Assistant Professor |School of Medicine, School of Medicine

Yang Xu Ph.D., Tenure-track assistant professor & doctoral supervisor at SUSTech School of Medicine. Dr. Xu graduated from Baylor College of Medicine (Houston, TX) in 2015 with a Ph.D degree in Immunology and finished his post-doc training at the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from 2015 to 2020. Dr. Xu’s research focus on CAR-T cell immunology for cancer and basic T cell biology and he published 8 research articles in high-impact journals such as Nature Biotechnology, Blood, Journal of Clinical Investigation, Cancer Cell, etc.

Personal Profile


Dr. Xu focuses on improving the efficacy of CAR-T cell immunotherapies in solid tumors by studying the molecular and cellular signatures of solid tumor microenvironment.

My research focus includes:

Development of novel chemotaxis system in CAR-T cells to facilitate tumor infiltration.

Investigate T cell metabolism to improve metabolic fitness of CAR-T cells in tumor.

Investigate the molecular mechanism of functional exhaustion of CAR-T cells and the functions of inhibitory receptors in CAR-T cell signaling.

Meanwhile, we also have collaboration with other laboratories in the U.S. on projects involving T cell differentiation and T cell signaling.


MED5013 Basic Immunology Seminars

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Review Editorial Board – Frontier Immunology

Review Editorial Board – Frontier Oncology

Reviewer for Science Advanced, Cancer Cell, Cellular & Molecular Immunology, Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy.



  1. Xu Y, Zhang M, Ramos CA, Durett A, Liu E, Dakhova O, Liu H, Creighton CJ, Gee AP, Heslop HE, Rooney CM, Savoldo B, Dotti G. 2014. Closely related T-memory stem cells correlate with in vivo expansion of CAR.CD19-T cells and are preserved by IL-7 and IL-15. Blood 24: 3750-59

  2. Xu Y, Chaudhury A, Zhang M, Savoldo B, Metelitsa LS, Rodgers J, Yustein JT, Neilson JR, Dotti G. 2 Glycolysis determines dichotomous regulation of T cell subsets in hypoxia. Journal of Clinical Investigation 126(7):2678-88.

  3. Xu Y, Dotti 2016. Selection bias: maintaining less-differentiated T cells for adoptive immunotherapy. Journal of Clinical Investigation 126(1):35-7.

  4. Ma X, Shou P, Smith C, Chen Y, Du H, Sun C, Kren NP, Michaud D, Ahn S, Vincent B, Savoldo B, Pylayeva-GuptaY, Zhang S, Dotti G, Xu Y. 2020. Interleukin-23 engineering improves CAR-T cell function in solid tumors. Nature Biotechnology.

  5. Sun C, Shou P, Du H, HIrabayashi K, Chen Y, Herring L, Ahn S, Xu Y, Suzuki K, Li G, Tsahouridis O, Su L, Savoldo B, Dotti G. 2020. Themis-SHP1 Recruitment by 4-1BB Tunes LCK-Mediated Priming of Chimeric Antigen Receptor-Redirected T cells. Cancer Cell. 37, 1-10.

  6. Du H, Hirabayashi K, Ahn S, Kren NP, Montgomery SA, Wang X, Tiruthani K, Mirlekar  R, Michaud  D, Greene  K, Herrera  SG, Sun  C, Chen  Y, Xu  Y, Ma  X, Ferrone  CR, Pylayeva-Gupta  Y, Yeh  JJ, Liu  R, Savoldo  B, Ferrone  S, Dotti  G . 2019. Antitumor Responses in the Absence of Toxicity in Solid Tumors by Targeting B7-H3 Via Chimeric Antigen Receptor T Cells. Cancer Cell 35, 221–237.

  7. Jones RB, Garrison KE, Mujib S, Mihajlovic V, Aidarus N, Hunter DV, Martin E, John VM, Zhan W, Faruk NF, Gyenes G, Sheppard NC, Priumboom-Brees IM, Goodwin DA, Chen L, Rieger M, Muscat-King S, Loudon PT, Stanley C, Holditch SJ, Wong JC, Clayton K, Duan E, Song H, Xu Y, SenGupta D, Tandon R, Sacha JB, Brockman MA, Benko E, Kovacs C, Nixon DF, Ostrowski MA. 2012. HERV-K-specific T cells eliminate diverse HIV-1/2 and SIV primary isolates. Journal of Clinical Investigation 12: 4473-89.

  8. Jones RB, Song H, Xu Y, Garrison KE, Buzdin AA, Anwar N, Hunter DV, Mujib S, Mihajlovic V, Martin E, Lee E, Kuciak M, Raposo RA, Bozorgzad A, Meiklejohn DA, Ndhlovu LC, Nixon DF, Ostrowski MA. 2013. LINE-1 retrotransposable element DNA accumulates in HIV-1-infected cells. Journal of Virology 24:13307-20.

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