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

  • Fellowship, Medical Oncology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 1999 - 2002
  • Residency, General Internal Medicine, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, 1996 - 1999
  • Ph.D., University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, 1993
  • M.D., Zhejiang University (China), 1985

Publications

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, D-F, 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

Brennan, TV, Lin, L, Huang, X, Sudan, DL, and Yang, Y. "Alpha 1-Antitrypsin Therapy Reduces Alloreactive T Cell Activation and Decreases Graft-vs-Host Disease Following Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation." May 2012.

Scholars@Duke

Zhu, J, Huang, X, and Yang, Y. "Myeloid-derived suppressor cells regulate natural killer cell response to adenovirus-mediated gene transfer." Journal of Virology 86, no. 24 (2012): 13689-13696.

PMID
23055553
Full Text

Novy, P, and Yang, Y. "NKT cells are essential for innate immune control of vaccinia viral infection in vivo." JOURNAL OF IMMUNOLOGY 186 (April 2011).

Scholars@Duke

Sanchez, AM, and Yang, Y. "The role of natural regulatory T cells in infection." Immunol Res 49, no. 1-3 (April 2011): 124-134. (Review)

PMID
21116872
Full Text

Novy, P, Huang, X, Leonard, WJ, and Yang, Y. "Intrinsic IL-21 signaling is critical for CD8 T cell survival and memory formation in response to vaccinia viral infection." J Immunol 186, no. 5 (March 1, 2011): 2729-2738.

PMID
21257966
Full Text

Rizzieri, DA, Crout, C, Storms, R, Golob, J, Long, GD, Gasparetto, C, Sullivan, KM, Horwitz, M, Chute, J, Lagoo, AS, Morris, A, Beaven, A, Yang, Y, Peterson, B, Li, Z, and Chao, NJ. "Feasibility of low-dose interleukin-2 therapy following T-cell-depleted nonmyeloablative allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation from HLA-matched or -mismatched family member donors." Cancer Invest 29, no. 1 (January 2011): 56-61.

PMID
21166499
Full Text

Brandstadter, JD, and Yang, Y. "Natural killer cell responses to viral infection." J Innate Immun 3, no. 3 (2011): 274-279. (Review)

PMID
21411975
Full Text

Pages