Education & Research
Biliang Hu received his Bachelor's degree in Biological Sciences from University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) in 2007. He finished Ph.D. study in Prof. Pin Wang’s lab in the Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at USC in 2013. During the Ph.D. study, he had investigated various interesting scientific topics, from DCs-targeted integration deficient lentiviral vaccine for induction of protective T cell immunity against tumors, engineering lentivector based genetic vaccination with biodegradable polymer matrix, to recently monoclonal antibody directed modulation of tumor immune system. He also actively collaborated with research groups on polymeric nanocapsule for delivery of cancer therapeutic protein complex (Muxun Zhao, Dr. Zhen Gu, Prof. Yi Tang, UCLA), and peptide evolution towards high stability and efficient oral availability (Dr. Stephen V. Fiacco, Prof. Richard W. Roberts, USC).
Lentivectors have been shown to be excellent delivery vehicles for antigens of infectious diseases or cancers for vaccination purposes to elicit effective cellular immunity and humoral responses. Recently, novel incorporation of DCs-targeting glycoprotein and integration deficiency confers the lentivector-based vaccine significantly better efficiency and safety.
Lentivector-based vaccine capable of inducing high level of potent tumor killing cytotoxic CD8+ T cells has emerged as a very promising technique among diversified cancer immunotherapies. Another critical component to a successful immunization for antitumor immunity is the CD4+ helper T cells, which can help primary CD8+ T cells, reactivate memory CTLs, and promote B cells mediated antibody response. Further research to break through tumor tolerance is still the key to the therapeutic success of vaccine initiated tumor immunotherapy.
Antibody design and engineering
Antibody, as one of the two major arms of adaptive immune system, has played a central role in protecting against infectious agents for most of the clinically successful vaccines, and gained huge success in clinical cancer therapy. Although discoveries of diverse broad neutralizing antibodies against HIV have shed bright light on the understanding of structural epitopes on HIV glycoprotein ENV, major challenge remains in the designing of ultimately therapeutic antibodies controlling HIV spread and desirable antigenic vaccines inducing protective antibody immunity against HIV infection.