The FWC Honors AAPI Heritage Month with a Research Feature on Ying Liu, MD, MPH

Ying Liu, MD, MPH, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Cancer, is the FWC 2023-2024 recipient of the Wilma Williams Education and Clinical Research Grant for Endometrial Cancer. Receiving this grant at the 2024 SGO Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer was a moment of profound significance for Dr. Liu. “This grant is a huge honor,” she said. “It acknowledges the importance of our work in the field, as SGO and FWC are critical organizations for our specialty.” The grant validates her personal and professional dedication and is a catalyst for further impactful research. 

Central to Dr. Liu’s research is her novel clinical trial, which combines immunotherapy with radiation for mismatch repair deficient endometrial cancer. “My most meaningful contribution so far has been developing this clinical trial,” Dr. Liu shared. This clinical trial is meant to spare patients from the challenges that come with chemotherapy. As a child of immigrants, Dr. Liu emphasizes the importance of empathy and cultural sensitivity in patient care. “I think my cultural background has made me more empathetic with patients and better able to appreciate the diversity of backgrounds that we all bring to the table,” she reflected. Her innovation coupled with her empathetic approach underscores an ongoing commitment to improving patient outcomes. 

Embodying the 2024 Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month theme “Advancing Leaders Through Innovation,” Dr. Liu leverages novel approaches, such as community engagement initiatives and the use of telemedicine and digital platforms, to raise awareness about the importance of genetic testing for cancer prevention and treatment. She is also deeply invested in mentoring and inspiring future leaders, particularly among Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. Through her mentorship, she hopes to instill a sense of possibility and empower aspiring gynecologic oncologists to pursue their dreams. “I hope that seeing someone like me receive a FWC grant will motivate future generations and show them that their dreams are possible too,” Dr. Liu noted. 

Looking ahead, Dr. Liu is excited about emerging trends in gynecologic oncology, particularly the movement towards precision medicine. She envisions a future where treatments are tailored to specific genomic markers, revolutionizing cancer care and prevention. 

To aspiring gynecologic oncologists, Dr. Liu offers a simple yet powerful piece of advice: Follow your dreams and don’t be afraid to speak up!