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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

The Journal of Experimental Medicine: 216 (12)Di Biase S*, Ma X*, Wang X, Yu J, Wang Y-C, Smith DJ, Zhou Y, Li Z, Kim YJ, Clarke N, To A, and Yang L. (Co-first authors). Creatine uptake regulates CD8 T cell antitumor immunity. J Exp Med. 2019, 216(12): 2869-2882. [Link]
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]

Featured News

October 18, 2019

Our JEM paper reporting creatine uptake regulation of CD8 T cell immunity is featured on UCLA News and other media.

September 23, 2019

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

May 11, 2017

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