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Assistant Professor, Division of Oncology


Early stage and metastatic breast cancer; immunotherapy; immune microenvironment; racial disparities; clinical trials.


BS and MD: Jordan University, 2005-2012; Research Fellowship: Mayo Clinic, Rochester, 2013-2014. Intern and Resident: University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, 2014-2017; Hematology and Oncology Fellowship: Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, 2017-2020; Assistant Professor of Medicine: University of North Carolina, 2020-present.

Clinical/Research Interests:

Dr. Abdou specializes in the treatment of early stage and metastatic breast cancer. Her research focuses on the development of novel therapies to treat different subtypes of breast cancer. She works closely with basic and translational scientists to study the breast tumor microenvironment and find ways to enhance treatment approaches by utilizing the immune system. In addition, her research also focuses on racial differences in tumor biology and immune microenvironment, to better understand racial disparities and improve clinical outcomes in African American women with breast cancer.


Every doctor tends to choose their specialty based on various reasons; I choose mine because of my patients. Cancer patients carry stories that are unique to medicine, which is where my passion for this field is rooted. Their entire world is often rocked by a diagnosis of cancer, and it is a privilege to be able to contribute to how that period of their lives play out. That is where my role as a physician becomes deeper, more intense and more personal. The key is understanding that it’s not just the longevity of life that makes it precious, it’s the quality; as a clinician and a researcher, I strive to enhance treatment strategies to prolong my patients’ lives while minimizing their suffering and morbidity from the disease.


Abdou Y, Attwood K, Cheng T-YD, Yao S, Bandera EV, Zirpoli GR, et al. Racial differences in CD8+ T cell infiltration in breast tumors from Black and White women. Breast Cancer Research. 2020 May;22(1):62.

Abdou Y, Jerez J, Baird A, Dolan J, Lee S, Park S, et al. Prognostication model based on genomic expression in the tumor microenvironment of ER-positive, HER2-negative stage III breast cancer via machine learning. Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2020;38(5_suppl):3.

Gosain R, Abdou Y, Singh A, Rana N, Puzanov I, Ernstoff MS. COVID-19 and Cancer: A Comprehensive Review. Curr Oncol Rep. 2020 May 8;22(5):53.

Abdou Y, Pandey M, Sarma M, Shah S, Baron J, Ernstoff MS. Mechanism-based Treatment of Cancer with Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor Therapies. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2020 April; 1– 13.

Abdou Y, Elkhanany A, Attwood K, Ji W, Takabe K, Opyrchal M. Primary and Secondary Breast Angiosarcoma: Single Center Report and a Meta-Analysis. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2019 Dec;178(3):523-533.

Y Abdou, M Asaoka, K Takabe. Pathological and genetic aggressiveness of left-sided breast cancer. Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2019 37:15_suppl, e12579-e12579

Y Abdou, LE Williams, P Kalinski, M Opyrchal. Chemokine modulation to enhance the effectiveness of pembrolizumab in patients with metastatic triple negative breast cancer. Cancer Res. 2019;79.

Abdou Y, Jerez J, Baird A, Dolan J, Lee S, Park S, Lee SS. Machine learning-assisted prognostication based on genomic expression in the tumour microenvironment of estrogen receptor positive and HER2 negative breast cancer. Annals of Oncology. 2019; 30(5):v55-v56.

Interview articles:

Abdou, Y. Machine Learning Helps Prognosticate Patients with Breast Cancer.
Journal of Clinical Pathways Article

Model reveals genes associated with prognosis in ER+, HER2– breast cancer. Read article