As a physician scientist, I have been always dedicated to brain tumor immunology and development of effective immunotherapy for brain tumor patients for over 20 years. My team was one of very first to discover cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) epitopes in glioma-associated antigens and glioma-specific neoantigens. I also found critical roles for the integrin receptor known as very late activation antigen (VLA)-4 and the chemokine CXCL10 in facilitating entry of CTLs to the brain tumor site. I have translated these discoveries into novel vaccine clinical studies in both adult and pediatric brain tumor patients. Furthermore, I have developed clinical trials of immune-gene therapy using cytokine-gene transduced cell vaccines and chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-transduced T-cells. All of my preclinical inventions, such as CTL epitopes and CARs, have been proven to be reproducible by demonstrations of their robust biological activities in subsequent clinical trials. While my research record shows consistency and reproducibility, I have been also effective in adapting new research directions and technologies, such as microRNA and CAR, clearly indicating my suitability for funding through the RPA mechanism.
In terms of roles in societies, I am an elected member in the American Society for Clinical Investigation (2010-present), an honored society for physicians who promote laboratory science to the clinic. My recent national leadership roles include: chair of the immunotherapy subgroup at the NCI-sponsored Adult Brain Tumor Consortium; a Steering Committee member of the Cancer Immunology Working Group in the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR); a co-chair for Education Day at 2015 the Society for Neuro-Oncology (SNO) annual meeting; an Organizing Committee member for the 2015 Annual Meeting of the AACR. I have been appointed to be the chair of AACR Special Conference on Brain, Immunology and Cancer, which is going to be held in February, 2018.