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 a faculty in 2013. Lili runs the Yang Engineering Immunity Lab studying tumor immunology and developing next-generation cancer immunotherapies.

Besides research, Lili enjoys reading and traveling.

liliyang@ucla.edu

Bo Li, Assistant Researcher

Bo received his B.A. degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the Wuhan Institute of Technology in 2005, and his Ph.D. degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College in 2010. He was a postdoctoral scholar at the Loma Linda University (LLU) and UCLA from 2010-2016, and an Assistant Professor at LLU from 2016-2019. He returned to UCLA and joined the Yang Lab as an Assistant Researcher in October of 2019. Bo leads the Yang Lab research on developing the next-generation immune checkpoint blockade (ICB) therapy for cancer.

Besides research, Bo enjoys traveling and playing with his two sons.

bo.li@ucla.edu

Jie Huang, Lab Manager

Jie Huang received her B.S. degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry from the East China University of Science and Technology, her M.S. degree in Molecular Biology from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 2005, and a second M.S. in Computer Science from the University of California, Irvine in 2017. She joined the Yang Lab in January of 2019. Jie manages and assists the Yang Lab research activities.

Besides research, Jie enjoys reading and traveling; she is also technology-obsessed!

jieh@ucla.edu

Joanne Zhe Li, Postdoctoral Scholar

Joanne received her B.S. degree in Biological Science from the Peking University in 2012, and her Ph.D. degree in Pharmaceutical Science from the University of Southern California (USC) in 2018. Her Ph.D. thesis work developed a novel temperature-dependent switch for dynamic control of mammalian cell signaling pathways. She joined the Yang Lab in November of 2018. Joanne works on developing stem cell engineered “off-the-shelf” cell products for cancer immunotherapy.

Besides research, Joanne enjoys food, coffee, and cycling.

zli351@g.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 developing T cell adoptive therapy for cancer.

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 iNKT cell-based cancer immunotherapy.

Besides research, Sam enjoys self-learning the piano, reading web novels, and maintaining his awesome fish tank.

samzeng32@gmail.com

Charlie Yanruide Li, 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 and the off-the-shelf cell therapies for cancer.

Besides research, Charlie enjoys traveling, swimming, and watching movies.

charlie.li@ucla.edu

Derek Lee, PhD Student

Derek received his B.S. degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry from the University of California, Davis in 2013. He then moved to San Diego and worked in the Pharmaceutical Company to develop protein therapeutics. 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 June of 2018. Derek works on developing γδT cell-based immunotherapies for cancer.

Besides research, Derek enjoys reading, playing board games, and traveling.

ylee932@ucla.edu

Alice Yang Zhou, PhD Student

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 was the Lab Manager of the Yang Lab from 2016-2018. She is currently a Ph.D. student in the Immunity, Microbes and Molecular Pathogenesis (IMMP) Home Area at UCLA. She joined the Yang Lab in July of 2018. Alice works on developing stem cell-engineered off-the-shelf iNKT cell therapy for cancer.

Besides research, Alice enjoys pet sitting, cooking, and traveling.

zzydcat@g.ucla.edu

Tasha Tsao, Undergraduate Student

Tasha is an undergraduate student majoring in Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics (MIMG) with a minor in Biomedical Research at UCLA. She joined the Yang Lab in June of 2018. Tasha works with Alice Yang Zhou on developing and translating iNKT cell-based immunotherapies for cancer.

Besides research, Tasha enjoys cooking, sleeping, and playing for UCLA’s rugby team.

tashatsao@gmail.com

Zoe Hahn, Undergraduate Student

Zoe is an undergraduate student majoring in Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics (MIMG) at UCLA. She joined the Yang Lab in September of 2018. Zoe works with Victor Jiaji Yu on engineering T cells for cancer immunotherapy.

Besides research, Zoe enjoys dancing, volunteering, and sewing.

zkbhahn@ucla.edu

Sean Yuchong Zhang, Undergraduate Student

Sean is an undergraduate student majoring in Physiological Science (Physci) at UCLA. He joined the Yang Lab in February of 2019. Sean works with Victor Jiaji Yu on developing CAR-T cell-based cancer immunotherapies.

Besides research, Sean enjoys soccer, model building, and playing fingerstyle guitar.

yuchong.zhang@outlook.com

Natalie Penn, Undergraduate Student

Natalie is an undergraduate student majoring in Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics (MIMG) with a minor in Biomedical Research at UCLA. She joined the Yang Lab in April of 2019. Natalie works with Derek on developing γδ T cell-based immunotherapies for cancer.

Besides research and classes, Natalie enjoys competitive public speaking, practicing origami, reading, and visiting art museums.

nepenn168@g.ucla.edu

Noah Cook, Undergraduate Student

Noah is an undergraduate student majoring in Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics (MIMG) at UCLA. He joined the lab in July of 2019. Noah works with Charlie Yanruide Li on developing iNKT cell-based immunotherapies for a wide range of cancers.

Besides research and classes, Noah enjoys cooking, playing board games, and competing in League of Legends.

noah.cook.22@ucla.edu

Emily Peng, Undergraduate Student

Emily is an undergraduate student majoring in Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology (MCDB) with a minor in Biomedical Research at UCLA. She joined the Yang Lab in January of 2020. Emily works with Dr. Bo Li and Alice Yang Zhou on developing immune checkpoint blockade (ICB) and cell-based immunotherapies for cancer.

Besides research, Emily enjoys traveling, volunteering, and baking desserts.

emilyy.peng1@gmail.com

Iris Bai, Undergraduate Student

Iris is an undergraduate student majoring in Molcecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology (MCDB) at UCLA. She joined the Yang Lab in January 2020. Iris works with Dr. Joanne Zhe Li on developing “off-the-shelf” CAR-iNKT cell therapies for solid tumors.

Besides research, Iris enjoys dance, art, and traveling.

irisbai@g.ucla.edu

Adam B. Kramer, Undergraduate Student

Adam is an undergraduate student majoring in Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics (MIMG) at UCLA. He joined the Yang Lab in January of 2020. Adam works with Charlie Yanruide Li on developing iNKT cell-based immunotherapies for cancer.

Besides research and classes, Adam enjoys cycling, skiing, scuba diving, and hiking.

akramer931@g.ucla.edu