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

Quigley, M, Huang, X, and Yang, Y. "Extent of stimulation controls the formation of memory CD8 T cells." Journal of Immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950) 179, no. 9 (November 2007): 5768-5777.

PMID
17947649
Full Text

Zhu, J, Huang, X, and Yang, Y. "Innate immune response to adenoviral vectors is mediated by both Toll-like receptor-dependent and -independent pathways." Journal of Virology 81, no. 7 (April 2007): 3170-3180.

PMID
17229689
Full Text

Zhu, J, Huang, X, and Yang, Y. "Type I IFN signaling on both B and CD4 T cells is required for protective antibody response to adenovirus." Journal of Immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950) 178, no. 6 (March 2007): 3505-3510.

PMID
17339445
Full Text

Zhu, J, Martinez, J, Huang, X, and Yang, Y. "Innate immunity against vaccinia virus is mediated by TLR2 and requires TLR-independent production of IFN-beta." Blood 109, no. 2 (January 2007): 619-625.

PMID
16973959
Full Text

Huang, X, and Yang, Y. "The fate of effector CD8 T cells in vivo is controlled by the duration of antigen stimulation." Immunology 118, no. 3 (July 2006): 361-371.

PMID
16827897
Full Text

Huang, X, Zhu, J, and Yang, Y. "Protection against autoimmunity in nonlymphopenic hosts by CD4+ CD25+ regulatory T cells is antigen-specific and requires IL-10 and TGF-beta." J Immunol 175, no. 7 (October 1, 2005): 4283-4291.

PMID
16177068
Scholars@Duke

Huang, X, and Yang, Y. "Transient gain of effector function by CD8+ T cells undergoing peripheral tolerance to high-dose self-antigen." Eur J Immunol 34, no. 5 (May 2004): 1351-1360.

PMID
15114668
Full Text

Yang, Y, Huang, C-T, Huang, X, and Pardoll, DM. "Persistent Toll-like receptor signals are required for reversal of regulatory T cell-mediated CD8 tolerance." Nature Immunology 5, no. 5 (May 2004): 508-515.

PMID
15064759
Full Text

Morse, MA, Lyerly, HK, Clay, TM, Abdel-Wahab, O, Chui, SY, Garst, J, Gollob, J, Grossi, PM, Kalady, M, Mosca, PJ, Onaitis, M, Sampson, JH, Seigler, HF, Toloza, EM, Tyler, D, Vieweg, J, and Yang, Y. "Immunotherapy of surgical malignancies." Curr Probl Surg 41, no. 1 (January 2004): 15-132. (Review)

PMID
14749625
Full Text

Morse, MA, Lyerly, HK, Clay, TM, Abdel-Wahab, O, Chui, SY, Garst, J, Gollob, J, Grossi, PM, Kalady, M, Mosca, PJ, Onaitis, M, Sampson, JH, Seigler, HF, Toloza, EM, Tyler, D, Vieweg, J, and Yang, Y. "How does the immune system attack cancer?." Current Problems in Surgery 41, no. 1 (2004): 15-132.

Full Text

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