“I’m the fourth generation of doctors in my family.”
Isaac Yang’s father, grandfather and great-grandfather were all physicians, so needless to say, he had a pretty good idea of what his future path would be. “I graduated from Berkeley and I went to UCLA, so I’m a complete product of the University of California,” he says. “So coming back here was like coming back home.” Today, Dr. Yang is a neurosurgeon specializing in the surgical treatment and clinical outcomes of adult brain and spinal cord tumors.
“I really feel for these patients.”
“Of all the things that you can hear in this world, ‘you have a brain tumor’ might be one of the scariest. I really felt for those patients. I really found that this was my passion.” Here at UCLA, Dr. Yang sees the opportunity to treat people with brain tumors in a safe, effective, minimally invasive way. “So they can go back to work faster, and preserve their functions – smiling, and hearing. We want to treat people the way we would want our families to be treated. It’s more than just being skilled. It’s about being compassionate,” he says with a smile.
“Humbled and honored to be recognized.”
A principal investigator at the UCLA Brain Tumor Program, Dr. Yang’s extensive research interests include optimizing brain tumor clinical outcomes, novel nanoparticles against brain tumors, and experimental glioblastoma therapies like brain tumor vaccines. In 2014, Dr. Yang was recognized as the faculty award winner for the Humanism in Medicine Award at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine. “I was humbled and honored to be recognized. I was grateful for the mentors I had, and I’m proud to be a mentor for passionate students. I’m helping them develop into people who will help make a difference in the world.”
“UCLA encourages us to pursue our passion.”
One of the things Dr. Yang appreciates about UCLA is that they encourage everyone to be who they are, to be true to themselves. “They recognize and see that difference in each one of us, and they cultivate it. They nurture it. And then they use all these different pieces to come together to develop something bigger and better than its component pieces, to create this beautiful institution. UCLA encourages us to pursue our passion. That helping people isn’t just what you do as a job for a salary. It’s about making a difference. And I love being surrounded by that every day.”