Lili Yang, Principal Investigator

Lili received her B.S. degree in Biology from the University of Science & Technology of China (USTC) in 1997, her M.S. degree in Biomedical Sciences from the University of California, Riverside (UCR) in 1999, and her Ph.D. degree in Biology from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in 2004. She had her postdoctoral training and led the Engineering Immunity Program at the Laboratory of David Baltimore at Caltech from 2004-2012. She joined UCLA as an Assistant Professor in January of 2013.
Besides research, Lili enjoys reading and traveling.

liliyang@ucla.edu

Alice Yang Zhou, Lab Manager & Research Assistant

Alice received her B.A. degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Science & Technology of China (USTC) in 2013, and her M.S. degree in Foods and Nutrition from the University of Georgia in 2016. She joined the Yang Lab in September of 2016. Alice works on developing and translating iNKT cell-based immunotherapies for cancer.
Besides research, Alice enjoys pet sitting, cooking, and traveling.

zzydcat@g.ucla.edu

Yanni Zhu, Research Scientist

Yanni received her B.S. degree in Medicine from the Shanghai Medical University, her M.S. degree in Biochemistry from the Peking University in 2003, and her Ph.D. degree in Biochemistry from the Tufts University in 2011. Her Ph.D. thesis was on Polyomavirus Middle Tumor Antigen signaling. She had her postdoctoral training in translational oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital of Harvard Medical School from 2011-2015. She joined the Yang lab in November of 2016. Yanni works on developing and translating iNKT cell-based immunotherapies for cancer.
Besides research, Yanni enjoys cuisines, concerts, and films.

yzhu04@g.ucla.edu

Shirley Xi Wang, Postdoctoral Scholar

Shirley received her B.A. degree in Medicine from Chongqing Medical University at China in 2004, her M.S. degree in Medicine from Shanghai Jiaotong University at China in 2007, and her Ph.D. degree in Biomedical Sciences from the the University of Tennessee Health Science Center/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in 2014. Her Ph.D. thesis work was on MCL-1 regulation of cardiac function. She joined the Yang Lab in May of 2015. Shirley works on molecular control of immune cell reactions in cancer and autoimmune diseases.
Besides research, Shirley enjoys reading, traveling, and cooking.

xwang81@ucla.edu

Stefano Di Biase, Postdoctoral Scholar

Stefano received his B.S. degree in Biotechnologies with a minor in Biochemistry in Italy from La Sapienza University of Rome in 2008, his M.S. degree in Biochemistry from La Sapienza University of Rome in 2010, and his Ph.D. from the University of Southern California (USC) in 2016. His PhD thesis work discovered a novel pathway linking dietary restriction and immune system activation for targeting cancer cells. He joined the Yang Lab in June of 2016. Stefano works on metabolic control of antitumor immunity.
Besides research, Stefano enjoys motorcycle riding, cycling, and playing guitar.

stefanodb@g.ucla.edu

Ryan Yuchen Wang, Postdoctoral Scholar

Ryan received his B.A. degree in Biology from the Anhui University in 2010, and his Ph.D. degree in Immunology and Cell Biology from the University of Science & Technology of China (USTC) in 2016. His Ph.D. thesis work was on Forkhead Box Protein O1 (foxo1) regulation of macrophage polarization. He joined the Yang Lab in August of 2016. Ryan works on tumor immunology and nerve-driven immunity.
Besides research, Ryan enjoys hiking, playing board games, and visiting museums.

wangyuchen@ucla.edu

Yu Jeong Kim, Postdoctoral Scholar

Yu Jeong received her B.S. degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the Ohio State University (OSU) in 2011, and her Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Southern California (USC) in 2017. Her Ph.D. thesis work was on improving CAR-T and NK cell-based immunotherapies through combining with immune checkpoint blockade and chemotherapy drugs. She joined the Yang Lab in February of 2018. Yu Jeong works on tumor-targeted delivery of cancer immunotherapy drugs.
Besides research, Yu Jeong enjoys traveling, watching movies, and doing Yoga and Pilates.

yujeongk@g.ucla.edu

Jessie Xiaoya Ma, Postdoctoral Scholar

Jessie received her B.A. degree in Sport Science from the Beijing Sport University in 2010, and her Ph.D. degree in Exercise Physiology from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor in 2015. She had her postdoctoral training at the University of Michigan School of Medicine from 2015-2018, studying Hypoxia Inducible Factor (HIF) and iron regulation of colon cancer. She joined the Yang lab in April of 2018. Jessie works on tumor immunology and cancer metabolism.
Besides research, Xiaoya enjoys walking her dog, working out, hiking, traveling, cooking, and culture exploring.

xiaoyama@ucla.edu

Victor Jiaji Yu, PhD Student

Victor received his B.A. degree in Applied Biology and Biotechnology from Hong Kong Polytechnic University in 2016. He is currently a Ph.D. student in the Immunity, Microbes and Molecular Pathogenesis (IMMP) Home Area at UCLA. He Joined the Yang Lab in August of 2016. Victor works on studying the biology and cancer immunotherapy application of human T cells.
Besides research, Victor enjoys playing basketball, badminton, and tennis.

jiaji@g.ucla.edu

Samuel Weijia Zeng, MD/PhD Student

Sam received his B.A. degree in Biology from the Columbia University in 2014. He is currently an MD/PhD student at UCLA’s Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP). He joined the Yang lab in July of 2017. Sam works on tumor immunology and nerve-driving immunity.
Besides research, Sam enjoys self-learning the piano, reading web novels, and maintaining his awesome fish tank.

samzeng32@gmail.com

Charlie Yanruide Li, Rotating PhD Student

Charlie received his B.A. degree in Life Science from Zhejiang University in 2017. He is currently a Ph.D. student in the Immunity, Microbes and Molecular Pathogenesis (IMMP) Home Area at UCLA. He Joined the Yang Lab in September of 2017. Charlie works on developing iNKT cell-based immunotherapies for cancer.
Besides research, Charlie enjoys traveling, swimming, and watching movies.

charlie.li@ucla.edu

Nicole Clarke, Undergraduate Student

Nicole is an undergraduate student majoring in Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics (MIMG) at UCLA. She joined the Yang Lab in August of 2017. Nicole works with Dr. Shirley Wang on tumor immunology and cancer immunotherapy.
Besides research, Nicole enjoys volunteering, tutoring middle school students, playing with puppies, and painting.

nicoleliuclarke@gmail.com

Christian Hardoy, Undergraduate Student

Christian is an undergraduate student majoring in Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics (MIMG) at UCLA. He joined the Yang Lab in August of 2017. Christian works with Dr. Yanni Zhu on developing iNKT cell-based cancer immunotherapies.
Besides research, Christian enjoys martial arts, water sports, and reading.

christianhardoy@gmail.com

 

Josh Ku, Undergraduate Student

Josh is an undergraduate student majoring in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology (MCDB) with a minor in Biomedical Research at UCLA. He joined the Yang Lab in January of 2018. Josh works with Yanni Zhu and Alice Zhou on developing and translating iNKT cell-based immunotherapies for cancer.
Besides research and classes, Josh enjoys rock climbing, volunteering, and working with children.

ku.josh@gmail.com