Ph.D. Columbia University (Microbiology and Immunology).
Postdoctoral Fellow. Stanford University (Oncology)
Immunological tolerance is a common feature of chronic viral infections and malignant diseases. The research focus of my laboratory is to understand immunosuppressive mechanisms present in chronic hepatitis B (HBV) infections and in tumor microenvironment, and to develop novel therapeutic strategies to overcome immunosuppression and reactivate virus- and tumor-specific immunity for cure of chronic HBV and HBV-associated hepatocellular carcinoma and other cancers. For HBV studies, we have developed several HBV animal models, including HBV transgenic mice, human liver mice and human immune system mice (generated, respectively, by transplantation of human hepatocytes and/or human hematopoietic stem cells), and HBV pseudoviruses. For cancer immunotherapies, we have developed orthotopic liver cancer model, liver metastasis model of colon cancer, and oncogene-driven spontaneous breast cancer model to evaluate the therapeutic efficacy. Since outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, we are actively engaged in developing COVID-19 vaccines (mRNA and recombinant RBD) and has transfered the technology to industry. We also developed COVID-19 animal models to help researhers and biotech companies to evaluate efficacy of their drugs, antibodies or vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 infection.