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

Zhang, H, Yang, Y, Horton, JL, Samoilova, EB, Judge, TA, Turka, LA, Wilson, JM, and Chen, Y. "Amelioration of collagen-induced arthritis by Fas-ligand gene transfer." FASEB Journal 12, no. 4 (1998): A309-.

Scholars@Duke

Zhang, H, Yang, Y, Horton, JL, Samoilova, EB, Judge, TA, Turka, LA, Wilson, JM, and Chen, Y. "Amelioration of collagen-induced arthritis by CD95 (Apo-1/Fas)-ligand gene transfer." Journal of Clinical Investigation 100, no. 8 (1997): 1951-1957.

PMID
9329958
Full Text

Fisher, KJ, Jooss, K, Alston, J, Yang, Y, Haecker, SE, High, K, Pathak, R, Raper, SE, and Wilson, JM. "Recombinant adeno-associated virus for muscle directed gene therapy." Nature Medicine 3, no. 3 (1997): 306-312.

PMID
9055858
Full Text

Yang, Y, and Wilson, JM. "CD40 ligand-dependent T cell activation: Requirement of B7-CD28 signaling through CD40." Science 273, no. 5283 (1996): 1862-1864.

PMID
8791591
Scholars@Duke

Yang, Y, Su, Q, and Wilson, JM. "Role of viral antigens in destructive cellular immune responses to adenovirus vector-transduced cells in mouse lungs." Journal of Virology 70, no. 10 (1996): 7209-7212.

PMID
8794368
Scholars@Duke

Yang, Y, Su, Q, Grewal, IS, Schilz, R, Flavell, RA, and Wilson, JM. "Transient subversion of CD40 ligand function diminishes immune responses to adenovirus vectors in mouse liver and lung tissues." Journal of Virology 70, no. 9 (1996): 6370-6377.

PMID
8709265
Scholars@Duke

Jooss, K, Yang, Y, and Wilson, JM. "Cyclophosphamide diminishes inflammation and prolongs transgene expression following delivery of adenoviral vectors to mouse liver and lung." Human Gene Therapy 7, no. 13 (1996): 1555-1566.

PMID
8864756
Scholars@Duke

Xiang, ZQ, Yang, Y, Wilson, JM, and Ertl, HCJ. "A replication-defective human adenovirus recombinant serves as a highly efficacious vaccine carrier." Virology 219, no. 1 (1996): 220-227.

PMID
8623532
Full Text

Yang, Y, Greenough, K, and Wilson, JM. "Transient immune blockade prevents formation of neutralizing antibody to recombinant adenovirus and allows repeated gene transfer to mouse liver." Gene Therapy 3, no. 5 (1996): 412-420.

PMID
9156802
Scholars@Duke

Yang, Y, Ku, J, Su, Q, Ertl, HCJ, and Wilson, JM. "Immune responses to viral antigens versus transgene product in the elimination of recombinant adenovirus-infected hepatocytes in vivo." Gene Therapy 3, no. 2 (1996): 137-144.

PMID
8867861
Scholars@Duke

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