Young-sup Yoon, MD, PhD

Professor of Medicine

Emory University School of Medicine


Dr. Yoon is Professor of Medicine and Biomedical Engineering, and Director of Stem Cell Biology at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Yoon’s research focus is cardiovascular regeneration with stem cells and bioengineering.

Dr. Yoon published more than 100 papers in high profile journals including Nature Medicine, JCI, Circulation, Circulation Research, JACC, and ACS Nano. Dr. Yoon received many awards over the past decade. Dr. Yoon was a finalist in both AHA and ACC Young Investigator Awards. Dr. Yoon is Fellow of AHA, a chartered member of NIH study section, and a member of editorial boards of Circulation Research, Regenerative Medicine, PLOS One, and others. He also received several awards from Emory University including Faculty Excellence in 2014, Innovation of 2012 Award, and Outstanding Basic Research Citation Award in 2011. He was also elected as prestigious member of American Society for Clinical Investigation as the first Korean medical school graduates.

The goal of his laboratory is to develop a strategy for regenerating cardiovascular diseases using stem cells and tissue engineering technologies. Dr. Yoon’s laboratory has focused on generating stem or progenitor cells including induced pluripotent stem cells, multipotent bone marrow cells, and angio-vasculogenic cells, and developing various methods to differentiate these cells into endothelial cells and cardiomyocytes. His laboratory investigates their therapeutic utility in cardiovascular diseases such as peripheral vascular disease including diabetic complications, myocardial infarction, lymphedema and diabetic neuropathy. Mechanistically, the research focuses on angiogenesis, vasculogenesis, lymphangiogenesis and cardiomyogenesis. Recently, his research is extended into bioengineering of stem cells, reprogramming of somatic cells into target cells and restoring the function of damaged stem or progenitor cells by epigenetic modifications.


1989 - MD, Yonsei University, College of Medicine, Korea 

1998 - PhD, Yonsei University, Graduate School of Medicine, Medical Science (Cardiovascular Biology)

1996 - ECFMG certified

Postgraduate Training

1989 - 1990, Internship Yonsei University Medical Center, Seoul, Korea

1990 - 1994, Residency (Internal Medicine) Department of Internal Medicine, YonseiUniversity Medical Center, Seoul, Korea

1997 - 1999, Fellowship (Cardiology) Division of Cardiology,Yonsei University Medical Center, Seoul, Korea

2000 - 2002, Postdoctoral Fellow Division of Cardiovascular Research, St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, USA

Academic Appointments

2002 - Investigator, Caritas St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center, Division of Cardiovascular Research, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, USA

2003 - 2007, Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA

2006 - Director of Stem Cell Biology at Caritas St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center

2007 - Associate Professor of Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA

2008 - Associate Professor of Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA

Honors and Awards

2000 - American Heart Association Fellowship Grant Award (New England Affiliate)

2000 - Young Investigator Award, Finalist, at International Session of Annual Scientific Meeting of the Japanese Society of Circulation

2002 - Young Investigator Award, Finalist, at 13th Annual Meeting of Society for Vascular Medicine and Biology, Boston, USA

2003 - Scientist Development Grant, American Heart Association, National Center

2003 - Earl Charlton Research Award for new faculty, Tufts University School of Medicine

2003 - Melvin Marcus Young Investigator Award, Finalist, American Heart Association

2004 - Young Investigator Award in Physiology, Pharmacology and Pathology, Finalist, American College of Cardiology

2006 - Winner (Fellow, Hyun-Jai Cho), Basic Science Award, Caritas St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center Annual Research Day

2007 - Winner (Fellow, Bianling Liu), Basic Science Award, Caritas St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center Annual Research Day

Link to Yoon Lab Website

Major interest of our team is to use stem cell technology to treat various cardiovascular diseases.

Stem Cells

  •  We develop and use different bone marrow-derived stem or progenitor cells for cardiovascular repai
    • Bone marrow-derived multipotent stem cells (BMSC)
    • Endothelial progenitor cells
    • Mesenchymal stem cells
    • Hematopoietic stem cells
  • Target diseases
    • Cardiac diseases: Myocardial infarction, chronic heart failure
    • Peripheral vascular disease; PAOD (peripheral artery obstructive disease) etc.
    • Diabetic neuropathy
    • Lymphedema
    • Wound (wound healing)
  • We investigate embryonic stem cells to
    • differentiate into endothelial cells, cardiomyocytes, lymphatic vessels
    • Therapeutic potential in the target diseases
  • We recently started to combine technologies of biomaterial and stem cells for cardiac repair

Mechanistically, we are interested in angiogenesis, lymphangiogenesis, and cardiomyogenesis

Diabetes related research

  • We work on the role of angiogenesis in diabetic complications such as heart failure, PAOD and diabetic    neuropathy
  • We investigate functional defects of stem or progenitor cells in diabetes
    • Currently we are studying ROS-related targets
  • We are developing a strategy to rescue this impairment

Research achievements

  • First demonstration of successful gene therapy with VEGF-C for treating secondary lymphedema (Yoon et al, J Clin Invest 2003)
  • Role of VEGF and EPCs in the development of diabetic cardiomyopathy (Yoon et al, Circulation, 2005)
  • First demonstration of side effects (calcification) of infarcted myocardium treated with unfractionated bone marrow cells (Yoon et al, Circulation 2004)
  • Development of novel bone marrow-derived stem cells and demonstration of successful therapeutic effects in myocardial infarction (J Clin Invest, 2005)
  • Role of host cells in therapeutic effects of adult stem cells (J Exp Med, 2007)