Research Bench Lab
Xue-Zhong Yu, MBA, MS, PhD

Xue-Zhong Yu, MBA, MS, MD

Professor, Microbiology & Immunology; Associate Director of Basic Sciences in the MCW Cancer Center


  • TBRC 3870

Contact Information

General Interests

Tumor Immunology, Cancer Immunotherapy, Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation, Graft-versus-Host Disease, Graft-versus-Leukemia Effect.

Research Areas of Interest

  • Adoptive Transfer
  • Graft vs Host Disease
  • Graft vs Leukemia Effect
  • Immunotherapy
  • T-Lymphocytes

Research Experience

  • Bone Marrow Transplantation
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory
  • Xenograft Model Antitumor Assays

Leadership Positions

  • Associate Director in Basic Sciences, the Cancer Center

MCW Program / Core Facilities

  • Cancer Center
  • Center for Immunology

Research Interests

The research scope of Dr. Yu’s laboratory (Yu Lab) is in tumor immunology and cancer immunotherapy. The researchers in Yu’s Lab have been focusing on two lines of basic and translational studies:

  1. Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation (allo-HCT). Acting through donor lymphocyte-mediated mechanisms termed the graft-versus-leukemia (GVL) effect, allo-HCT is an effective therapy for hematological malignancies such as leukemia. However, graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) remains a prominent cause of transplant-related morbidity and mortality after allo-HCT. Despite advances in patient care and pharmacologic prophylactic strategies, the incidence of GVHD, especially cGVHD, has not been substantially reduced over the years. Furthermore, corticosteroids remain as the first line therapy for GVHD and frequently fail with life-threatening consequences. Yu Lab focuses on defining the cellular and molecular mechanisms that regulate the pathogenicity of allogeneic T and B cells in GVHD, and on developing new and effective therapies to prevent and treat GVHD.
  2. Adoptive T-cell Therapy (ACT). The adaptive immune system has the capacity to recognize and kill malignant cells. However, immune tolerant mechanisms that normally protect healthy tissues from autoimmune attack prevent the development of effective anti-tumor immunity. Tumors use numerous immunosuppressive mechanisms to evade otherwise effective T-cell responses. Despite promising results achieved by targeting one or more of the immune evasion mechanisms, there is clearly room for improvement because only a subset of cancer patients usually respond to current treatment. Aiming at understanding T-cell response against tumor and promoting anti-tumor activity, Yu Lab is interested in investigating T-cell activation, differentiation, persistence, migration, and metabolism in immunotherapy against cancer.