Professor Yaohe Wang

MD, PhD
Professor of Cancer Cell and Gene Therapy
Group Leader
Research Focus

We work on cancer prevention and immunotherapy using tumour-targeted replicating oncolytic viruses, in particular focusing on replicating adenovirus and vaccinia virus.

Key Publications

A systemically deliverable oncolytic Vaccinia virus demonstrates potent anti-tumor efficacy and sensitizes pancreatic cancer to α-PD1. J Immunother Cancer (2021) 9(1):e001624. PMID: 33500259

Transient Inhibition of PI3Kδ Enhances the Therapeutic Effect of Intravenous Delivery of Oncolytic Vaccinia Virus. Mol Ther (2020) 28(5):1263-1275. PMID: 32145202

A Virus-Infected, Reprogrammed Somatic cell-derived Tumor cell (VIReST) regime can prevent initiation and progression of pancreatic cancer. Clin Can Res (2019) 26(2):465. PMID: 31767564

Re-designing Interleukin-12 to enhance its safety and potential as an anti-tumor immunotherapeutic agent. Nature communications (2017) 8(1): 1395. PMID: 29123084

CEACAM6 attenuates adenovirus infection by antagonizing viral trafficking in cancer cells. J Clin Invest (2009) 119(6):1604-15. PMID: 19411761

Major Funding
  • 2022-2024- Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund, 'Development of an enhanced oncolytic Vaccinia virus-based therapeutic regime that simultaneously targets multiple elements of the tumour promoting microenvironment in pancreatic cancer.' £220,000 (Principal Investigator)
  • 2021-2024- Medical Research Council Developmental Pathway Funding Scheme grant, 'Pre-clinical development for IND application of a novel systemically deliverable oncolytic Vaccinia virus for treatment of pancreatic cancer.' £3.48M (Principal Investigator)
  • 2019-2022- Cancer Research UK Biotherapeutic Drug Development Fund, 'Development of a novel "super" Vaccinia virus, VV-PC21, for the treatment of pancreatic cancer,' £500,000
Other Activities
  • 2014-present- Director of National Centre for International Research in Cell and Gene Therapy, Zhengzhou University
  • 2006-present- Chief Scientific Officer, Sino-British Research Centre for Molecular Oncology, Zhengzhou University, China
  • 2005-present- Visiting Professor in Cancer Viral and Genetic Therapy, Zhengzhou University of China
Research

The major research interest in my group is developing new cancer immunotherapy agents or/and approaches through comprehensive investigations into the interaction of oncolytic viruses, tumour cells, tumour microenvironment and host immune responses.

Our four main research areas of interests are:

  • Identification of potential targets for the development of novel cancer cell and gene therapies
  • Development of new generation viral vectors for cell and gene therapies, in particular focusing on adenovirus, vaccinia virus and adeno-associated virus
  • Development of personalised cancer vaccines and adoptive T cell transfer therapies, such as CAR-T and TCR-T therapies for cancer
  • Development of genetically modified cancer models, in particular focusing on the development of transgenic Syrian hamster cancer models.
Other Activities
  • 2018-present- Standing Committee Member of Asia-Pacific Gene and Therapy Consortium
  • 2018-present- Founding Chairman of Syrian Hamster Disease Models Association
  • 2014-present- Director of National Centre for International Research in Cell and Gene Therapy, Zhengzhou University
  • 2014-present- Editorial Board member of Molecular Therapy-Oncolytics
  • 2011-present- Active Member of American Society of Microbiology
  • 2008-2010- Editorial Board member of Gene Therapy
  • 2006-present- Chief Scientific Officer, Sino-British Research Centre for Molecular Oncology, Zhengzhou University, China
  • 2005-present- Visiting Professor in Cancer Viral and Genetic Therapy, Zhengzhou University of China
  • 2005-present- Active Member of American Society of Gene Therapy
  • Research grant Assessor for grant awarding bodies: European Research Council, British Medical Research Council (MRC), The Wellcome Trust, Cancer Research UK, AICR, Ministry of Science and Technology, Netherland, International Association of Cancer Research, Natural Science Foundation of China and several UK Charities, Tenovus Charity.
  • Reviewers for scientific journals: Journal of Clinical Investigation, Cancer Research, Clinical Cancer Research, Molecular Therapy, Oncogene, J Path, Gene Therapy, Br J Cancer, Journal for immunotherapy of Cancer etc.
Major Funding
  • 2022-2024- Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund, 'Development of an enhanced oncolytic Vaccinia virus-based therapeutic regime that simultaneously targets multiple elements of the tumour promoting microenvironment in pancreatic cancer.' £220,000 (Principal Investigator)
  • 2021-2024- Medical Research Council Developmental Pathway Funding Scheme grant, 'Pre-clinical development for IND application of a novel systemically deliverable oncolytic Vaccinia virus for treatment of pancreatic cancer.' £3.48M (Principal Investigator)
  • 2019-2022- Cancer Research UK Biotherapeutic Drug Development Fund, 'Development of a novel "super" Vaccinia virus, VV-PC21, for the treatment of pancreatic cancer,' £500,000
  • 2018-2021- Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund Project Grant, Personalised T-cell receptor based adoptive T-cell transfer therapy for human pancreatic cancer, £200,000
  • 2017-2020- Pancreatic Cancer UK Grand Challenge award, Developing advanced CAR-T cell-based immunotherapies to improve the outcome of patients with pancreatic cancer, £994,525 (£261,000 awarded to Prof Wang)
  • 2017-2020- William Harvey Research Ltd CRF fund, Improved treatment strategy for advanced pancreatic cancer (Joint PI), £300,000
  • 2016-2019- The MRC DPFS grant, Development of an effective therapeutic regimen for treatment of advanced pancreatic cancer using a novel immunotherapeutic agent, £576,701
  • 2015-2018- The MRC DPFS grant, Development of an effective therapeutic regimen for preventing cancer recurrence after surgery using a novel viro-immunotherapeutic agent, £496,133
  • 2015-2018- Breast Cancer Now Project Grant, Development of an effective vaccine regimen particularly targeting triple-negative breast cancer, £200,000
Recent Publications

The two-faced role of ATF2 on cisplatin response in gastric cancer depends on p53 context Xu L, Wang J, Zhang D et al. Cell and Bioscience (2022) 12(7)

An effective therapeutic regime for treatment of glioma using oncolytic vaccinia virus expressing IL-21 in combination with immune checkpoint inhibition Sun Y, Zhang Z, Zhang C et al. Molecular Therapy - Oncolytics (2022) 26(7) 105-119

Deoxythymidylate Kinase as a Promising Marker for Predicting Prognosis and Immune Cell Infiltration of Pan-cancer Lan T, Wang Y, Miao J et al. Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences (2022) 9(7)

Ferroptosis-Related Genes Are Potential Therapeutic Targets and the Model of These Genes Influences Overall Survival of NSCLC Patients Zhang N, Wu Y, Wu Y et al. Cells (2022) 11(7)

Characterization of the Intra-tumoral B Cell Immunoglobulin Repertoire Is of Prognostic Value for Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma Wang Z, Cheng Z, Lu S et al. Frontiers in Immunology (2022) 13(7)

Redirecting anti-Vaccinia virus T cell immunity for cancer treatment by AAV-mediated delivery of the VV B8R gene Cao D, Song Q, Li J et al. Molecular Therapy - Oncolytics (2022) 25(7) 264-275

Remodeling the tumor microenvironment by oncolytic viruses: Beyond oncolysis of tumor cells for cancer treatment Wang L, Chard Dunmall LS, Cheng Z et al. Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer (2022) 10(7)

Optimized Anchor-Modified Peptides Targeting Mutated RAS Are Promising Candidates for Immunotherapy Baleeiro RB, Dunmall LSC, Liu P et al. Frontiers in Immunology (2022) 13(7)

COVID-19 Resulting in Potential Hearing Damage of Rodents Miao J, Xu H, Tian Y et al. Chinese medicine and natural products (2022) 02(10) e28-e31

MHC class II molecules on pancreatic cancer cells indicate a potential for neo-antigen-based immunotherapy Baleeiro RB, Bouwens CJ, Liu P et al. OncoImmunology (2022) 11(7)

For additional publications, please click here
Team

Postdoctoral Researchers
Dr Louisa ChardDr Rathi Gangeswaran, Dr Peng Liu, Dr Ming Yuan

Clinical Research Fellows
Dr Lewis Stephen

PhD Students
Ms Zuoyi Zhao, Mr Christian Jacobus Bouwens, Ms Carmela Di Gioia, Ms Elisa Heyrman

Visiting Research Fellows
Ms Lijuan Chen, Ms Yafeng Wang

Biography

I qualified in medicine and obtained my PhD in 1997. From 1999 to 2005, I undertook postdoctoral research in molecular biology of cancer as well as cancer viral and genetic therapy at the MRC Toxicology Unit in Leicester University and the Cancer Research UK Molecular Oncology Unit based at Imperial College London.

I joined the Barts Cancer Institute (formerly Institute of Cancer) on 1st July 2005 as a Lecturer. I was promoted to a senior Lecturer and subsequently Reader in Molecular Oncology in 2007 and 2011, respectively, and became Professor of Cancer Cell and Gene Therapy in 2015.

I established the first Sino-British Research Centre for Molecular Oncology with Prof Nick Lemoine in 2006. The Centre was a joint venture entity between Queen Mary University of London and Zhengzhou University. The Centre was elected as a National Centre for International Research in Cell and Gene Therapy by the Ministry of Science and Technology of China in 2014. I have been appointed as the Director of the Centre since then.

I have been working in cancer virotherapy since 2001 with a substantial track record of publications in prestigious scientific journals such as “Nature Biotechnology”, “The Journal of Clinical Investigation (JCI)”, “Gut”, and “Nature Communications”, etc.

My long-term research aim is to develop more effective cancer cell and gene therapies based on the genetically engineered oncolytic virus platform, for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of human cancer, and advance them into clinical testing.

Address

Barts Cancer Institute,
Queen Mary University of London,
Charterhouse Square,
London EC1M 6BQ

Email address: bci-admin@qmul.ac.uk
Telephone: +44 20 7882 5555

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