Lab Members


Principal Investigator
Ken Miyaguchi, PhD
Project Scientist

Ken Miyaguchi, PhD, is a project scientist in the Department of Neurosurgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. His current research focuses on the development of a nanoplatform technology with dual magnetic and fluorescent properties for image-guided delivery of drugs across the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and into glioma cells. His research also includes translating basic cancer research and immunotherapy targeting glioma stem cells into effective therapies for patients with brain tumors. Dr. Miyaguchi earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry health science from the University of Central Oklahoma. He earned his master’s degree and PhD in medical science from the Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU), Japan. He worked as a specially appointed assistant professor investigating breast cancer at TMDU until 2015. As a postdoctoral associate at Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, he studied a novel brain tumor model generated from hESC-derived cerebral organoid with patient-derived glioma stem cells.

Liron Israel, PhD
Project Scientist

Liron Israel, PhD, earned her MS degree in medicinal chemistry from the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, and her PhD from Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel. During that time, her research focused on radiochemistry and PET radiotracers (including manufacturing and QC for patients), multistep organic synthesis and nanotechnology aimed at biomedical applications such as siRNA delivery and MRI. Dr. Israel has also worked in industrial R&D in the fields of process development and multistep organic synthesis of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) in GMP/GLP surroundings. She completed her postdoctoral training at Cedars-Sinai in the Department of Neurosurgery in 2019, where her research focused on nanocarriers with blood-brain barrier (BBB) crossing abilities for imaging and treatment of brain tumors and Alzheimer’s disease. She is currently a project scientist working on nano drug delivery systems, cancer vaccines, and immunotherapy aimed to treat tumors of the brain.

Janina Jiang, PhD
Project Scientist

Janina Jiang is a Project Scientist in Cedars-Sinai’s Department of Neurosurgery. Dr. Jiang’s research interests lie in understanding tumor immunology and tumor microenvironment biology to design and develop immunotherapies targeting brain tumors. This includes modulation of co-inhibitory and co-stimulatory receptors of the immune system, autologous T cell immunotherapy, and therapeutic strategies based on or combined with macrophages to improve treatment efficacy. Prior to joining Cedars-Sinai, Dr. Jiang studied immunopathogenesis of infectious disease at UCLA. She received her Ph.D. from McMaster University and did her post-doc training at Stanford University. 

Hongqiang Wang, MD
Research Associate

Hongqiang Wang, MD, is currently a research associate III at Cedars-Sinai's Department of Neurosurgery and works as a clinical trial team member. His main research area is manufacturing vaccines for brain tumor patients and monitoring their immune responses to assess the efficacy of vaccines for the treatment of brain tumor. Wang earned his MD at Shanghai Medical University (now Shanghai Medical School of Fudan University) and joined Cedars-Sinai in 2008.

Elliott Sina
Research Associate

Elliott Sina is a research associate at Cedars-Sinai’s Department of Neurosurgery. He received his bachelor’s degree in Cognitive Science from the University of California, Berkeley in 2021, and is pursuing an MD. His research in the Yu lab focuses on the combined use of a fluorescent drug and NIR-light imaging system that aims to enhance the intra-operative visibility of glioblastomas.

Contact the Yu Lab

127 S. San Vicente Blvd.
Pavilion, Suite A-6215
Los Angeles, CA 90048

Fax: 310-967-8592