Lieping Chen, MD, PhD

United Technologies Corporation Professor in Cancer Research and Professor of Immunobiology, of Dermatology and of Medicine (Medical Oncology); Director, Cancer Immunology Program at Yale Cancer Center

Departments & Organizations

Cancer Immunology

Immunobiology: HTI

Office of Student Research

Yale Combined Program in the Biological and Biomedical Sciences (BBS): Immunology: B and T Cell Effector and Memory Cell Differentiation; Consequences of an Immune Response; Infectious Disease and Host-Pathogen Interaction; Regulating the Immune Response


Dr. Lieping Chen earned his medical degree from Fujian Medical School in Fuzhou City, China in 1982, and completed his clinical training in hematology and oncology at Fujian Union Hospital in Fuzhou and Beijing Union Medical College Cancer Hospital in Beijing, China before earning his PhD in pathology from Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1989. After a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Washington in Seattle, he worked at Bristol-Myers Squibb in Seattle as a research scientist from 1990-1997, and was recruited by the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota where he was promoted to the rank of Professor by 2000. In 2004, he joined the faculty at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland as a Professor of Oncology & Dermatology and the Director of Research in Dermatology. He assumed his current position at Yale University in September 2010.

In 1992, Dr. Chen was the first to discover “costimulation of tumor immunity” and use costimulatory molecules to treat cancer. Since then, his laboratory has identified and characterized various molecules in the B7-CD28 and the TNF receptor/ligand superfamilies, elucidating their interactions and functions in the control of immune responses. His laboratory first cloned B7-H1 (PD-L1), discovered its immune suppressive functions, and invented the principles behind modulating immune responses that target the PD-1/B7-H1 pathway to treat advanced stages of human cancers. Currently, his laboratory focuses on understanding cell surface molecular pathways, their functions in the control of innate and adaptive immunity and the translation of laboratory findings into immunotherapies that treat human diseases. During his research into the immune system and exploring new and effective ways to use a patient's immune system to attack cancer within their own body, Dr. Chen has authored 200+peer-reviewed articles and delivered more than 200 lectures, seminars and keynote speeches internationally.

Education & Training

PhD Drexel University (1989)
MS Beijing Union Medical College, Beijing, China, Immunology (1986)
MD Fujian Medical College (1982)
Postdoctoral fellow University of Washington
Fellow Beijing Union Medical College
Intern and Resident Fujian Union Hospital

Honors & Recognition

  • William B. Coley AwardCancer Research Institute (2014)

  • Inaugural United Technologies Corporation Endowed Chair ProfessorYale University (2013)

  • Honorary Master of ArtsYale University (2012)

  • American Cancer Society Research ScholarAmerican Cancer Society (2000)

  • Clinical Investigator AwardCancer Research Institute (1998)

  • Presidential AwardBristol-Myers Squibb Co. (1996)

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Contact Info

Lieping Chen, MD, PhD
Lab Location
300 George Street, Ste Suite 203A, Room 2321
New Haven, CT 06511
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Office Location
300 George Street, Ste Suite 203A, Room 2304
New Haven, CT 06511
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