William (Will) Yashar

Will Yashar profile picture

Current Program Year: MS 3
Graduate, Biomedical Engineering Graduate Program, School of Medicine
M.D./Ph.D. Program Students, School of Medicine


Will Yashar earned his undergraduate degree in physics from MIT. As an undergraduate researcher, he applied his mathematics and statistics skillset to develop computational models aimed at understanding complex systems, including mechanistic models simulating dark matter-standard baryonic matter interactions. Following his undergraduate education, Will worked as a consulting analyst, where he specialized in developing forecasting and dynamic competitive simulation models to predict global trends in the biomedical industry. He later became a founding employee of Abreos Biosciences (now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Aegirbio), a biotechnology company pioneering molecular diagnostics to measure blood levels of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies and inform personalized dosing for patients.

Will joined the OHSU MD/PhD Program in 2018 with a keen interest in pursuing a career as a hematology-oncology physician-scientist. He has completed his clinical didactics training and successfully defended his PhD dissertation work investigating translational dysregulation in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) to inform novel therapeutic strategies. During his doctoral studies, he developed computational methods to explore therapeutic responses and disease initiation at the level of transcriptional regulation. He integrated these computational methods with functional genetic techniques to investigate the role of transcriptional dysregulation in treatment responses among patients with AML. His work has culminated in several first-author publications and provided key pre-clinical rationale for an ongoing Phase 2 clinical trial. Currently, Will is actively engaged in his clinical training with the long-term goal of managing an independent systems biology research group focused on targeted leukemia therapies while simultaneously practicing as a hematologist-oncologist.

Outside of work, Will enjoys staying active by training for triathlons, baking, and caring for his buff tabby, Amelie, alongside his fiancée.

Education and training

BS, Major in Physics with a concentration in Biophysics, 2015, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
PhD, Biomedical Engineering Program, 2024, Oregon Health & Science University

One-year exchange as a Part II and III Physics student, 2014, University of Cambridge, Pembroke College

Memberships and associations:

  • American Association of Cancer Research (AACR)
  • American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO)
  • American Society of Hematology (ASH)
  • American Physician Scientist Association (APSA)

Additional information

Honors and awards

2023-present   NIH/NCI F30 Ruth L. Kirschstein Individual Predoctoral Fellowship
2023                OHSU Biomedical Engineering Society Student Spotlight
2023                Published work selected as Molecular Cancer Research Editor’s Pick for their July 2023 issue.
2023                OHSU Graduate Student Organization Exemplary Future Scientist Award
2023                OHSU Graduate Student Organization Travel Award
2022                OHSU RNAissance Meeting Top Poster Award
2020                OHSU FLAME Forging the Way Community Award
2018-2020       OHSU Medical Scientist Training Program T32
2015                Sigma Pi Sigma, Sigma Pi Sigma Physics Honors Society
2013-2014       Cambridge-MIT Exchange Program, MIT
2013                Department of Energy Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internships
2012                Sigma Pi Sigma Physics Honors Society Quadrennial Physics Conference Travel Grant


Selected publications

  1. Kong G, Nguyen T, Rosales W, Panikar A, Cheney JHW, Lusardi T, Yashar WM, Curtiss B, Carratt S, Braun TP, Maxson JE. CITEViz: Interactively Classify Cell Populations in CITE-Seq via a Flow Cytometry-like Gating Workflow using R-Shiny. BMC Bioinformatics, March 2024.
  2. Yashar WM, Estabrook J, Holly H, Somers J, Nikolova O, Barbur Ö, Braun TP, Demir E. Predicting transcription factor activity using prior biological information. Cell iScience, January 2024.
  3. Yashar WM, Tsuchiya M, Pacentine IV, Macaraeg J, Taherinasab A, Evans-Dutson S, O’ConnellB, Lusardi T, Szczepanski N, Yardimci GG, AdeyAC, Maxson JE, Braun TP. Differentiation State Plasticity as a Mechanism of BCL2 Inhibitor Resistance in Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Blood, November 2023.
  4. Somers J, Fenner M, Thirumalaisamy D, Kong G, Yashar WM, Kinali M, Thapa K, Nikolova O, Babur O, Demir E. A framework for considering prior information in network-based approaches to –omic data analysis. Proteomics, June 2023.
  5. Romine K, Bottomly D, Yashar WM, Long N, Viehdorfer M, McWeeney WK, Tyner JW. Immune cell proportions correlate with clinicogenomic features and ex vivo drug responses in acute myeloid leukemia. Frontiers in Oncology, May 2023.
  6. Yashar WM, Curtiss BM, Coleman DJ, VanCampen J, Kong G, Macaraeg J, Estabrook J, Demir E, Long N, Bottomly D, McWeeney SK, Tyner JW, Druker BJ, Maxson JE, Braun TP. Disruption of the MYC Super-Enhancer Complex by Dual Targeting of FLT3 and LSD1 in Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Molecular Cancer Research, March 2023 (selected as Molecular Cancer Research Editor’s Pick for the July 2023 issue).
  7. Carratt SA, Kong GL, Coblentz C, Schonrock Z, Maloney L, Weeder B, Yashar WM, Callahan R, Blaylock H, Coleman C, Coleman D, Braun TP, Maxson JE. RUNX1::ETO translocations must precede CSF3R mutations to promote acute myeloid leukemia development. Leukemia, March 2023.
  8. Braun TP, Estabrook J, Schonrock Z, Curtiss B, Darmusey L, Macaraeg J, Enright T, Coblentz C, Callahan R, Yashar WM, Mohammed H, Coleman D, Druker B, Demir E, Lusardi T, Maxson JE, ASXL1 Directs Neutrophilic Differentiation via Modulation of MYC and RNA Polymerase II. Leukemia, February 2023.
  9. Yashar WM, Kong G, VanCampen J, Curtiss B, Coleman D, Carbone L, Yardimci GG, Maxson JE, Braun T. GoPeaks: Histone Modification Peak Calling for CUT&Tag. BMC Genome Biology, July 2022.
  10. Curtiss B, VanCampen J, Macaraeg J, Kong G, Taherinasab A, Tsuchiya M, Yashar WM, Tsang Y, Horton W, Coleman D, Estabrook J, Lusardi T, Mills G, Druker B, Maxson JE, Braun T. PU.1 and MYC transcriptional network defines synergistic drug responses to KIT and LSD1 inhibition in acute myeloid leukemia. Leukemia, July 2022.
  11. Strik AS, Wang YC, Ruff LE, Yashar WM, Messmer BT, Mould DR, “Individualized Dosing of Therapeutic Monoclonal Antibodies-a Changing Treatment Paradigm?”, American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists Journal, September 2018.
  12. Lu SM, Scanderbeg DJ, Barna P, Yashar WM, Yashar C. Evaluation of two intracavitary high-dose-rate brachytherapy devices for irradiating additional and irregularly shaped volumes of breast tissue. Medical Dosimetry, March 2012.