Yiping Yang, MD, PhD

Professor of Medicine
Professor of Immunology
Member of the Duke Cancer Institute
Campus mail 2019 Msrb-ii, 106 Research Drive, Durham, NC 27710
Phone (919) 668-0932
Email address yang0029@mc.duke.edu

The goal of Dr. Yang’s laboratory is to understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms leading to the generation of potent and long-lasting anti-tumor immunity, and to develop effective gene immunotherapeutic strategies for treating cancer. Furthermore, rational pre-clinical approaches will be tested in clinical trials in patients with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-related malignancies. Specifically, we focus on the following areas:

1. Innate Immunity to Viruses. Recombinant vaccinia virus and adenovirus have been developed as potent vaccine vehicles for treating cancer and infectious diseases. Recent studies have shown that the unique potency of these viruses lies in their effective activation of the innate immune system. How these viruses activate the innate immune system remains largely unknown. We have been interested in the role of pattern-recognition receptors including Toll-like receptors (TLRs)in innate immune recognition of these viruses as well as their signaling pathways. In addition, we are investigating the role of innate immune cells such as natural killer (NK) cells in innate and adaptive immune responses to these viruses. A full understanding of these processes will help us design effective vaccine strategies.

2. T Cell Memory. Eliciting long-lived memory T cell response is an ultimate goal of vaccination to provide long-term immunity against cancer. However, it is not clear what controls the formation of long-lived memory T cells. The understanding of mechanisms underlying memory T cell formation will provide important insights into the design of effective vaccines for treating cancer.

3. Regulatory T Cell Biology. Accumulating evidence has shown that the immunosuppressive CD4+CD25+Foxp3+ regulatory T cells (TReg) play a critical role in the suppression of anti-tumor immunity. However, little is known about how TReg suppress T cell activation in vivo. Delineation of mechanisms underlying TReg-mediated suppression in vivo will help develop strategies to overcome TReg-mediated suppression in favor of boosting anti-tumor immunity.

4. Immunotherapy for EBV-associated Malignancies. Clinically, EBV-associated malignancies such as Hodgkin’s lymphoma offer a unique model to explore antigen-defined immunotherapy approaches because EBV-derived tumor antigens are specific for tumor cells only. Using this clinical model, we will test the utility of rational strategies identified in our preclinical models.

Education and Training

  • Ph.D., University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, 1993
  • M.D., Zhejiang University (China), 1985

Publications

Brandstadter, JD, Huang, X, and Yang, Y. "NK cell-extrinsic IL-18 signaling is required for efficient NK-cell activation by vaccinia virus." European journal of immunology 44, no. 9 (September 2014): 2659-2666.

PMID
24846540
Full Text

Fortin, C, Huang, X, and Yang, Y. "Both NK cell-intrinsic and -extrinsic STAT1 signaling are required for NK cell response against vaccinia virus." J Immunol 191, no. 1 (July 1, 2013): 363-368.

PMID
23733873
Full Text

Brennan, T, Lin, L, and Yang, Y. "Jak3 Dependent Inhibition of Alloreactive T Cell Proliferation in the Setting of Chronic TLR Stimulation." AMERICAN JOURNAL OF TRANSPLANTATION 13 (April 2013): 256-256.

Scholars@Duke

Brennan, T, Lin, L, and Yang, Y. "Long-Term Persistence of Recipient MHC Class-II Antigen Following Allogeneic Bone Marrow Transplantation." AMERICAN JOURNAL OF TRANSPLANTATION 13 (April 2013): 375-375.

Scholars@Duke

Machado, MV, Yang, Y, and Diehl, AM. "The benefits of restraint: a pivotal role for IL-13 in hepatic glucose homeostasis." J Clin Invest 123, no. 1 (January 2013): 115-117.

PMID
23257364
Full Text

Nong, X, Xu, M, Li, H, Yang, Y, Nong, D, Cao, Y, Li, J, Xu, H, and Li, Y. "Survival analysis of tongue squamous cell carcinoma with CXCR4, CD44 and CD133 expression." Chinese Journal of Clinical Oncology 40, no. 14 (2013): 832-837.

Full Text

Brennan, TV, Lin, L, Huang, X, Cardona, DM, Li, Z, Dredge, K, Chao, NJ, and Yang, Y. "Heparan sulfate, an endogenous TLR4 agonist, promotes acute GVHD after allogeneic stem cell transplantation." Blood 120, no. 14 (October 4, 2012): 2899-2908.

PMID
22760779
Full Text

Sanchez, AM, Zhu, J, Huang, X, and Yang, Y. "The development and function of memory regulatory T cells after acute viral infections." J Immunol 189, no. 6 (September 15, 2012): 2805-2814.

PMID
22855712
Full Text

Fortin, C, Huang, X, and Yang, Y. "NK cell response to vaccinia virus is regulated by myeloid-derived suppressor cells." J Immunol 189, no. 4 (August 15, 2012): 1843-1849.

PMID
22798671
Full Text

Chen, DF, Prasad, VK, Broadwater, G, Reinsmoen, NL, DeOliveira, A, Clark, A, Sullivan, KM, Chute, JP, Horwitz, ME, Gasparetto, C, Long, GD, Yang, Y, Chao, NJ, and Rizzieri, DA. "Differential impact of inhibitory and activating Killer Ig-Like Receptors (KIR) on high-risk patients with myeloid and lymphoid malignancies undergoing reduced intensity transplantation from haploidentical related donors." Bone Marrow Transplant 47, no. 6 (June 2012): 817-823.

PMID
22139069
Full Text

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