Research Highlights

Our research centers on deciphering the molecular mechanisms controlling antitumor immunity, and exploiting knowledge to device new gene- and cell-based cancer immunotherapies.

We have two active research directions:

  1. Studying the molecular control of antitumor immunity.
  2. Developing new gene- and cell-based immunotherapies for treating cancer.

Featured Publications

On the cover: Brain waves emerge from brain organoids. In this issue, Trujillo et al. (558–569) find that brain organoids exhibit periodic and highly regular nested oscillatory network waves. The network transitions to more spatiotemporally complex activity, capturing features of preterm infant development. The illustration depicts ocean waves bathing a beach shore that represents human brain development. The ocean waves are mixed with traces of action potentials, in reference to the technology used for neuronal network activity acquisition. Cover artwork by Cleber Trujillo. Zhu Y.*, Smith DJ*, Zhou Y, Li YR, Yu J, Lee D, Wang Y-C, Di Biase S, Wang Xi, Hardoy C, Ku J, Tsao T, Lin LJ, Pham AT, Moon H, McLaughlin J, Cheng D, Hollis RP, Campo-Fernandez B, Urbinati F, Wei L, Pang L, Rezek V, Berent-Maoz B, Macabali MH, Gjertson D, Wang X, Galic Z, Kitchen SG, An DS, Hu-Lieskovan S, Kaplan-Lefko PJ, De Oliveira SN, Seet CS, Larson SM, Forman SJ, Heath JR, Zack JA, Crooks GM, Radu GR, Ribas A, Kohn DB, Witte ON, and Yang L. (Co-first authors). Development of hematopoietic stem cell-engineered invariant natural killer T cell therapy for cancer. Cell Stem Cell. 2019, 25(4):542-557. Epub 2019  Sept 5. [Link]
Li B*, Wang X*, Choi I, Liu S, Pham A, Moon H, Rao DS, Boldin MP, and Yang L. (Co-first authors). miR-146a modulates autoreactive CD4 T cell Th17 differentiation and regulates T cell-mediated autoimmunity. J Clin Invest. 2017, 127(10):3702-3716. [Link]

Featured News

September 23, 2019

Our Cell Stem Cell paper reporting HSC-engineering iNKT cell cancer therapy is featured on UCLA News. [PDF][Link]

May 11, 2017

Dr. Lili Yang receives the Outstanding New Investigator Award from the American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy (ASGCT). [PDF][Link]