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

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

A Vaccinia virus armed with interleukin-10 is a promising therapeutic agent for treatment of murine pancreatic cancer. Clin Cancer Res (2015) 21(2): 405-16. PMID: 25416195

A novel therapeutic regime to eradicate established solid tumors with an effective induction of tumor-specific immunity. Clin Cancer Res (2012) 18(24):6679-89. PMID: 23091113

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

E3 gene manipulations affect oncolytic adenovirus activity in immunocompetent tumour models. Nature Biotechnology (2003) 21(11): 1328-35. PMID: 14555956

Major Funding
  • 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)
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
  • 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 genomic landscape of cutaneous SCC reveals drivers and a novel azathioprine associated mutational signature. Inman GJ, Wang J, Nagano A et al. Nat Commun (2018) 9(2) 3667
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30202019

Characterization of an N-Terminal Non-Core Domain of RAG1 Gene Disrupted Syrian Hamster Model Generated by CRISPR Cas9. Miao J, Ying B, Li R et al. Viruses (2018) 10(2)
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29734775

Oncolytic Viral Therapy and the Immune System: A Double-Edged Sword Against Cancer. Marelli G, Howells A, Lemoine NR et al. Frontiers in Immunology (2018) 9(1) 866-866
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29755464

IW-Scoring: an Integrative Weighted Scoring framework for annotating and prioritising genetic variations in the noncoding genome. Nucleic Acids Research WANG Y Nucleic Acids Research (2018) (1)

Author Correction: Re-designing Interleukin-12 to enhance its safety and potential as an anti-tumor immunotherapeutic agent. Wang P, Li X, Wang J et al. Nat Commun (2018) 9(2) 203
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29321470

Production of Genetically Engineered Golden Syrian Hamsters by Pronuclear Injection of the CRISPR/Cas9 Complex. Li R, Miao J, Fan Z et al. J Vis Exp (2018) (2)
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29364218

Oncolytic viruses sensitize human tumor cells for NY-ESO-1 tumor antigen recognition by CD4+ effector T cells. Delaunay T, Violland M, Boisgerault N et al. Oncoimmunology (2017) 7(1) e1407897-e1407897
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29399408

CRISPR-Cas9 HDR system enhances AQP1 gene expression. Wang Z, Wang Y, Wang S et al. Oncotarget (2017) 8(2) 111683-111696
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29340084

The development of a monolith-based purification process for Orthopoxvirus vaccinia virus Lister strain. Vincent D, Kramberger P, Hudej R et al. J Chromatogr A (2017) 1524(2) 87-100
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28989031

Re-designing Interleukin-12 to enhance its safety and potential as an anti-tumor immunotherapeutic agent. Wang P, Li X, Wang J et al. Nat Commun (2017) 8(1) 1395-1395
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29123084

For additional publications, please click here
Team

Postdoctoral Researchers
Dr Louisa ChardDr Rathi Gangeswaran, Dr Peng Liu, Dr Pengju WangDr Giulia Marelli, Dr Katia Bouchekioua, 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.

Upcoming Events
  1. Thursday Seminar Series – Dr. Vivian Li

    June 20 @ 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
  2. Distinguished Guest Lecture – Professor Robert Bristow

    June 20 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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