Research Fellow / Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Academia Sinica


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EDUCATION AND POSITIONS HELD:

  • Ph.D., Microbiology and Immunology, Columbia University (1990)
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Oncology, Stanford University (1990-1993)
  • Assistant Research Fellow, Academia Sinica (1993-1998)
  • Associate Research Fellow, Academia Sinica (1998-2004)
  • Research Fellow, Academia Sinica (2004-present)

HONORS:

  • Young Investigator Research Award, Academia Sinica, 1999
  • Outstanding Research Award, National Science Council, 2000, 2003

RESEARCH INTERESTS:

Gene Therapy and Immunotherapy for Cancer and Chronic Hepatitis B Virus Infection

 

The major interest of our laboratory is to develop novel gene therapy and immunotherapeutic methods to treat cancers and chronic hepatitis B virus infection. We focus on applying cytokines and immune costimulatory molecules to break T cell tolerance commonly found in cancer and chronic hepatitis patients. The state of the art technologies, such as DNA vaccines, dendritic cell vaccines, in vivo electroporation, RNA interference and engineered antibodies are used in these studies. Immunocytokines that can target cytokines to the tumor site have been applied to treat murine and human cancers. Our study shows that intratumoral electroporation of interleukin 12 genes suppressed tumor growth in mice and canine models, and a phase I clinical trial is designed to treat cancer patients. The antitumor and antiviral activities of the two recently discovered interleukin 12 family cytokines, interleukin 23 and interleukin 27, and their effector mechanisms are under investigation. A number of transgenic mouse strains that can produce hepatitis B virus or induce spontaneous hepatocellular carcinoma are generated as animal models to explore novel therapeutic methods, including RNA interference, adoptive T cell transfer-based therapy, and therapeutic vaccines. Details of our current research projects can be found at the web site http://www.ibms.sinica.edu.tw/%7Ebmtao/.