Prof. PENG LI
Leading a research lab focusing on cancer immunotherapy, Peng Li is committed to optimize the designs of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) vectors, identify novel antigens for CAR-T cellular therapy, and establish the pre-clinical drug efficacy evaluation platform for cancer immunotherapy.
For the first time, Peng demonstrated that T lymphocytes reprogrammed to a novel type of natural killer (NK)-like cells, ITNKs, upon loss of Bcl11b. ITNKs are capable of suppressing the growth and the metastasis of various tumors in vivo while keeping host cells intact, revealing the potential application of ITNKs in cancer immunotherapy. The research was published in Science in 2010l.
Peng’s recent achievements include: 1) Revealing that the incorporation of TLR2 enhances the anti-tumor capacities of CAR-T cells by promoting the secretion of cytotoxic cytokines including IL-2 and IFN-γ and up-regulating the expression of MMP2 and IRF3 that facilitate T cells to infiltrate into tumors; 2) Identifying PSCA and MUC1 as new antigens for targeting lung cancer, and validating the efficacies of anti-PSCA and anti-MUC1 CAR-T cells in PDX models of lung cancer and liver cancer. These studies not only supply new ideas for developing next-generation genetic engineered T cells but also provide scientific principles guiding the clinical trials of CAR-T cell therapy. In the last five years, Peng Li has published 23 research articles in SCI journals as the senior corresponding author and filed 13 authorized invention patents as the first inventor, one of which has received Chinese Patent Award.