Li Lily Wang, PhD
Microbiology and Molecular Genetics & Cancer Center
Medical College of Wisconsin
Research Focus: Immune regulation mediated by negative checkpoint regulators; Cancer immunotherapy
PhD: Dartmouth Medical School (2003) Biochemistry
Research in the Wang lab focuses on immune regulation mediated by the immune-checkpoint proteins, such as VISTA. We apply preclinical tumor models to investigate the mechanisms whereby VISTA controls the anti-tumor immunity, and design innovative immunotherapeutic strategies for cancer treatment.
Figure 1. The B7 family co-signaling molecules regulate T cell responses. The co-inhibitory molecules, such as CTLA-4, PD-1, and VISTA are also called "immune-checkpoints". They play critical role in maintaining T cell peripheral tolerance and controlling autoimmunity.
Figure 2. Research in the Wang lab addresses the immune-regulatory role of a novel immune-checkpoint molecule, called V-domain Immunoglobulin Suppression of T cell Activation (VISTA). VISTA is expressed on multiple immune cell types, and suppresses the anti-tumor immunity.
Figure 3. VISTA-blocking monoclonal antibody effectively enhances tumor-reactive T cell response, and can synergize with cancer vaccine to eradicate tumor cells.
- 1R01CA164225 Wang (PI) 07/2012 - 06/2017
Title: VISTA, a novel checkpoint that suppresses anti-tumor T cell responses
The goals are to define the molecular and cellular mechanisms of VISTA-mediated immune supression in cancer.
- CA130351 Wang (PI) 07/2014 - 06/2016
Agency: Department of Defense, Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program (PRCRP)
Title: VISTA Blockade Synergizes with TLR-Agonist-Based Vaccine for Melanoma Prevention and Therapy
The goals are to optimize a combinatorial therapeutic platform for melanoma and determine the mechanisms of synergistic efficacy.
- 1R01ES024745 Havrda (PI) Wang (co-PI) 07/2015 – 06/2020
Title: Mechanisms of rotenone-induced neuro-inflammation and Parkinsonism in aging mice
The goal of this project is to evaluate the role of astrocytes in mediating pro-inflammatory changes resulting from ingestion of rotenone in mice.
- CA198719 Spaller (PI) Wang (co-PI) 04/2016 – 03/2018
Title: Discovery of Modulators for the Immune Checkpoint Regulatory Protein VISTA
Literature for Cancer Immunotherapy