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Rongfu Wang, PhD

Professor of Inflammation and Epigenetics, Institute for Academic Medicine
Full Member, Research Institute
Director, Center for Inflammation & Epigenetics
Houston Methodist
Weill Cornell Medical College


Biography

Dr. Wang received his Ph.D. from the University of Georgia in 1992. After receiving his doctoral degree in Molecular Genetics, Dr. Wang expanded his field of expertise by training with Dr. James Mullins in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Stanford University School of Medicine. In 1994, Dr. Wang joined the Surgery Branch in the Center for Cancer Research at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in Bethesda, Maryland where he worked with Branch Chief, Dr. Steve Rosenberg, who is a pioneer of cancer immunotherapy. In 1996, Dr. Wang was promoted to Senior Principal Investigator.

During his tenure at the NCI, Dr. Wang made insightful discoveries on how immune cells recognize solid tumors through specific cancer antigens and published a landmark paper in Science onthe development of a novel genetic approach to identify cancer antigens recognized by CD4+ T cells. In 2000, Dr. Wang was appointed Associate Professor at Baylor College of Medicine in the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy and the Department of Pathology and Immunology. He was promoted to full Professor in 2004. His lab studies novel mechanisms in tumor immunity and tolerance, innate immune regulation, regulatory T cell biology, inflammation, and epigenetics. He moved his laboratory to Houston Methodist Research Institute in 2012, where he currently serves as the Director of the Center for Inflammation and Epigenetics and the Co-Director of the Metabolism and Diabetes Center.

In recognition of his academic achievements, Dr. Wang received the The Michael DeBakey Excellence in Research Award in 2006 and was bestowed with one of BCM’s highest honors; the Jack L. Titus Professorship in Pathology appointment in 2007. Throughout his career Dr. Wang has published over eighty peer-reviewed journal articles, two textbooks, has over fifteen patent applications, has received many grants from NIH, American Cancer Society, Cancer Research Institute and CPRIT, has successfully completed one clinical trial and serves in ten scientific publication review panels.

Description of Research

Dr. Wang has a long-standing interest in tumor immunotherapy and cancer vaccine development. In particular, he has been interested in tumor antigen discovery, cancer stem cells and innate immunity and functional control of regulatory T cells by Toll-like receptors. His team studies the role and mechanisms of Toll-like receptors, NOD-like receptors, negative regulators of innate immune signaling, inflammation, epigenetics and cancer immunotherapy.

Areas Of Expertise

Cancer immunology Innate immune signaling Epigenetics of cancer and stem cells Cancer immunotherapy
Education & Training

Postdoctoral Fellowship , Department of Microbiology & Immunology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA
Postdoctoral Fellowship , Surgery Branch, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD
PhD , University of Georgia
Publications

A special issue on cancer immunotherapy
Wang, RF 2017, Cell Research, vol 27, no. 1, pp. 1-2. DOI:

FOSL1 inhibits type i interferon responses to malaria and viral infections by blocking TBK1 and TRAF3/ TRIF interactions
Cai, B, Wu, J, Yu, X, Su, XZ & Wang, RF 2017, mBio, vol 8, no. 1, e02161-16. DOI:

Cross-Regulation of Two Type I Interferon Signaling Pathways in Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cells Controls Anti-malaria Immunity and Host Mortality
Yu, X, Cai, B, Wang, M, Tan, P, Ding, X, Wu, J, Li, J, Li, Q, Liu, P, Xing, C, Wang, HY, Su, XZ & Wang, RF 2016, Immunity, vol 45, no. 5, pp. 1093-1107. DOI:

USP38 Inhibits Type I Interferon Signaling by Editing TBK1 Ubiquitination through NLRP4 Signalosome
Lin, M, Zhao, Z, Yang, Z, Meng, Q, Tan, P, Xie, W, Qin, Y, Wang, RF & Cui, J 2016, Molecular Cell, vol 64, no. 2, pp. 267-281. DOI:

TRIM14 Inhibits cGAS Degradation Mediated by Selective Autophagy Receptor p62 to Promote Innate Immune Responses
Chen, M, Meng, Q, Qin, Y, Liang, P, Tan, P, He, L, Zhou, Y, Chen, Y, Huang, J, Wang, RF & Cui, J 2016, Molecular Cell, vol 64, no. 1, pp. 105-119. DOI:

Increased CD40 Expression Enhances Early STING-Mediated Type I Interferon Response and Host Survival in a Rodent Malaria Model
Yao, X, Wu, J, Lin, M, Sun, W, He, X, Gowda, C, Bolland, S, Long, CA, Wang, R & Su, XZ 2016, PLoS Pathogens, vol 12, no. 10, e1005930. DOI:

TRIM11 Suppresses AIM2 Inflammasome by Degrading AIM2 via p62-Dependent Selective Autophagy
Liu, T, Tang, Q, Liu, K, Xie, W, Liu, X, Wang, H, Wang, RF & Cui, J 2016, Cell Reports, vol 16, no. 7, pp. 1988-2002. DOI:

TRIM9 short isoform preferentially promotes DNA and RNA virus-induced production of type I interferon by recruiting GSK3ß to TBK1
Qin, Y, Liu, Q, Tian, S, Xie, W, Cui, J & Wang, RF 2016, Cell Research. DOI:

USP19 modulates autophagy and antiviral immune responses by deubiquitinating Beclin-1
Jin, S, Tian, S, Chen, Y, Zhang, C, Xie, W, Xia, X, Cui, J & Wang, RF 2016, EMBO Journal. DOI:

JMJD3 as an epigenetic regulator in development and disease
Burchfield, JS, Li, Q, Wang, HY & Wang, RF 2015, International Journal of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, vol 67, 4662, pp. 148-157. DOI:

USP18 negatively regulates NF-? B signaling by targeting TAK1 and NEMO for deubiquitination through distinct mechanisms
Yang, Z, Xian, H, Hu, J, Tian, S, Qin, Y, Wang, RF & Cui, J 2015, Scientific Reports, vol 5, 12738. DOI:

Targeting epigenetic regulations in cancer
Ning, B, Li, W, Zhao, W & Wang, R 2015, Acta Biochimica et Biophysica Sinica, vol 48, no. 1, pp. 97-109. DOI:

Identification of DRG-1 as a melanoma-associated antigen recognized by CD4<sup>+</sup> Th1 cells
Kiniwa, Y, Li, J, Wang, M, Sun, C, Lee, JE, Wang, RF & Wang, HY 2015, PLoS ONE, vol 10, no. 5, e0124094. DOI:

Porous Silicon Microparticle Potentiates Anti-Tumor Immunity by Enhancing Cross-Presentation and Inducing Type I Interferon Response
Xia, X , Mai, J, Xu, R, Perez, JET, Guevara, ML, Shen, Q, Mu, C, Tung, HY, Corry, DB, Evans, SE, Liu, X, Ferrari, M, Zhang, Z, Li, XC, Wang, RF & Shen, H 2015, Cell Reports, vol 11, no. 6, pp. 957-966. DOI:

Reversible ubiquitination shapes NLRC5 function and modulates NF-?B activation switch
Meng, Q, Cai, C, Sun, T, Wang, Q, Xie, W, Wang, R & Cui, J 2015, Journal of Cell Biology, vol 211, no. 5, pp. 1025-1040. DOI:

Genome-wide analysis of host-plasmodium yoelii interactions reveals regulators of the type i interferon response
Wu, J, Cai, B, Sun, W, Huang, R, Liu, X, Lin, M, Pattaradilokrat, S, Martin, S, Qi, Y, Nair, SC, Bolland, S, Cohen, JI, Austin, CP, Long, CA, Myers, TG, Wang, RF & Su, XZ 2015, Cell Reports, vol 12, no. 4, pp. 661-672. DOI:

Current advances in T-cell-based cancer immunotherapy
Wang, M, Yin, B, Wang, HY & Wang, RF 2014, Immunotherapy, vol 6, no. 12, pp. 1265-1278. DOI:

Mechanisms and pathways of innate immune activation and regulation in health and cancer
Cui, J, Chen, Y, Wang, HY & Wang, RF 2014, Human Vaccines and Immunotherapeutics, vol 10, no. 11, pp. 3270-3285. DOI:

Applications of nanomaterials as vaccine adjuvants
Zhu, M, Wang, R & Nie, G 2014, Human Vaccines and Immunotherapeutics, vol 10, no. 9, A45, pp. 2761-2774. DOI:

Strain-specific innate immune signaling pathways determine malaria parasitemia dynamics and host mortality
Wu, J, Tian, L, Yu, X, Pattaradilokrat, S, Li, J, Wang, M, Yu, W, Qi, Y, Zeituni, AE, Nair, SC, Crampton, SP, Orandle, MS, Bolland, SM, Qi, CF, Long, CA, Myers, TG, Coligan, JE, Wang, R & Su, XZ 2014, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol 111, no. 4. DOI: