Duke University, Durham, NC Professor, Medicine and Immunology
Research Focus: Immunotherapy
Cancer Type: Lymphoma & Leukemia
Award: Clinical Investigator
2005-2008 Research Grant:
Tumor-specific T-cell tolerance is one of the major barriers in cancer immunotherapy. Provision of toll-like receptors (TLR) signals significantly enhances the efficacy of tumor vaccines in treating pre-establish murine lymphoma, suggesting an essential role of TLR signals in cancer immunotherapy. The goal of the study is to determine the relationship between TLR signals, regulatory T cells, and tumor specific immunity in vivo, and explore the rational vaccine strategies in the context of murine tumor models as well as human Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Dr. Yang has determined a link between toll-like receptors and a potential for the treatment of viruses rather than tumors. He hopes to gain a full understanding of toll-like receptor signaling pathways and specific immune cells called natural killer cells in order to improve and develop viral vaccine strategies. Dr. Yang has also identified a specific regulatory T cell that play a huge role in suppressing the body’s immunity to tumors and is developing a method to overcome this suppression. In the hopes of developing a cancer vaccine that will provide long-term treatment, Dr. Yang is also studying T cell memory so that the body’s T cells will “remember” and continue to target the cancer cells should they ever reappear.Return to Fellows List