Jun Yan, M.D., Ph.D.


M.D., Jiangsu University School of Medicine, China; 1985
M.S., Immunology, Nanjing Medical University, China; 1991
Ph.D., Immunology, Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, China; 1997
Postdoctoral Fellowship, Department of Pathology, University of Louisville, USA; 1997-1999
Research Associate, Department of Internal Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine; 1999-2002

Curriculum Vitae

Current Positions:

Professor of Surgery, Microbiology and Immunology, and Pharmacology and Toxicology
Endowed Chair in Translational Research, Brown Cancer Center
Director, Division of Immunotherapy, UofL School of Medicine
Program Leader, Immuno-Oncology Program, Brown Cancer Center

Contact Information:

Clinical Translational Research Building, Room 319
University of Louisville
505 Hancock Street
Louisville, KY 40202, USA
Phone 502-852-3628
Fax 502-852-2123
Email: jun.yan@louisville.edu

Research Description

Dr. Yan’s current major research interests are to understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which yeast-derived polysaccharide b-glucan modulates immunosuppressive myeloid cells to enhance antitumor immunotherapy using mouse tumor models and human cancer patients. In addition, this laboratory has recently discovered that gdT cells are the major cellular source of inflammatory cytokine IL-17 in psoriatic skin lesions and human colon cancer. This line of research investigates the roles of innate gdT cells in health and diseases. They are interested in gdT17 cell development, metabolism, and signaling pathways that regulate their activation and function.  The third major area of interest in Dr. Yan’s laboratory involves the roles of B-cells in the regulation of autoreactive T-cell activation and tolerance using a murine systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) model as well as human lung cancer.  They are interested in B cell repertoire and how T-B cell collaboration in cancer shapes antitumor T-cell response. Knowledge gained from these studies has led them to develop effective vaccines for cancer and autoimmune diseases.

Representative Publications:

Beta-Glucan-mediated cancer immunotherapy

  • Qi C, Cai Y, Gunn L, Ding C, Li B, Kloecker G, Qian K, Vasilakos J, Saijo S, Iwakura Y, Yannelli JR, Yan J.  Differential pathways regulating innate and adaptive anti-tumor immune responses by particulate and soluble yeast-derived b-glucans.  Blood 2011 Jun 23;117(25):6825-6836.  PMID: 21531981.  PMCID: PMC3128477.
  • Liu M, Tong Z, Ding C, Luo F, Wu S, Wu C, Albeituni S, He L, Hu X, Tieri D, Rouchka E, Hamada M, Takahashi S, Gibb AA, Kloecker G, Zhang HG, Bousamra M, Hill BG, Zhang X, Yan J.  Transcription factor c-Maf is a checkpoint that programs macrophages in lung cancer.  Journal of Clinical Investigation 2020 Apr 1;130(4):2081-2096.  PMID: 31945018.  PMCID: PMC7108920
  • Morrissey SM, Zhang F, Ding CL, Montoya-Durrango DE, Hu X, Yang C, Wang Z, Yuan F, Fox M, Zhang HG, Guo HX, Tieri D, Kong M, Watson CT, Mitchell RA, Zhang X, McMasters KMM, Huang J, Yan J.  Tumor-derived exosomes drive immunosuppressive macrophages in a pre-metastatic niche through glycolytic dominate metabolic reprogramming.  Cell Metabolism 2021 Oct 5;33:2040-2058.e10.  PMID: 34559989.  PMCID: PMC8506837.
  • Geller AE, Shrestha R, Woeste MR, Guo H, Hu X, Ding C, Andreeva K, Chariker JH, Zhou M, Tieri D, Watson CT, Mitchell RA, Zhang HG, Li Y, Martin RCG, Rouchka EC, Yan J.  The induction of peripheral trained immunity in the pancreas incites antitumor activity to control pancreatic cancer progression.  Nature Communications 2022 Feb 9;13(1):759.  PMID: 35140221.  PMCID: PMC8828725.


γδT17 in skin inflammation and human colon cancer

  • Cai YH, Shen XY, Ding CL, Qi CJ, Li KJ, Li X, Jala VR, Zhang HG, Wang T, Zheng J, Yan J.  Pivotal role of dermal IL-17-producing γδT cells in skin inflammation.  Immunity 2011 Oct 28;35(4):596-610. PMID: 21982596.  PMCID: PMC3025267.
  • Cai YH, Xue F, Fleming C, Yang J, Ding C, Ma Y, Liu M, Zhang HG, Zheng J, Xiong N, Yan J.   Differential developmental requirement and peripheral regulation for dermal Vg4 and Vg6T17 cells in health and inflammation.  Nature Communications 2014 Jun 9;5:3986.  doi: 10.1038/ncomms4986.  PMID: 24909115.  PMCID: PMC4068267.
  • Wu P, Wu D, Ni C, Ye J, Chen W, Hu G, Wang Z, Wang C, Zhang Z, Xia W, Chen Z, Wang K, Zhang T, Xu J, Han Y, Zhang T, Wu X, Wang J, Gong W, Zheng S, Qiu F, Yan J*, Huang J*.   γδT17 cells promote the accumulation and expansion of myeloid-derived suppressor cells in human colorectal cancer.  Immunity 2014 May 15;40(5):785-800.  PMID: 24801835.  PMCID: PMC4716654. (*Corresponding authors)
  • Cai Y, Xue F, Qin H, Che X, Liu N, Fleming C, Hu X, Zhang HG, Chen F, Zhen J, Yan J. 2019. Differential roles of the mTOR-STAT3 signaling in dermal GDT cell effector function in skin inflammation.  Cell Reports 2019 Jun 4;27(10):3034-3048.  PMID: 31167146.  PMCID: PMC6617524.
  • Yan J. 2021. Antitumor γδ T cells need oxygen to function. Nature Immunology. 2021 Mar;22(3):268-269.  PMID: 33574620.
  • Chen X, Cai Y, Hu X, Ding C, He L, Zhang X, Chen F, Yan J.  Differential metabolic requirement governed by transcription factor c-Maf dictates innate γδT17 effector functionality in mice and humans. Science Advances. 2022 May 27;8(21):eabm9120.  PMID: 35613277.  PMCID:  PMC9132442.


Autoreactive B cell regulation

  • Ding C, Wang L, Marroquin J, Yan, J.  Targeting of antigens to B cells augments antigen-specific T cell responses and breaks immune tolerance to tumor-associated antigen MUC1.  Blood 2008 Oct 1;112(7):2817-2825.  PMID: 18669871.  PMCID: PMC556617.
  • Ding C, Ma Y, Chen X, Liu M, Cai Y, Hu X, Xiang D, Nath S, Zhang HG, Ye H, Powell D, Yan J.  Integrin CD11b negatively regulates BCR signaling to maintain autoreactive B cell tolerance.  Nature Communications 2013;4:2813. doi: 10.1038/ncomms3813.  PMID: 24264377.
  • Ma Y, Xiang D, Sun J, Ding C, Liu M, Hu X, Kloecker G, Zhang H, Yan J.  Targeting of antigens to B lymphocytes via CD19 as a means for tumor vaccine development.  Journal of Immunology 2013 Jun 1;190(11):5588-5599.  PMID:23695661.  PMCID: PMC3660458.
  • Zhou M, Dascani P, Ding C, Kos J, Tieri D, Lin X, Caster D, Powell D, Wen C, Watson C, Yan J.  Integrin CD11b negatively regulates B cell receptor signaling to shape humoral response during immunization and autoimmunity.  Journal of Immunology 2021 Oct 1;207(7):1785-1797.  PMID: 34470858.  PMCID: PMC8455437.

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