Kojtari, A., Shah, V., Babinec, J.; Yang, C.; Ji, H-F., “Structure-Based Drug Design of Diphenyl α- Aminoalkylphosphonates as Prostate-Specific Antigen Antagonists”, J. of Chem. Information and Modeling, 2014, 54 (10), 2967-2979.
  • Kojtari, A, Ji, H-F and Yang, C.F. “Aminoalkylphosphoate Derivatives Inhibitors for Prostate Cancer Target”, Provisional US Patent, 13-1627D, 2013, PCT/US15/046528-7014WO(00564).
  • J. P. Lin and F. Yang, “Recent Advances in Micro/nano- particales for clinical detection of cancer biomarker”, review, Analytical Methods, 2013, 5(21), 5839-6248. (featured on cover page)
  • Coifman, R. and Yang, C. F., “Allergy Vaccine Delivery System”, US Provisional Patent, 61/914,432, 12/11/2013.
  • Yang, C.F., Zakreski, R., Li, W., Mou, X., Iltchenco, N. and Cooperman, B., “Proteolytic Inhibition in Regulating the Insulin-like Binding Proteins in Prostate Cancer”, Biochem & Physiol., 1(2), 1-8, 2012.
  • Sun, Y., Yang, C.F. and Li, W., “PROCESS FOR THE PREPARATION OF ERLOTINIB OR ITS PHARMACEUTICALLY ACCEPTABLE SALTS”, US, Patent application #, 61,595,925, 2012.
  • J. P. Lin, S. H. Li and F. Yang, “Electrochemical Sensors for Cancer Biomarker Detection”, Review, Electroanalysis, 24, 12, 2213-2229, 2012.
  • Jao, D, Duda, T., Gillespie, A., Yu*, L. and Yang,* C., “Direct Determination of Gold Nanoparticle in Biomacromolecular Matrix with Flame Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry”, Journal of Nanomedicine and Biotherapeutic Discovery, 2011, 1, 1-5.
  • Velusamy, V., Arshak, K., Yang, F. C., Korostynska, O. and Adley, C., “Comparison Between DNA Immobilization Techniques on a Redox Polymer Matrix”, Am. J. Ana. Chem., 2011, 2, 392-400.
  • Wang, H., Xu, X., Li, L., Yang, C. and Ji, H-F., “Optoelectronic property and sensing applications of crystalline nano/microwires of decacyclene”, Micro & Nano Letters, 2011, 6, 9, 763-766.