A National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center

Make an appointment: 800-826-HOPE
Liu, Chih-Pin, Ph.D. Research Bookmark and Share

Chih-Pin Liu, Ph.D. Research

T-cells and Immunity
T-cells play a central role in the generation of the host’s immunity to infections and tumors, and in the regulation of autoimmunity and allergy.  A critical prerequisite for selection and maturation of T-cells is cell surface expression of the T-cell antigen receptor (TCR) complex, which is responsible for recognition of antigens and for transmitting signals inside the cell. These processes are regulated by the interaction of TCR with antigens presented by major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules expressed on antigen presenting cells. Research carried out in this laboratory investigates the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying T-cell mediated immunity against tumors and the roles of T-cells in regulating inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.

Mechanisms underlying T-cell-mediated Immunity
Recognition of the MHC/antigen complex by TCRs generates a series of signaling events that regulate the behavior and function of T-cells. To study the molecular and cellular mechanisms regulating T-cell mediated immunity, we will use state-of-art molecular and proteomics (the study of proteins) approaches to identify the molecules regulating the activation and apoptosis of normal T cells and T cell leukemia. We will also investigate the in vivo role of these molecules using transgenic and gene knockout mice. These proteins may serve as molecular targets for modulating the function of T-cells and for the further immunotherapeutic treatment of various types of cancers. Moreover, we will perform experiments to determine the mechanisms that regulate T-cell functions responsible for tumor immunity and autoimmunity.

Regulation of Autoimmune Disease
In autoimmune diseases, such as type 1 diabetes, presentation of autoantigens by disease-associated MHC plays a critical role in the selection and activation of disease-associated T-cells.  It is now known that T-cells not only function as pathogenic T-cells that cause the disease but also function as regulatory T-cells that inhibit the disease. It has been shown that antigen-specific regulatory T-cells are more potent than a heterogeneous population of regulatory T cells in suppressing pathogenic processes. Therefore, it is desirable to use antigen-specific regulatory T cells to modulate the function of pathogenic T-cells to prevent autoimmune disease. It has been historically very difficult for immunologists to identify and isolate a sufficient number of antigen-specific T cells for further studies. We have addressed this question using novel multivalent MHC/ antigen tetramers, and have identified and isolated several lines of antigen-specific regulatory T-cells. We have demonstrated that the isolated regulatory T-cells can effectively inhibit type 1 diabetes.  Based on these findings, we will investigate the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the regulation of pathogenic T cell by these regulatory T cells that lead to prevention of the disease.  We will also examine whether these potent regulatory T cells can be used as a treatment to prevent the immune destruction of islet grafts in an animal model for islet transplantation.
 

Chih-Pin Liu, Ph.D. Lab Members

Chih-Pin Liu, Ph.D.
Professor
626-256-HOPE (4673),ext. 63455

Weiting Du, Ph.D.
Research Fellow
626-256-HOPE (4673),ext. 63427

Jiangying Shen, Ph.D.
Research Fellow
626-256-HOPE (4673),ext. 6037

Ding Wang, Ph.D.
Research Fellow
626-256-HOPE (4673),ext. 65254

Wenhui Lee, M.S.
Senior Research Associate
Research Associate
626-256-HOPE (4673),ext. 65525

Yueh-Wei Shen
Research Associate II
626-256-HOPE (4673),ext. 65520

Liu, Chih-Pin, Ph.D. Research

Chih-Pin Liu, Ph.D. Research

T-cells and Immunity
T-cells play a central role in the generation of the host’s immunity to infections and tumors, and in the regulation of autoimmunity and allergy.  A critical prerequisite for selection and maturation of T-cells is cell surface expression of the T-cell antigen receptor (TCR) complex, which is responsible for recognition of antigens and for transmitting signals inside the cell. These processes are regulated by the interaction of TCR with antigens presented by major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules expressed on antigen presenting cells. Research carried out in this laboratory investigates the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying T-cell mediated immunity against tumors and the roles of T-cells in regulating inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.

Mechanisms underlying T-cell-mediated Immunity
Recognition of the MHC/antigen complex by TCRs generates a series of signaling events that regulate the behavior and function of T-cells. To study the molecular and cellular mechanisms regulating T-cell mediated immunity, we will use state-of-art molecular and proteomics (the study of proteins) approaches to identify the molecules regulating the activation and apoptosis of normal T cells and T cell leukemia. We will also investigate the in vivo role of these molecules using transgenic and gene knockout mice. These proteins may serve as molecular targets for modulating the function of T-cells and for the further immunotherapeutic treatment of various types of cancers. Moreover, we will perform experiments to determine the mechanisms that regulate T-cell functions responsible for tumor immunity and autoimmunity.

Regulation of Autoimmune Disease
In autoimmune diseases, such as type 1 diabetes, presentation of autoantigens by disease-associated MHC plays a critical role in the selection and activation of disease-associated T-cells.  It is now known that T-cells not only function as pathogenic T-cells that cause the disease but also function as regulatory T-cells that inhibit the disease. It has been shown that antigen-specific regulatory T-cells are more potent than a heterogeneous population of regulatory T cells in suppressing pathogenic processes. Therefore, it is desirable to use antigen-specific regulatory T cells to modulate the function of pathogenic T-cells to prevent autoimmune disease. It has been historically very difficult for immunologists to identify and isolate a sufficient number of antigen-specific T cells for further studies. We have addressed this question using novel multivalent MHC/ antigen tetramers, and have identified and isolated several lines of antigen-specific regulatory T-cells. We have demonstrated that the isolated regulatory T-cells can effectively inhibit type 1 diabetes.  Based on these findings, we will investigate the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the regulation of pathogenic T cell by these regulatory T cells that lead to prevention of the disease.  We will also examine whether these potent regulatory T cells can be used as a treatment to prevent the immune destruction of islet grafts in an animal model for islet transplantation.
 

Lab Members

Chih-Pin Liu, Ph.D. Lab Members

Chih-Pin Liu, Ph.D.
Professor
626-256-HOPE (4673),ext. 63455

Weiting Du, Ph.D.
Research Fellow
626-256-HOPE (4673),ext. 63427

Jiangying Shen, Ph.D.
Research Fellow
626-256-HOPE (4673),ext. 6037

Ding Wang, Ph.D.
Research Fellow
626-256-HOPE (4673),ext. 65254

Wenhui Lee, M.S.
Senior Research Associate
Research Associate
626-256-HOPE (4673),ext. 65525

Yueh-Wei Shen
Research Associate II
626-256-HOPE (4673),ext. 65520
Our Scientists

Our research laboratories are led by the best and brightest minds in scientific research.
 

Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope is internationally  recognized for its innovative biomedical research.
City of Hope is one of only 41 Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the country, the highest designation awarded by the National Cancer Institute to institutions that lead the way in cancer research, treatment, prevention and professional education.
Learn more about City of Hope's institutional distinctions, breakthrough innovations and collaborations.
Develop new therapies, diagnostics and preventions in the fight against cancer and other life-threatening diseases.
 
Support Our Research
By giving to City of Hope, you support breakthrough discoveries in laboratory research that translate into lifesaving treatments for patients with cancer and other serious diseases.
 
 
 
 
NEWS & UPDATES
  • Cancer research has yielded scientific breakthroughs that offer patients more options, more hope for survival and a higher quality of life than ever before. The 14.5 million cancer patients living in the United States are living proof that cancer research saves lives. Now, in addition to the clinic, hospital an...
  • Advances in cancer treatment, built on discoveries made in the laboratory then brought to the bedside, have phenomenally changed the reality of living with a cancer diagnosis. More than any other time in history, people diagnosed with cancer are more likely to survive and to enjoy a high quality of life. Howeve...
  • While health care reform has led to an increase in the number of people signing up for health insurance, many people remain uninsured or are not taking full advantage of the health benefits they now have. Still others are finding that, although their premiums are affordable, they aren’t able to see the do...
  • Kidney cancer rates and thyroid cancer rates in adults have continued to rise year after year. Now a new study has found that incidence rates for these cancers are also increasing in children — particularly in African-American children. The study, published online this month in Pediatrics, examined childhood ca...
  • Thyroid cancer has become one of the fastest-growing cancers in the United States for both men and women. The chance of being diagnosed with the cancer has nearly doubled since 1990. This year an estimated 63,000 people will be diagnosed with thyroid cancer in the United States and nearly 1,900 people will die ...
  • Older teenagers and young adults traditionally face worse outcomes than younger children when diagnosed with brain cancer and other central nervous system tumors. A first-of-its-kind study shows why. A team of researchers from the departments of Population Sciences and Pathology at City of Hope recently examine...
  • Cancer treatment can take a toll on the mouth, even if a patient’s cancer has nothing to do with the head or throat, leading to a dry mouth, or a very sore mouth, and making it difficult to swallow or eat. Here’s some advice from the National Cancer Institute (NCI)  on how to ease cancer-related dis...
  • Radiation oncology is one of the three main specialties involved in the successful treatment of cancer, along with surgical oncology and medical oncology. Experts in this field, known as radiation oncologists, advise patients as to whether radiation therapy will be useful for their cancer – and how it can best ...
  • There’s more to cancer care than simply helping patients survive. There’s more to cancer treatment than simple survival. Constant pain should not be part of conquering cancer,  insists Betty Ferrell, Ph.D., R.N., director of nursing research and education at City of Hope. She wants patients and caregivers...
  • Even its name is daunting. Systemic mastocytosis is a fatal disease of the blood with no known cure. But a new study suggests a bone marrow transplant may be the answer for some patients. While rare, systemic mastocytosis is resistant to treatment with drugs and, when aggressive, can be fatal within four years ...
  • Could what you eat affect the health of your chromosomes? The short answer is, “Yes.” Researchers led by Dustin Schones, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Cancer Biology, and Rama Natarajan, Ph.D., director of the Division of Molecular Diabetes Research and the National Business Products Industry ...
  • September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. Here, Bertram Yuh, M.D., assistant clinical professor in the Division of Urology and Urologic Oncology at City of Hope, explains the importance of understanding the risk factors for the disease and ways to reduce those risks, as well as overall prostate health. “Wha...
  • ** Learn more about prostate health, plus prostate cancer research and treatment, at City of Hope. ** Learn more about getting a second opinion at City of Hope by visiting us online or by calling 800-826-HOPE (4673). City of Hope staff will explain what’s required for a consult at City of Hope and help yo...
  • Childhood cancer survival rates have increased dramatically over the past 40 years. More than 80 percent of children with cancer now survive five years or more, which is a tremendous feat. Despite the survival rate increase, cancer continues to be the No. 1 disease killer and second-leading cause of death in ch...
  • Although a stem cell transplant can be a lifesaving procedure for people diagnosed with a blood cancer or blood disorder, the standard transplant may not be appropriate for all patients. This is because the conditioning regimen (the intensive chemotherapy and/or radiation treatments preceding the transplant) is...