Research Highlights

Our research centers on deciphering the cellular and molecular mechanisms controlling antitumor immunity, and exploiting knowledge to device the next-generation cancer immunotherapies.

Two active research projects are:

  1. Identify new immune checkpoints and develop new immune checkpoint blockade therapy for cancer.
  2. Develop stem cell-engineered, “off-the-shelf” CAR-iNKT cell therapy for treating a broad range of blood cancers and solid tumors. 

Featured Publications

Li Y-R*, Zhou Y*, Kim Y, Zhu Y, Ma F, Yu J, Wang Y-C, Chen X, Li Z, Zeng S, Wang X, Lee D, Ku J, Tsao T, Hardoy C, Huang J, Cheng D, Montel-Hagen A, Seet CS, Crooks GM, Larson SM, Sasine JP, Wang X, Pellegrini M, Ribas A, Kohn DB, Witte O, Wang P, and Yang L. (*Co-first authors). Development of allogeneic HSC-engineered iNKT cells for off-the-shelf cancer immunotherapy. Cell Rep Med. 2021, 2(11):100449. [Cell Reports Medicine  PDF][UCLA News  PDF][BSCRC News  PDF][JCCC News  PDF][Life Sciences News  PDF][Science Daily  PDF][CIRM Blog  PDF]

Wang Y-C, Wang X, Yu J, Ma F, Li Z, Zhou Y, Zeng S, Ma X, Li Y-R, Neal A, Huang J, To A, Clarke N, Memarzadeh S, Pellegrini M, and Yang L. Targeting monoamine oxidase A-regulated tumor-associated macrophage polarization for cancer immunotherapy. Nat Commun. 2021, 12:3530. [Nature Communications  PDF][UCLA News  PDF][CBS News  PDF][NBC News  PDF][Fierce Biotech News  PDF][Drug Target Review News  PDF]

Wang X, Li B, Kim Y, Wang Y, Li Z, Yu J, Zeng S, Ma X, Choi I, Di Biase S, Smith DJ, Zhou Y, Li Y, Ma F, Huang J, Clarke N, To A, Gong L, Pham A, Moon H, Pellegrini M, and Yang L. Targeting monoamine oxidase A for T cell-based cancer immunotherapy. Sci Immunol. 2021, 6:eabh2383. [Science Immunology  PDF][Science Magazine News  PDF][UCLA News  PDF][CBS News  PDF][NBC News  PDF][Fierce Biotech News  PDF][Drug Target Review News  PDF]

Featured News

October 7, 2022

We are currently recruiting PhD students (2 openings) and postdoctoral researchers (2 openings). Welcome to apply! [PhD Openings][Postdoc Openings]... Read More

October 6, 2022

October 6, 2022- Our review article is published on Frontiers in Immunology, reporting the targeting of tumor microenvironment by innate... Read More

March 24, 2022

March 24, 2022- Dr. Lili Yang is featured in “Her Story” at the UCLA Women’s History Month. Congratulations! [UCLA on... Read More

August 5, 2021

May 11, 2021- Our off-the-shelf cell therapy technology is licensed by a Biotech startup, Appia Bio, for commercial development. The... Read More

May 18, 2021

Dr. Lili Yang receives a $5.9 million CIRM Partnering Opportunity for Translational Research Projects Award to translate a new stem... Read More