iABS Forum-2024


iABS Forum-2024


Plenary Speaker

Dr. Lieping Chen is an immunologist interested in basic T cell biology, cancer immunology, and translational research to develop new treatments for human diseases including cancer. Prior to joining Yale, he was a faculty member at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Mayo Clinic, and a scientist in Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Research Institute.

Dr. Chen has published over 370 peer-reviewed research articles. His work in the discovery of the PD-1/PD-L1 pathway for cancer immunotherapy was cited as the #1 breakthrough of the year by Science magazine in 2013. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the American Association for Cancer Research and the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer.

Lieping Chen, MD, PhD

Yale University, USA

Dr. Ethan M. Shevach received his M.D. from Boston University in 1967. Following clinical training, he joined the Laboratory of Immunology at National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases as a senior staff fellow in 1972, was appointed a senior investigator in 1973, and became a section chief in 1987. He served as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Immunology from 1987 to 1992 and editor-in-chief of Cellular Immunology from 1996 to 2007. He received the 2004 William B. Coley Award for Distinguished Research in Basic and Tumor Immunology. He published over 450 papers and is recognized as a highly influential scientist with a high citation count. He is a member of the American Association of Immunologists, American Society for Clinical Investigation and Association of American Physicians.

Dr. Genhong Cheng is a Professor in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology & Molecular Genetics at UCLA. He earned his Ph.D. in molecular biology from the Albert Einstein School of Medicine in 1990. Dr. Cheng joined UCLA’s faculty in 1996, and his research focuses on infection, immunity, cancer, and metabolism. He pioneered TLR-mediated IFN induction pathways, discovering TRAF3 and TANK, and identified an IFN-mediated anti-inflammatory gene program. His research on antiviral IFN stimulatory genes led to novel antiviral strategies against viruses like SARS-CoV-2, Ebola, and Zika. Cheng has published over 230 papers, received several awards, and was elected a Fellow of the AAAS in 2012 and a member of the American Academy of Microbiology in 2018.

Dr. Yaron Ilan is a Professor of Medicine at the Hebrew University and Chairman of the Department of Medicine at Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem. He served as Vice Dean of the Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School and was a Visiting Professor at Harvard University, focusing on novel immunotherapies. His research areas include developing AI-based care algorithms, immunomodulatory therapies for fatty liver disease, diabetes, and inflammatory bowel diseases, and drugs for primary liver cancer. Dr. Ilan holds over 50 patents and has authored over 350 peer-reviewed articles and two books. He has invented several drugs, medical devices, and AI-based algorithms developed by pharmaceutical companies. Several of his innovations have reached the clinical market. Dr. Ilan has founded and advised several biotech companies.

Yaron Ilan M.D

Hebrew University, Israel

Dr. Erxi Wu is a Professor at Baylor Scott & White Health (BSWH), where he serves as the Associate Director of the Neuroscience Institute and Director of the Neuro-Oncology Research Center. Additionally, he holds a professorship at Texas A&M University Health Science Center and is an Associate Professor and Full Member of the LIVESTRONG Cancer Institutes at UT Austin. His previous roles include faculty positions at North Dakota State University, Harvard-MIT’s Health Sciences & Technology Division, and a research associate at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School. Dr. Wu has published over 170 peer-reviewed papers, and has received numerous grants. He serves on several review panels and boards, and frequently presents at national and international conferences.

Dr. Erxi Wu, PhD

Baylor Scott & White Health, USA

Dr. Eyad Elkord is a distinguished immunologist currently teaching at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, China & University of Salford, UK. He previously held significant academic positions, including roles at the University of Sharjah, UAE, and an honorary professorship at the University of Salford, UK. Professor Elkord is an influential researcher in oncoimmunology, focusing on the tumor microenvironment and the mechanisms tumors use to evade the immune system. His work particularly investigates immunosuppressive cells like T regulatory cells and myeloid-derived suppressor cells. He has published 130 papers in high-impact journals, with over 11,000 citations, an h-index of 48, and an M-index of 2.7. Recognized for his research impact, he has been listed among Stanford University’s top 2% of scientists globally for four consecutive years.

Eyad Elkord, MD. PhD

Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, China & University of Salford, UK.

Dr. Hua Yu is Billy Wilder Endowed Professor, Co-Leader of Cancer Immunotherapeutics Program, City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center.  Dr. Yu is a noted expert and pioneer on the role of STAT3 in cancer inflammation, which is critical for aging.  She was the first to uncover and define the protein’s effect on inducing immunosuppression in cancer. Dr. Yu’s studies have laid the foundation for a new generation of molecular targeted cancer therapy approaches that disable both tumor cell growth and inhibit cancer-promoting inflammation.  She has developed potentially paradigm-shifting novel siRNA, antibody and CRISPR delivery technology platforms to inhibit STAT3 and other challenging targets critical for cancer and aging (inflammation). Dr. Yu received her bachelor’s and doctoral degrees from Columbia University in New York City. She completed fellowships with the American Cancer Society and the National Institutes of Health. The fundamental discoveries from her laboratory have been well supported continuously by grants from the National Institutes of Health. Her recent studies have been published extensively in such prestigious biomedical /cancer research journals as Nature Medicine, Cancer Cell, Nature Biotechnology, Immunity and Cell Metabolism. She is also the corresponding author of multiple review articles on STAT3 in cancer / inflammation in Nature Reviews Cancer and Nature Reviews Immunology.

Hua Yu, PhD

City of Hope, USA

Prof. Liao’s research focuses on developing novel quantitative FRET(qFRET) technology for basic and translational research, host–virus interaction, inflammation, and diabetes. Prof. Liao joined the University of California at Riverside as a founding faculty of the Bioengineering Department from the Scripps Research Institute, where he discovered the human sweet receptor genes. Before that, Dr. Liao joined the Genomic Institute of Novartis Research Foundation (GNF) as the Founding Scientist of the GPCR platform, where Dr. Liao led an HTS that resulted in the discovery of S1P1-specific agonist(SEW2871), subsequently leading to the FDA-approved drugs, ozanimod from BMS/Celgene/ Receptos, siponimod from Novartis and estrasimod from Pfizer. His work also led to the award of Scripps Molecular Screening Center from the NIH Roadmap Blueprint Plan.

Prof. Liao was the first to discover the orally available GLP1 small molecule agonist, the human sweet receptor and SUMOylation E3 ligase PIAS family. Prof. Liao is a Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), and his work has led to more than 5700 citations and 32 patents.


Jiayu Liao, PhD

UC-riverside, USA

Dr. Lee is Chancellor’s Professor of Biomedical Engineering (BME) and MAE at UC Irvine (UCI). He served as department chair for BME from 2010-2019. He is currently Director of the NSF I/UCRC “Center for Advanced Design & Manufacturing of Integrated Microfluidics” (CADMIM). Dr. Lee was Editor-in-Chief for the Lab on a Chip journal from 2017-2020. Prior to UCI, he was at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and was a Program Manager at DARPA (1999-2001). His current research focuses on microtechnology for liquid biopsy, microphysiological systems, cell engineering, and immunotherapy. He has over 60 issued US patents over 130 journals articles. Dr. Lee received the 2009 Pioneers of Miniaturization Prize and is elected fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI), the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), RSC, ASME, IAMBE, and the Biomedical Engineering Society.

Haitao Yang earned his Ph.D. in Medical Genetics from the Faculty of Medicine at Uppsala University, Sweden. He completed postdoctoral training in Neurogenetics at UCLA and Cancer Genetics at UCSF. He has served as a professor at Shenzhen University School of Medicine and was named a Qianjiang Scholar Distinguished Professor in 2015.

Dr. Yang is a standing member of the Biotechnology Promotion Committee of the Chinese Genetics Society, a member of the Asia-Pacific Human Genetics Association, a researcher at the Shenzhen Research Institute of Sun Yat-sen University, and a genetic counselor at the Prenatal Diagnosis Center of Huizhou Women and Children’s Hospital. He founded biomedical technology companies in Shanghai and Shenzhen.

Currently, he is a professor at the Cell and Gene Therapy Research Center at Southern University of Science and Technology. His work focuses on research and development of mRNA tumor vaccines for cardiovascular diseases and tumors. Dr. Yang holds over 10 patents.



Haitao Yang, Ph.D

Shenzhen RNAvac. Co.Ltd.

Past Forum Speakers

iABS Forum-2023

Nobel Laureate, Stanford University, USA
Western University of Health Sciences, USA
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, USA
University of Southern California, USA