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Ivy Brain Tumor Center Welcomes Biostatistician to Phase 0 Clinical Trials Program

  • September 29, 2020

Wonsuk Yoo, PhD, joins rapidly expanding brain tumor research program at Barrow Neurological Institute

Wonsuk Yoo, PhD, associate professor of biostatistics
Wonsuk Yoo, PhD, associate professor
of biostatistics

The Ivy Brain Tumor Center at Barrow Neurological Institute is pleased to announce the addition of Wonsuk Yoo, PhD, as associate professor of biostatistics. Dr. Yoo’s expertise in preclinical and clinical trial design will be critical in evaluating new treatment modalities for brain tumor patients.

As a biostatistician and population health scientist, Dr. Yoo has devoted the last 15 years of his career to cancer research at centers such as Karmanos Cancer Institute at Wayne State University and Georgia Cancer Center at Medical College of Georgia. In particular, he has been conducting population-based cancer research to capture health disparities at individual and community levels through modeling-based and data-driven approaches using large health databases.

“Dr. Yoo’s arrival is a key milestone in our program’s growth,” said Shwetal Mehta, PhD, chief operating officer of the Ivy Brain Tumor Center. “His clinical trials expertise, specifically those with smaller sample sizes, will help us in determining the number of patients we need to enroll in our Phase 0 studies to ensure the data we’re collecting is meaningful and relevant. His contribution will be extremely valuable in our efforts to accelerate drugs into randomized clinical trials.”

In addition to cancer research, Dr. Yoo has participated in the discovery process of new drugs in Phase 3 efficacy studies as well as preclinical and early-stage pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics studies (Phases 1 and 2). He has worked with several pharmaceutical companies for conditions such as Alzheimer’s Disease, peripheral neuropathic pain and more.

“The Ivy Brain Tumor Center is a research center specialized in brain cancer focusing on early-phase clinical trials. With my experience in new drug discovery and various population-based cancer research, I hope to immediately contribute to on-going studies by developing new protocols, providing statistical support for federal grant submissions, and developing a population-based brain cancer research program with extramural funding as a principal investigator,” said Wonsuk Yoo, PhD.

Dr. Yoo has more than fifty peer-reviewed publications including top-tier cancer and medicine journals such as CEBP, Carcinogenesis, Circulation and Modern Pathology. He is also co-investigator on multiple NIH R01 and DoD grants. Prior to joining the Ivy Brain Tumor Center and Barrow Neurological Institute, he was a research associate professor at Arizona State University. Dr. Yoo has led the biostatistics core and the research collaboration unit with colleges of medicine and health under university research centers and institutes.

Wonsuk Yoo graduated from Medical University of South Carolina with a doctorate in biostatistics in 2005 after completing a master’s degree in statistics with the Department of Statistics at University of Florida in 1999.


Ivy Brain Tumor Center at the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, AZ is a non-profit translational research program that employs a bold, early-phase clinical trials strategy to identify new treatments for aggressive brain tumors, including glioblastoma. The Ivy Center’s Phase 0 clinical trials program is the largest of its kind in the world and enables personalized care in a fraction of the time and cost associated with traditional drug development. Unlike conventional clinical trials focusing on single drugs, its accelerated trials program tests therapeutic combinations matched to individual patients.