Houston Methodist Cancer Center, under the leadership of Jenny C. Chang, M.D., has expanded its basic cancer research program, cancer prevention and control efforts, and surgical oncology services with the addition of two national recruits.


Qing Yi, M.D., Ph.D., recently joined Houston Methodist Cancer Center as associate director for basic science. Previously, he was chair of cancer biology at Cleveland Clinic. Houston Methodist recruited Yi with support from the Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT), which provided $6 million for an established investigator award.


Yi’s research focuses on tumor immunology, with a specific interest in how lowering cholesterol may improve patients’ response to cancer immunotherapy.


Nestor Esnaola, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A., recently joined Houston Methodist as division chief of surgical oncology in the Department of Surgery. He also serves as surgical director and associate director of cancer control and population sciences at the Houston Methodist Cancer Center. Esnaola came from Fox Chase Cancer Center. He is tasked with optimizing surgical cancer care systemwide and leads the Houston Methodist Cancer Center’s efforts in cancer prevention and control, community outreach and engagement, cancer health disparities, and population science research.


Esnaola has clinical expertise in stomach, pancreatic, gallbladder, bile duct, small bowel and colorectal cancers, liver metastases, peritoneal malignancies, and extremity and retroperitoneal sarcomas. His research has focused on racial and ethnic disparities in cancer care and outcomes, as well as cancer care delivery and dissemination/implementation of evidence-based interventions.


Yi received his M.D. from Jiangxi Medical College in Nanchang, China, and his Ph.D. in immunology from Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden.


Esnaola earned his M.D. at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, his M.P.H. at the Harvard School of Public Health and his M.B.A. at the University of Tennessee.