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Qing Yi, MD, PhD

Professor of Oncology, Institute for Academic Medicine
Full Member, Research Institute
Director, Center for Translational Research in Hematological Malignancies
Associate Director, Cancer Center Basic Research Programs, Cancer Center
Houston Methodist


Dr. Qing Yi is a trained medical immunologist with over 25 years of experience as a well-funded and published researcher. He is one of the leading investigators in the fields of tumor immunology and immunotherapy in multiple myeloma and other cancers.

Since arriving in the US in 1998, Dr. Yi has been awarded, as the PI, 8 R01s from NCI, 1 project and 1 core grant in the MDACC Myeloma SPORE (P50), 4 R01-type translational grants from the LLS, 4 Senior Researcher Awards from the MMRF, 2 K99/R00 grants (as the mentor), and numerous intramural and industry grants. Dr. Yi and colleagues have published more than 150 peer-reviewed research articles, with 50 being in top-tier journals with an impact factor of greater than 10.

Prior to his current appointment as Associate Director of the Houston Methodist Cancer Center, Dr. Yi had faculty appointments at Lerner Research Institute at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, MD Anderson Cancer Center, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, and Karolinska Hospital and Institute, Sweden.

Description of Research

For the past two decades, Dr. Yi's laboratory has been working on the following research:

(1) characterizing myeloma- and tumor-specific T cells and their subsets and examining their functions in relationship to myeloma tumor cells using both in vitro and in vivo approaches

(2) identifying novel myeloma-associated antigens and better methods for immunotherapy

(3) investigating the cross-talk between the tumor microenvironment and the immune system in malignancy

(4) clinical trials to evaluate the efficacy of immunizing patients with idiotype or dendritic cell-based vaccines

(5) exploring immunotherapies using novel myeloma antigens such as DKK1 in multiple myeloma. Our recent research focuses on (a) developing novel therapeutic monoclonal antibodies for myeloma and other cancers, (b) identifying T-cell subsets that have potent anti-tumor effects after adoptive transfer, and (c) identifying tumor microenvironment components that induce tumor drug resistance.

A commentary written by Dr. Edgar Schmitt and Dr. Tobias Bopp in J Clin Invest (122:3857-3859) comments that “During the last two decades the laboratory of Qing Yi has significantly contributed to our current understanding of potential immunotherapies in human malignancies by describing the role of DCs – and particular T cells – in multiple myeloma.”


Areas Of Expertise

Cancer immunotherapy Hematological malignancies Myeloma Cancer biology
Education & Training

MB MMed, Sun Yat-sen Univ. of Med. Sciences
MD, Jiangxi Medical College, Jiangxi, P.R. China
Postdoctoral Fellowship, Karolinska Institute
PhD, Karolinska Institute

Cholesterol Induces CD8+ T Cell Exhaustion in the Tumor Microenvironment
Ma, X, Bi, E, Lu, Y, Su, P, Huang, C, Liu, L, Wang, Q, Yang, M, Kalady, MF, Qian, J, Zhang, A, Gupte, AA, Hamilton, DJ, Zheng, C & Yi, Q 2019, Cell Metabolism, vol. 30, no. 1, pp. 143-156.e5.

Multiple myeloma cell-derived IL-32? increases the immunosuppressive function of macrophages by promoting indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) expression
Yan, H, Dong, M, Liu, X, Shen, Q, He, D, Huang, X, Zhang, E, Lin, X, Chen, Q, Guo, X, Chen, J, Zheng, G, Wang, G, He, J, Yi, Q & Cai, Z 2019, Cancer Letters, vol. 446, pp. 38-48.

TNF-a enhances Th9 cell differentiation and antitumor immunity via TNFR2-dependent pathways
Jiang, Y, Chen, J, Bi, E, Zhao, Y, Qin, T, Wang, Y, Wang, A, Gao, S, Yi, Q & Wang, S 2019, Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer, vol. 7, no. 1, 28.

Reprogrammed marrow adipocytes contribute to myeloma-induced bone disease
Liu, H, He, J, Koh, SP, Zhong, Y, Liu, Z, Wang, Z, Zhang, Y, Li, Z, Tam, BT, Lin, P, Xiao, M, Young, KH, Amini, B, Starbuck, MW, Lee, HC, Navone, NM, Davis, RE, Tong, Q, Bergsagel, PL, Hou, J, Yi, Q, Orlowski, RZ, Gagel, RF & Yang, J 2019, Science Translational Medicine, vol. 11, no. 494, eaau9087.

MicroRNA-31-5p enhances the Warburg effect via targeting FIH
Zhu, B, Cao, X, Zhang, W, Pan, G, Yi, Q, Zhong, W & Yan, D 2019, FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, vol. 33, no. 1, pp. 545-556.

E-cadherin expression on multiple myeloma cells activates tumor-promoting properties in plasmacytoid DCs
Bi, E, Li, R, Bover, LC, Li, H, Su, P, Ma, X, Huang, C, Wang, Q, Liu, L, Yang, M, Lin, Z, Qian, J, Fu, W, Liu, Y-J & Yi, Q 2018, The Journal of clinical investigation, vol. 128, no. 11, pp. 4821-4831.

Comparison of risk factors and short-term and long-term prognosis of pulmonary embolism between the Tibetan and Han people
Li, XQ, Zhou, C, Hu, YH, Zhou, HX, Shi, CL, Tang, YJ, Wang, L, Guan, QY, Wang, MY, Yi, Q & Liang, ZA 2018, Zhonghua yi xue za zhi, vol. 98, no. 40, pp. 3249-3252.

2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) induces peripheral blood abnormalities and plasma cell neoplasms resembling multiple myeloma in mice
Wang, L, Kumar, M, Deng, Q, Wang, X, Liu, M, Gong, Z, Zhang, S, Ma, X, Xu-Monette, ZY, Xiao, M, Yi, Q, Young, KH, Ramos, KS & Li, Y 2019, Cancer Letters, vol. 440-441, pp. 135-144.

Targeting the MALAT1/PARP1/LIG3 complex induces DNA damage and apoptosis in multiple myeloma
Hu, Y, Lin, J, Fang, H, Fang, J, Li, C, Chen, W, Liu, S, Ondrejka, S, Gong, Z, Reu, F, Maciejewski, J, Yi, Q & Zhao, J-J 2018, Leukemia, vol. 32, no. 10, pp. 2250-2262.

IL-33 drives the antitumor effects of dendritic cells via the induction of Tc9 cells
Liu, N, Jiang, Y, Chen, J, Nan, H, Zhao, Y, Chu, X, Wang, A, Wang, D, Qin, T, Gao, S, Yi, Q, Yue, Y & Wang, S 2018, Cellular and Molecular Immunology.

Therapeutic effects of the novel subtype-selective histone deacetylase inhibitor chidamide on myeloma-associated bone disease
He, J, Chen, Q, Gu, H, Chen, J, Zhang, E, Guo, X, Huang, X, Yan, H, He, D, Yang, Y, Zhao, Y, Wang, G, He, H, Yi, Q & Cai, Z 2018, Haematologica, vol. 103, no. 8, pp. 1369-1379.

Correction to: miR-153 suppresses IDO1 expression and enhances CAR T cell immunotherapy
Huang, Q, Xi, J, Wang, L, Wang, X, Ma, X, Deng, Q, Lu, Y, Kumar, M, Zhou, Z, Li, L, Zeng, Z, Young, KH, Yi, Q, Zhang, M & Li, Y 2018, Journal of Hematology and Oncology, vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 90.

Interleukin-33 contributes to the induction of Th9 cells and antitumor efficacy by Dectin-1-activated Dendritic cells
Chen, J, Zhao, Y, Jiang, Y, Gao, S, Wang, Y, Wang, D, Wang, A, Yi, H, Gu, R, Yi, Q & Wang, S 2018, Frontiers in Immunology, vol. 9, 01787.

Th9 Cells Represent a Unique Subset of CD4+ T Cells Endowed with the Ability to Eradicate Advanced Tumors
Lu, Y, Wang, Q, Xue, G, Bi, E, Ma, X, Wang, A, Qian, J, Dong, C & Yi, Q 2018, Cancer Cell, vol. 33, no. 6, pp. 1048-1060.e7.

Cholesterol negatively regulates IL-9-producing CD8+ T cell differentiation and antitumor activity
Ma, X, Bi, E, Huang, C, Lu, Y, Xue, G, Guo, X, Wang, A, Yang, M, Qian, J, Dong, C & Yi, Q 2018, The Journal of experimental medicine, vol. 215, no. 6, pp. 1555-1569.

Dectin-1 stimulates IL-33 expression in dendritic cells via upregulation of IRF4
Wang, D, Gao, S, Chen, J, Zhao, Y, Jiang, Y, Chu, X, Wang, X, Liu, N, Qin, T, Yi, Q, Yue, Y & Wang, S 2018, Laboratory Investigation, vol. 98, no. 6, pp. 708-714.

miR-153 suppresses IDO1 expression and enhances CAR T cell immunotherapy
Huang, Q, Xia, J, Wang, L, Wang, X, Ma, X, Deng, Q, Lu, Y, Kumar, M, Zhou, Z, Li, L, Zeng, Z, Young, KH, Yi, Q, Zhang, M & Li, Y 2018, Journal of Hematology and Oncology, vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 58.

Therapeutic effects of CSF1R-blocking antibodies in multiple myeloma
Wang, Q, Lu, Y, Li, R, Jiang, Y, Zheng, Y, Qian, J, Bi, E, Zheng, C, Hou, J, Wang, S & Yi, Q 2018, Leukemia, vol. 32, no. 1, pp. 176-183.

C-reactive protein promotes bone destruction in human myeloma through the CD32-p38 MAPK-Twist axis
Yang, J, Liu, Z, Liu, H, He, J, Yang, J, Lin, P, Wang, Q, Du, J, Ma, W, Yin, Z, Davis, E, Orlowski, RZ, Hou, J & Yi, Q 2017, Science signaling, vol. 10, no. 509.

BAFF is involved in macrophage-induced bortezomib resistance in myeloma
Chen, J, He, D, Chen, Q, Guo, X, Yang, L, Lin, X, Li, Y, Wu, W, Yang, Y, He, J, Zhang, E, Yi, Q & Cai, Z 2017, Cell death & disease, vol. 8, no. 11, pp. e3161.

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