Professor, Department of Pediatrics - Research, Division of Pediatrics, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
W. T. and Louise Jarrett Moran Distinguished Chair in Pediatric Oncology, Department of Pediatrics - Research, Division of Pediatrics, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
PH.D. Washington State University, Pullman, WA, Cell Wall Biology, 1993
Shanxi State University, Shanxi, China, BS, Biological Science, 1985
Post doctorate, Molecular Immunology, Experimental Therapeutics, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, 1993-1997
Abhisek Mitra, Ph.D.
Ph.D. University of Texas, 2010
Abhisek Mitra's current research projects highlight a biologically occurring cytokine interleukin-30 (IL30) and its anti-inflammatory role. His work was the first to show that the IL30 regulates resident liver NKT cells to alleviate chronical liver fibrosis. He also had the extensive experience with liverinflammation, cancer stem cells and dynamics of resident liver immune cells. He has discovered ‘rest’ metastatic liver cancer stem cells, which may directly derived from normal liver stem cells.
Summer Xia, M.S.
Research Laboratory Coordinator
M.S. Washington State University, 1993
Summer is providing central support to laboratory members for molecular assays, molecularcloning, gene structure design, which are routinely needed for understandingbiological questions and developing novel immune therapy. Her other role is to coordinate laboratory operations.
Izhar Singh Batth, Ph.D.
B.S. Cell and Molecular Biology, San Francisco State University, 2007
Ph.D. Cancer Biology, University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio, 2014
Izhar’s project focuses on cell surface vimentin (CSV) as a marker for detection of circulating tumor cells (CTCs).The goal of this project is to ascertain the prognostic value of CSV and clinically validate its hypothesized role as an identifier of a mesenchymal CTCs, which may be more likely to induce relapse or metastasis. His current work involves a large multi-center clinical trial of neuroblastoma patients in addition to ongoing work with sarcoma and prostate cancer.
Hobbies: Tennis, biking, skiing and occasional kayaking
Hometown: SF bay area (east bay), California
Jiemiao Hu, Ph.D.
Ph. D. University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, 2012
Jiemiao’s research focuses on delivering T cells, tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) and chimeric antigenreceptor (CAR) T cells into solid tumors. She discovered that the combination of certain chemotherapy and immunotherapy facilitates the penetration of T cells into human xenograft and PDX solid tumors. Further, such therapeutic strategy greatly enhances the effector T cell functions, and therefore boosts the immune surveillance in tumor microenvironment, resulting in tumor remission and extended survival. This novel approach to delivering T cells may broaden the application of T cell therapy to a wider range of solid tumors.
Hobbies: Zumba, hiking, music and playing with dogs
Hyangsoon Noh, Ph.D.
Ph.D. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University, 2013
Cell surface vimentin (CSV) was found on tumor cell surface across different types of pediatric tumors. Hynagsoon’s project focuses on investigation of the underlying mechanism by which CSV was translocated from intracellular to cell surface. She has also spent a great amount of effort on selection of most effective CSV-targeting antibody for disruption tumor stem cells.
Hobby: Cooking and reading
Hometown: South Korea
Longfei (Harry) Huo, Ph.D.
Ph.D. Comparative Physiology and Molecular
Endocrinology, the University of Hong Kong, 2004
M.S. Animal Physiology & Biochemistry, China
Agricultural University, Beijing, China, 1998
B.S. Agr. Vetern Sciences, Huazhong Agricultural University, China, 1993
Harry’s project focuses onmonitoring sensitivity and resistance to immune therapy using simplified approach. In this regard, he is currently exploring molecular DNA barcoding technology in vitro and in vivo.
Hobbies: jogging, reading and photography
Hometown: Kaifeng, China
Jun Yan, Ph.D.
B.S. Pharmacology, China Pharmaceutical University, 2002
Ph.D. Pharmacology, Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College, 2011
Jun is interested in immunotherapy for malignant diseases and inflammatory diseases. Her project focuses on the role of Fibronectin like protein 2 (FGL2) in tumor immunology. She has been investigating how FGL2 impacts immune checkpoints and other immune suppressive systems in the tumor niche and how these impacts will promote tumorigenesis, tumor progression and metastasis. This work has been done in collaboration with investigators in GBMs. She also investigated the role of IL-30 in prevention and treatment of sepsis.
Hobbies: Reading and traveling
Hometown: Jiangsu, China
Qingnan Zhao, Ph.D.
Ph.D. Pharmacology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, 2015
M.D. Shenyang Pharmaceutical University, 2010
Qingnan’s project focuses on the role of FGL2 on metastasis of tumor and the associated immunology. She is also investigating immune profiles and genetic composition on precision Fgl2 medicine. Moreover, she is screening optimal Fgl2 antibody candidates for neutralizing the biological function of Fgl2 with purpose of therapeutic application alone or in combination.
Hobbies: swimming, playing badminton and reading
Heming Li, M.D., Ph.D.
Ph.D. Oncology, China Medical University, 2014
M.D. Clinical Oncology, China Medical University, 2012
Heming is a visiting scientist from Zhongshan Hospital in Dalian, China. Her research focuses on the mechanism of tumor metastasis. She is studying the roles of exosomes and CTC in tumor metastasis.
Hobbies: Handwriting and dancing
Hometown: Liaoning, China
Jolie Schafer, B.S.
Graduate Research Assistant
B.S. Biology, Houston Baptist University, 2012
B.S. Biochemistry Molecular Biology, Houston Baptist University, 2012
Jolie’s project focuses on understanding Natural Killer (NK) cell licensing, an educational process that involves inhibitory signaling by Killer-cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIR) interacting with human leukocyte antigen (HLA). NK cell licensing increases NK cell responsiveness to cancer cells, however the mechanism that renders NK cells to become licensed is unknown.
Hobbies: Volleyball, working out, cooking and planning events.