Rongfu Wang

Rongfu Wang, PhD

Adjunct Professor of Oncology, Academic Institute
Full Affiliate Member, Research Institute
Houston Methodist



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 on the 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.

Throughout his career Dr. Wang has published over hundred papers in the top class of journals, including Science, Cell, Nature Biotechnology, Nature Immunology, Cell Metabolism and Immunity, and has over 20 patents. His work has been supported by many grants from NIH, DoD, American Cancer Society, Cancer Research Institute and CPRIT.

Description of Research

Research interests in Dr. Wang's laboratory include

  • cancer immunotherapy,
  • immune regulation in infectious and tumor immunity;
  • innate immune signaling and inflammation in diseases, 3) epigenetic reprogramming of cancer and immune cells. 

Areas Of Expertise

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

Postdoctoral Fellowship, Surgery Branch, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD
PhD, University of Georgia
Postdoctoral Fellowship, Stanford University

Function and regulation of cGAS-STING signaling in infectious diseases
Du, Y, Hu, Z, Luo, Y, Wang, HY, Yu, X & Wang, RF 2023, , Frontiers in immunology, vol. 14, 1130423.

Activation of cGAS-STING by Lethal Malaria N67C Dictates Immunity and Mortality through Induction of CD11b+Ly6Chi Proinflammatory Monocytes
Du, Y, Luo, Y, Hu, Z, Lu, J, Liu, X, Xing, C, Wu, J, Duan, T, Chu, J, Wang, HY, Su, XZ, Yu, X & Wang, RF 2022, , Advanced Science, vol. 9, no. 22, 2103701.

Interaction between microbiota and immunity and its implication in colorectal cancer
Xing, C, Du, Y, Duan, T, Nim, K, Chu, J, Wang, HY & Wang, RF 2022, , Frontiers in immunology, vol. 13, 963819.

Toll-Like Receptor Signaling and Its Role in Cell-Mediated Immunity
Duan, T, Du, Y, Xing, C, Wang, HY & Wang, RF 2022, , Frontiers in immunology, vol. 13, 812774.

Development of a TCR-like antibody and chimeric antigen receptor against NY-ESO-1/HLA-A2 for cancer immunotherapy
Liu, X, Xu, Y, Xiong, W, Yin, B, Huang, Y, Chu, J, Xing, C, Qian, C, Du, Y, Duan, T, Wang, HY, Zhang, N, Yu, JS, An, Z & Wang, R 2022, , Journal for immunotherapy of cancer, vol. 10, no. 3.

A Phase I Study of Autologous Dendritic Cell Vaccine Pulsed with Allogeneic Stem-like Cell Line Lysate in Patients with Newly Diagnosed or Recurrent Glioblastoma
Hu, JL, Omofoye, OA, Rudnick, JD, Kim, S, Tighiouart, M, Phuphanich, S, Wang, H, Mazer, M, Ganaway, T, Chu, RM, Patil, CG, Black, KL, Shiao, SL, Wang, R & Yu, JS 2022, , Clinical Cancer Research, vol. 28, no. 4, pp. 689-696.

Molecular characterization of Kita-Kyushu lung cancer antigen (KK-LC-1) expressing carcinomas
Hsu, R, Baca, Y, Xiu, J, Wang, R, Bodor, JN, Kim, C, Khan, H, Mamdani, H, Nagasaka, M, Puri, S, Liu, SV, Korn, WM & Nieva, JJ 2021, , Oncotarget, vol. 12, no. 25, pp. 2449-2458.

Telomerase therapy reverses vascular senescence and extends lifespan in progeria mice
Mojiri, A, Walther, BK, Jiang, C, Matrone, G, Holgate, R, Xu, Q, Morales, E, Wang, G, Gu, J, Wang, R & Cooke, JP 2021, , European heart journal, vol. 42, no. 42, pp. 4352-4369.

Pharmacological inhibition of fatty acid synthesis blocks SARS-CoV-2 replication
Chu, J, Xing, C, Du, Y, Duan, T, Liu, S, Zhang, P, Cheng, C, Henley, J, Liu, X, Qian, C, Yin, B, Wang, HY & Wang, RF 2021, , Nature Metabolism, vol. 3, no. 11, pp. 1466-1475.

Microbiota regulate innate immune signaling and protective immunity against cancer
Xing, C, Wang, M, Ajibade, AA, Tan, P, Fu, C, Chen, L, Zhu, M, Hao, ZZ, Chu, J, Yu, X, Yin, B, Zhu, J, Shen, WJ, Duan, T, Wang, HY & Wang, RF 2021, , Cell Host and Microbe, vol. 29, no. 6, pp. 959-974.e7.

BECN2 (beclin 2) Negatively Regulates Inflammasome Sensors Through ATG9A-Dependent but ATG16L1- and LC3-Independent Non-Canonical Autophagy
Deng, G, Li, C, Chen, L, Xing, C, Fu, C, Qian, C, Liu, X, Wang, HY, Zhu, M & Wang, RF 2021, , Autophagy.

PHF20 Promotes Glioblastoma Cell Malignancies Through a WISP1/BGN-Dependent Pathway
Ma, Q, Long, W, Xing, C, Jiang, C, Su, J, Wang, HY, Liu, Q & Wang, RF 2020, , Frontiers in Oncology, vol. 10, 573318.

Beclin 2 negatively regulates innate immune signaling and tumor development
Zhu, M, Deng, G, Tan, P, Xing, C, Guan, C, Jiang, C, Zhang, Y, Ning, B, Li, C, Yin, B, Chen, K, Zhao, Y, Wang, HY, Levine, B, Nie, G & Wang, RF 2020, , Journal of Clinical Investigation, vol. 130, no. 10, pp. 5349-5369.

RTP4 inhibits IFN-I response and enhances experimental cerebral malaria and neuropathology
He, X, Ashbrook, AW, Du, Y, Wu, J, Hoffmann, HH, Zhang, C, Xia, L, Peng, YC, Tumas, KC, Singh, BK, Qi, CF, Myers, TG, Long, CA, Liu, C, Wang, R, Rice, CM & Su, XZ 2020, , Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 117, no. 32, pp. 19465-19474.

The E3 ubiquitin ligase MARCH1 regulates antimalaria immunity through interferon signaling and T cell activation
Wu, J, Xia, L, Yao, X, Yu, X, Tumas, KC, Sun, W, Cheng, Y, He, X, Peng, YC, Singh, BK, Zhang, C, Qi, CF, Bolland, S, Best, SM, Gowda, C, Huang, R, Myers, TG, Long, CA, Wang, RF & Su, XZ 2020, , Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 117, no. 28, pp. 16567-16578.

Evaluation of Single-Cell Cytokine Secretion and Cell-Cell Interactions with a Hierarchical Loading Microwell Chip
Zhou, Y, Shao, N, Bessa de Castro, R, Zhang, P, Ma, Y, Liu, X, Huang, F, Wang, RF & Qin, L 2020, , Cell Reports, vol. 31, no. 4, 107574.

Cell-Penetrating Nanoparticles Activate the Inflammasome to Enhance Antibody Production by Targeting Microtubule-Associated Protein 1-Light Chain 3 for Degradation
Zhu, M, Du, L, Zhao, R, Wang, HY, Zhao, Y, Nie, G & Wang, RF 2020, , ACS Nano, vol. 14, no. 3, pp. 3703-3717.

BECN2 (beclin 2)-mediated non-canonical autophagy in innate immune signaling and tumor development
Zhu, M, Deng, G, Xing, C, Nie, G & Wang, RF 2020, , Autophagy, vol. 16, no. 12, pp. 2310-2312.

Myeloid loss of Beclin 1 promotes PD-L1hi precursor B cell lymphoma development
Tan, P, He, L, Xing, C, Mao, J, Yu, X, Zhu, M, Diao, L, Han, L, Zhou, Y, You, JM, Wang, HY & Wang, RF 2019, , Journal of Clinical Investigation, vol. 129, no. 12, pp. 5261-5277.

JMJD3 regulates CD4+ T cell trafficking by targeting actin cytoskeleton regulatory gene Pdlim4
Fu, C, Li, Q, Zou, J, Xing, C, Luo, M, Yin, B, Chu, J, Yu, J, Liu, X, Wang, HY & Wang, RF 2019, , Journal of Clinical Investigation, vol. 129, no. 11, pp. 4745-4757.