Dr. Xingxing Zang

Pinpointing Role of B7 — Dr. Xingxing Zang has been awarded combined grants from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the Department of Defense (DOD) totaling more than $2.6 million. The awards will support his research into the B7 family of proteins and their possible role in cancer. B7 proteins dampen the immune response by interacting with immune cells known as T lymphocytes. Dr. Zang discovered the B7 family member B7x and has shown that two members of the B7 family, B7x and B7-H3, are over-expressed in human cancers and also inhibit the function of T lymphocytes, which allows cancer cells to evade anti-cancer immunity. The five-year grant from the NCI supports Dr. Zang’s continued research into how B7x blunts the immune response in the tumor microenvironment. The Idea Development Award from the DOD aids Dr. Zang’s efforts to develop new immunotherapies against prostate cancer by inactivating B7x and B7-H3. Dr. Zang is Associate Professor of Microbiology & Immunology.