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

Yang, Y, Engelhardt, JF, and Wilson, JM. "Ultrastructural localization of variant forms of cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator in human bronchial epithelial of xenografts." American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology 11, no. 1 (July 1994): 7-15.

PMID
7517144
Full Text

Yang, Y, Nunes, FA, Berencsi, K, Gönczöl, E, Engelhardt, JF, and Wilson, JM. "Inactivation of E2a in recombinant adenoviruses improves the prospect for gene therapy in cystic fibrosis." Nature Genetics 7, no. 3 (July 1994): 362-369.

PMID
7522742
Full Text

Yang, Y, Nunes, FA, Berencsi, K, Furth, EE, Gönczöl, E, and Wilson, JM. "Cellular immunity to viral antigens limits E1-deleted adenoviruses for gene therapy." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 91, no. 10 (May 1994): 4407-4411.

PMID
8183921
Full Text

Boucher, RC, Knowles, MR, Johnson, LG, Olsen, JC, Pickles, R, Wilson, JM, Engelhardt, J, Yang, Y, and Grossman, M. "Gene therapy for cystic fibrosis using E1-deleted adenovirus: a phase I trial in the nasal cavity. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill." Human Gene Therapy 5, no. 5 (May 1994): 615-639.

PMID
7519885
Full Text

Wilson, JM, Engelhardt, JF, Grossman, M, Simon, RH, and Yang, Y. "Gene therapy of cystic fibrosis lung disease using E1 deleted adenoviruses: a phase I trial." Human Gene Therapy 5, no. 4 (April 1994): 501-519.

PMID
7519452
Full Text

Engelhardt, JF, Simon, RH, Yang, Y, Zepeda, M, Weber-Pendleton, S, Doranz, B, Grossman, M, and Wilson, JM. "Adenovirus-mediated transfer of the CFTR gene to lung of nonhuman primates: biological efficacy study." Human Gene Therapy 4, no. 6 (December 1993): 759-769.

PMID
7514445
Full Text

Simon, RH, Engelhardt, JF, Yang, Y, Zepeda, M, Weber-Pendleton, S, Grossman, M, and Wilson, JM. "Adenovirus-mediated transfer of the CFTR gene to lung of nonhuman primates: toxicity study." Human Gene Therapy 4, no. 6 (December 1993): 771-780.

PMID
7514446
Full Text

Yang, Y, Janich, S, Cohn, JA, and Wilson, JM. "The common variant of cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator is recognized by hsp70 and degraded in a pre-Golgi nonlysosomal compartment." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 90, no. 20 (October 1993): 9480-9484.

PMID
7692448
Full Text

Yang, Y, Devor, DC, Engelhardt, JF, Ernst, SA, Strong, TV, Collins, FS, Cohn, JA, Frizzell, RA, and Wilson, JM. "Molecular basis of defective anion transport in L cells expressing recombinant forms of CFTR." Human Molecular Genetics 2, no. 8 (August 1993): 1253-1261.

PMID
7691345
Full Text

Yang, Y, Raper, SE, Cohn, JA, Engelhardt, JF, and Wilson, JM. "An approach for treating the hepatobiliary disease of cystic fibrosis by somatic gene transfer." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 90, no. 10 (May 1993): 4601-4605.

PMID
7685107
Full Text

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