Skip Navigation

Clayton C. Yates

CLAYTON C. YATES, Ph.D. is the inaugural John R. Lewis Professor in Pathology. In 2022, he was recruited to the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine to join the Division of Urologic Pathology in the Department of Pathology where he serves as the Director for Translational Health Disparities and Global Health Equity Research. He holds joint appointments in the Department of Oncology, where he serves as the Program Co-Leader for Cancer Genetics and Epigenetics, and in the Department of Urology. Dr. Yates is an internationally recognized expert in health disparity research, cell biology, molecular biology, and molecular pathology. Prior to coming to Johns Hopkins, he was Professor of Biology in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, and Director of the Center for Biomedical Research at Tuskegee University in Alabama. He also held adjunct faculty positions in the Department of Biological Sciences at Clark Atlanta University in Georgia, and the Department of Pathology at the University of Alabama in Birmingham (UAB). Dr. Yates received both his Bachelor of Science degree and Master of Science degree from Tuskegee University. He earned his doctoral degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in molecular pathology, as well as a certificate of training in Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine from the McGowan Institute of Regenerative Medicine. He completed his postdoctoral fellowship at the Emory University School of Medicine Department of Urology before joining the faculty at Tuskegee University.

Dr. Yates is internationally recognized for his research. Cell-MENTOR—an online resource from Cell Press and Cell Signaling Technology—recognized Dr. Yates among the 100 most inspiring Black Scientists in America. His research focuses on prostate and breast cancers, particularly in African Americans. His laboratory established several cancer cell line-based models derived from African American patients and these are used by many scientists today to study molecular events that lead to prostate cancer development and metastasis. Additionally, Dr. Yates identified a subtype of breast cancer called “Quadruple Negative Breast Cancer,” which is more prevalent in women of African ancestry. His research, which incorporates novel genetic admixture analyses, identified a specific ancestry-associated, immune-related signature in both breast and prostate cancers.  Using this signature, Dr. Yates’s team was able to identify and develop a novel therapeutic that targets a specific immune cell, termed the tumor-associated macrophage, that contributes to increased tumor aggressiveness and therapeutic resistance. An impactful educator, Dr. Yates has trained more than 50 Ph.D. and master’s-level students, and postdoctoral trainees. He has received numerous honors and awards, has authored more than 80 peer-reviewed publications, and serves on the editorial board of Scientific Reports. Dr. Yates is Co-Director of the Transatlantic Prostate Cancer Consortium, which focuses on understanding the tumor biology in native African men in Nigeria. He co-chaired the April 2022 American Association for Cancer Research Conference in New Orleans, and is the Past Chair of the Minorities in Cancer Research Council within the American Association for Cancer Research, which serves more than 7,000 minority cancer-focused scientists.