Yi Zhang, M.D., Ph.D., is a director member of the Center for Discovery and Innovation.
Dr. Zhang’s lab investigates epigenetic regulation of antigen-driven T cell differentiation, survival and function in the setting of allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT) and cancer immunotherapy. The Zhang lab focuses on defining how chromatin-modifying enzymes regulate antigen-driven T cell death and inhibitory signal-mediated T cell suppression. The goal of these studies is to identify T cell-based pharmacological approaches to target these enzymes and their-controlled molecules. Dr. Zhang and colleagues also study the impact of chromatin-modifying enzymes on dendritic cell reconstitution and function, especially plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs). They aim at establishing human pDC-based innovative cellular therapy that can improve the efficacy of allo-HCT. Additionally, the Zhang lab investigates novel small molecular compounds that target epigenetic regulators to sensitize tumor cells to CAR-T cell therapy and characterize the underlying mechanism. They anticipate discovering novel therapeutic approaches that can reduce tumor resistance to immunotherapy.