Life Sciences
Xuetao Cao

Awardee:  Xuetao Cao is President of Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, China. He was born in 1964, received his Ph.D. from Second Military Medical University SMMU (Shanghai, China) in 1990. He became Professor in Immunology in 1993 and appointed as the Director of the Institute of Immunology at SMMU in 2001. He is now Professor and Director of National Key Laboratory of Medical Immunology (2006.5-). He was elected to the Chinese Academy of Engineering in 2005, German Academy of sciences in 2013 and French Academy of Medicine in 2014. He had been the President of Chinese Society for Immunology for 8 years (2006.10-2014.10). He is currently the Secretary General of Chinese Society for Immunology (2006.10-), Secretary General of Federation of Immunological Societies in Asia and Oceania FIMSA (2015.6-) and President of Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases GACD (2013.12-). As corresponding author, he published more than 220 original papers in peer-reviewed journals including Cell, Nature, Science, Nature Immunology, Cancer Cell, etc. He is editorial board member of Cell, Annual Reviews of Immunology, Science Translational Medicine, eLife, etc.

Prof. Cao's laboratory focuses on the understanding of innate signaling in immunity and inflammation, identification of cell subsets and new molecules in dendritic cell (DC)-initiated immune response and cancer immunotherapy. His group has identified important mediators and regulators of innate signaling, characterized immune subsets with regulatory function in immunity, inflammation and cancer.

Award-winning achievement: Dendritic cell-mediated immune regulation and immunotherapy: From basic to clinic

Abstract:The fundamental question of Immunology is to discriminate normal "self" and pathogenic "non-self". Dendritic cells (DC) are regarded as the most important professional antigen-presenting cells which may recognize the invading pathogens and initiate immune response to eliminate the pathogens. However, the immunological functions and the underlying mechanism of DC in initiating and regulating immune response remain to be fully understood. Dr. Xuetao Cao and colleagues have investigated the functions of DC and identified the molecular mechanisms of DC-initiated immune response. After extensive studies, Dr. Cao's group has independently cloned novel molecules from human DC cDNA library, outlined new molecular mechanisms for DC-mediated immune activation and regulation, identified new subset of regulatory DC and pathway for DC differentiation, proposed new clues for DC and macrophages to efficiently activate innate immune response. In addition, they successfully translated the basic knowledge to clinical study, completing Phase II clinical trial of DC vaccine to treat metastatic cancer patients, and now having Phase III trial officially approved by China FDA. More recently, they have identified new epigenetic mechanisms for initiating and resolving inflammation in innate DC and macrophages, outlining potential targets and strategies for the design of anti-inflammatory drugs.