IBB Seminar

"Multidimensional Immunoengineering Approaches to Enhanced Cancer Immunotherapy"

Li Tang, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Institute of Bioengineering (IBI) / Institute of Materials (IMX)
École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)

*Register HERE to attend virtually (event will not be recorded)

Our immune system interacts with many diseases in a multidimensional manner involving substantial biological, chemical, and physical exchanges. Manipulating the disease-immunity interactions may afford novel immunotherapies to better treat diseases such as cancer. My lab aims to develop novel strategies to engineer the multidimensional immunity-disease interactions (or termed ‘immunoengineering’) to create safe and effective therapies against cancer. We leverage the power of metabolic and cellular bioengineering, synthetic chemistry and material engineering, and mechanical engineering to achieve controllable modulation of immune responses. In this talk, I will first discuss a new type of immune checkpoint with mechanical basis that is distinct from most know immune checkpoints of biochemical traits. We further developed a mechanical intervention to overcome the mechanical immune checkpoint for enhanced cancer immunotherapy. Next, I will share our recent discovery of IL-10-Fc as a metabolic reprogramming agent that reinvigorates the terminally exhausted CD8+ tumor infiltrating lymphocytes and sustains their cytotoxic functions leading to eradication of established solid tumors and durable cures in a majority of treated mice when combined with adoptive T-cell transfer immunotherapies.  

Li Tang received his B.S. in Chemistry from Peking University, China, in 2007, and Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA, in 2012, under the supervision of Prof. Jianjun Cheng. He was an CRI Irvington Postdoctoral Fellow in the laboratory of Prof. Darrell Irvine at Massachusetts Institute of Technology during 2013-2016. He joined the faculty of Institute of Bioengineering, and Institute of Materials Science & Engineering, at École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland, as a Tenure-Track Assistant Professor in 2016, and promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 2022. His research focuses on developing multidimensional immunoengineering approaches for enhanced cancer immunotherapies. Dr. Tang is the recipient of Cancer Research Institute CLIP Award (2021), Anna Fuller Award (2021 and 2022), and named in the MIT Technology Review’s "Top 35 Innovators under Age 35" list of China region (2020), Materials Horizons Emerging Investigator (2020), Biomaterials Science Emerging Investigator (2019), European Research Council (ERC) starting grant (2018), and Nano Research Young Innovator Award (NR 45 under 45) (2018).