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University of California San Francisco

Our Team

Sue S. Yom, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor and Vice Chair, Strategic Advisory
Department of Radiation Oncology; Professor,
Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery

Leader, educator, mentor

Meet Dr. Yom

I strive to be better, to have the courage to constantly self-evaluate, innovate, and adapt as technologies and other therapies and our processes continue to improve.

Dr. Sue S. Yom, MD, PhD, MAS, FASTRO is the Irwin Mark Jacobs and Joan Klein Jacobs Distinguished Professor in Head and Neck Cancer Radiation Oncology and Professor in the Departments of Radiation Oncology and Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. She earned her medical degree from The University of Pennsylvania in 2002. She completed a simultaneous PhD in English. Dr. Yom completed a residency in Radiation Oncology in the Department of Radiation Oncology at The M. D. Anderson Cancer Center before joining the faculty at The University of California School of Medicine in 2007. During her assistant professorship, she completed a Master’s degree in clinical research. Her clinical practice and academic focus include head and neck and skin cancers as well as thoracic malignancies.

Her departmental administrative roles are as Vice Chair for the Strategic Advisory Committee and as Chief of the Radiation Oncology Head and Neck, Cutaneous, and Thoracic Services. She also serves as Co-Chair of the Oral, Head and Neck Site Committee and Full Member in Molecular Oncology within the Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. Her service to the oncology community includes numerous national capacities, as the Radiation Oncology Chair of the NCI Head and Neck Steering Committee within the NCI National Clinical Trials Network, President of the American Radium Society, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics, and member of the NCCN Head and Neck Cancers guidelines committee and the Head and Neck Cancer Resource Panel of the Clinical Affairs and Quality Committee of the American Society of Radiation Oncology. She was the founding chair of the Appropriate Use Criteria of the American Radium Society. She previously served as the Appropriateness Criteria committee chair, written and oral board examiner for the American College of Radiology and as a member of the National Cancer Institute Head and Neck Recurrent/Metastatic Disease Task Force.

She is the Principal Investigator of NRG-HN002 and NRG-HN005, two international studies testing reduced-intensity therapy for HPV-associated oropharyngeal cancer and Co-PI of NRG-HN001, an international study of risk-adapted therapy for EBV-associated nasopharyngeal cancer. She is the North American chair of Nanoray, a study investigating nanoparticle enhancement of radiation treatment. She is the principal investigator of several clinical trials aimed at reducing symptom severity and improving quality of life. She is a frequently requested plenary speaker, program committee member, and media commentator and serves on expert and organizing panels for several radiation oncology and head and neck and lung cancer professional societies. She has been author or co-author on over 250 publications in the medical literature.

Dr. Yom’s primary research interests are centered on the development and evaluation of novel molecular targeted agents and immunotherapies as well as state-of-the-art technical advances in radiation therapy. She has special interests in virally driven malignancies associated with humanpapillomavirus (HPV), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), and Merkel cell polyomavirus. Her research has entailed collaborating with laboratory-based investigators to identify patient, tumor, and technical characteristics that influence prognosis and response to specific therapies, including tissue-, blood-, and imaging-based biomarkers. She has also conducted research on long-term quality of life, patient-centered decision-making, and medical publishing.



1987-1991 Rice University BA French
1993-2003 University of Pennsylvania Ph.D. English
1995-2002 University of Pennsylvania M.D. Medicine
2002-2003 MD Anderson Cancer Center Intern Medicine/Surgery
2003-2007 MD Anderson Cancer Center Resident Radiation Oncology
2016 University of California San Francisco M.A.S. Clinical Research
Professional Experience

Professional Experience

2007-2013 UCSF
Assistant Professor
Radiation Oncology
2007-present SF VAMC
2009-2013 UCSF
Assistant Professor
Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
2013-2018 UCSF
Associate Professor
Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
2013-2018 UCSF Associate Professor Radiation Oncology
2018-present UCSF Professor Radiation Oncology
2018-present UCSF Professor Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery 

Organizational Experience

2009-2010 International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC), Abstract Review Committee of the International Scientific Committee, Abstract Reviewer – Radiotherapy Track
2009-2011 American College of Radiology (ACR), Appropriateness Criteria Expert Panel on Radiation Oncology – Head and Neck, Member
2009-2013 Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG), Health Services Research & Outcomes Committee, Member
2011-2013 American Radium Society (ARS), Executive Committee, Member at Large
2010-2012 American Radium Society (ARS), Educational Resources Committee, Member
2011-Present Journal of Radiation Oncology, Editorial Board, Member
2011-Present American Radium Society (ARS), Scientific Program Committee, Abstract Reviewer
2011-Present American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO), Annual Meeting Scientific Committee, Abstract Reviewer – Head and Neck
2011-Present CME/MOC Committee of the Education Council, Member
2013-Present American College of Radiology (ACR), Appropriateness Criteria Expert Panel on Radiation Oncology – Head and Neck, Panel Chair
2011-Present American Board of Radiology (ABR), Maintenance of Certification Advisory Committee, Member
2012-Present American Board of Radiology (ABR), Testing Category Committee, Category 08 – Lung/ Mediastinum/Sarcoma (develop national specialty board written and oral exams), Member
2012-Present National Cancer Institute/National Institutes of Health, Lung Cancer Clinical Trials Working Group, Member

National Comprehensive Cancer Network, Head and Neck Cancers Panel, Member

2013-Present American College of Radiology (ACR), Appropriateness Criteria Methodology Committee, Member
2013-2015 International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, and Physics, Senior Editor (Head and Neck Cancers)
2014 – present NRG Oncology (formerly RTOG), Patient-Centered Outcomes Research (PCOR) Committee, Member
2014 – present NRG Oncology (formerly RTOG), Head and Neck Cancer Committee, Member
2014 – present NRG Oncology (formerly RTOG), Publications Committee, Member

Awards & Honors

2002   Global Health Programs Award, University of Pennsylvania
2004   Thomas Barkley Award, U. T. – M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
2004   Clinical Biostatistics and Trial Design Workshop, Cancer Education Consortium
2005   Travel Grant for IASLC World Conference, Women Against Lung Cancer (WALC)
2005   Fellowship, Korean American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (KASTRO)
2006   Jesse H. Jones Fellowship in Cancer Education, for excellence in and unique contribution to cancer education, U. T. – M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
2006   Outstanding Resident Presentation Award, Texas Radiological Society
2006   A. Lavoy Moore Endowment Fund, for excellence in and unique contribution to lung cancer research, U. T. – M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
2006   Travel Award to Semi-Annual Meeting, Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG)
2006   Eleanor Montague Distinguished Resident Award in Radiation Oncology, American Association of Women Radiologists (AAWR)
2006   Travel Award to Health Services/Outcomes Symposium, American Society of Radiation Oncology (ASTRO)
2006   Prostate Brachytherapy Fellowship, American Brachytherapy Society (ABS)
2007   Fellowship for Multidisciplinary Head and Neck Symposium, Longitudinal Oncology Registry of Head and Neck Carcinoma (LORHAN)
2007   Vail Workshop on Methods in Clinical Cancer Research, American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO)/American Association for Cancer Research (AACR)
2008   Joan F. Giambalvo Memorial Scholarship, to support research advancing the study of women in the medical profession, American Medical Association (AMA) Women Physicians Congress
2009   Selected for biannual listing, listed continuously in 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019, Best Doctors in America®
2011   Educator of the Year Award, Association of Residents in Radiation Oncology (ARRO)
2019   Duke TIP Distinguished Alumni Award, Duke Talent Identification Program (TIP)
2019   Exceptional Mentor Award, American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA)
2019   Steven A. Leibel Memorial Award, given to two top meeting abstracts, American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) and American Board of Radiology (ABR) Foundation
2020   Fellow of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (FASTRO), American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO)


Redefining Possible