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Lab Members

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Photo by Harold Shapiro

Dr. Lieping Chen obtained his medical degree in 1982 from Fujian Medical School, China. After completion of his training in hematology and oncology at Fujian Union Hospital and Beijing Union Medical College, Dr. Chen earned a Ph. D. in experimental pathology from Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia. After a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Washington, in 1990, Dr. Chen began his work at the Bristol-Myers Squib Company as a research scientist. In 1997, he became an immunology professor at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, where he discovered the B7-H1 (PD-L1) molecule and the role of the B7-H1/PD-1 pathway in the evasion of tumor immunity. In 2004, he joined the faculty at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, where he helped initiate the first-in-man clinical trial using antibodies to block the B7-H1/PD-1 pathway for the treatment of human cancer.  Dr. Chen has authored more than 300 scientific publications and has served on several committees and advisory boards for state, federal, and international research organizations and pharmaceutical companies. His honors include the William B. Coley Award (2014), the AAI-Steinman Award (2016), and the Warren Alpert Foundation Prize (2017).


Dr. Lieping Chen currently serves as the United Technologies Corporation Professor in Cancer Research, Professor of Immunobiology, Dermatology and Medical Oncology at the Yale School of Medicine and co-Director of the Cancer Immunology Program at the Yale Cancer Center in New Haven, CT.

  • Principal Investigator

    United Technologies Corporation Professor in Cancer Research and Professor of Immunobiology, of Dermatology and of Medicine (Medical Oncology); Co-Leader, Cancer Immunology, Yale Cancer Center

    Research Interests
    • Immunotherapy
    • Inflammation
    • Medical Oncology
    • Neoplasms
    • Autoimmunity
  • Xue Han

    Since I began my PhD training at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2005, I have been interested in T cell immune modulation in cancer and autoimmunity. One of my major studies as a PhD candidate was the regulation of tumor immune responses via the co-signaling molecule PD-L1. In this study, I found that the co-inhibitory molecule PD-L1 can modulate tumor immune responses in two opposite directions, receptor PD-1/CD80-dependent inhibitory regulation and PD-1/CD80-independent stimulatory modulation. In 2011, I joined Dr Lieping Chen’s lab at Yale as a postdoc associate. I have worked to characterize new therapeutic targets for immunotherapy to treat cancer, inflammation, and autoimmune disease. Programmed death 1 homolog (PD-1H, also called VISTA) is a promising target I have been focusing on recently. We have determined that PD-1H functions as a coinhibitory receptor for T cells. Triggering PD-1H signaling via an agonist mAb inhibits CD4+ T cell activation in mouse GVHD and acute hepatitis models. Conversely, blocking this pathway boosts T cell immune responses in mouse tumor models including glioma and leukemia. To further investigate this pathway, I am exploring PD-1H’s role in autoimmunity, and characterizing new therapeutics to treat autoimmune disease like lupus by manipulating the PD-1H signaling pathway. In 2016 I was promoted to ARS and I have been a team leader, actively collaborating with a pharmaceutical company to translate my studies into the clinic.

  • Jacky Yeung

    Dr. Jacky Yeung started residency in neurosurgery in 2013 after completing undergraduate studies at University of British Columbia in Honors Physiology and his MD degree at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. He is a member of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and is elected to the AANS Young Neurosurgeons Committee in 2016. He has special interests in cranial and spinal neoplasms with emphasis on mechanisms of tumor-escape from immunosurveillance. He also has interests in developing novel imaging to help differentiate radiation necrosis from tumor recurrence for intracranial metastases after radio-surgery.

    Dr. Yeung obtained in-depth experience in glioma immunology as a Doris Duke research fellow. He identified the presence of specific antigens in childhood and adult ependymomas, which led to a NIH-funded clinical trial utilizing a peptide vaccine (#NCT01795313). He focused on mechanisms of immune escape in adult gliomas, specifically the relationship between LOH of HLA Class I and decreased survival in GBM patients. During junior residency years, his research focus was on studying advanced MR imaging characteristics of delayed radiation effects from radiosurgery in brain metastases. During his research years (2016-2018), he focused on identifying novel immune check-point molecules under the mentorship of Lieping Chen, MD, PhD and their specific applications to brain tumors. He was the recipient of the prestigious AANS Tumor Section Research Award. 

    He is an active member of the peer-selected AANS Young Neurosurgeons Committee and the Neuropoint Alliance. He is an active member in the Quality Improvement Committee in Neurosurgical Care at Yale-New Haven Hospital. 

Our Team

Chen Lab