Nelson Chao, MD, the Donald D. and Elizabeth G. Cooke Professor of Medicine and Immunology and Chief of the Division of Hematologic Malignancies and Cellular Therapy at Duke University, has been the leader of the Hematologic Malignancies and Cellular Therapy (HMCT) Program since he joined the Duke faculty in 1996. One of his major efforts is to foster interactions with laboratory based work and help with the transition to the clinical arena, bringing laboratory based protocols to the clinics and bringing clinical observations to foster laboratory research. Importantly, Dr. Chao has been instrumental in leading multi investigator grants, specifically the P-01 in hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and the Center for Medical Countermeasures Against Radiation (CMCR, U-19) which brings principal investigators from Duke as well as other academic institutions.
Dr. Chao is assisted by Co-leader, Yiping Yang, MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine, Division of Hematologic Malignancies and Cellular Therapy at Duke University. Dr. Yang's research focuses on tumor immunology and immune regulation. Specifically, he has extensive expertise in the role of innate immunity in cancer immunotherapy and the development of effective immunotherapeutic strategies for treating hematological malignancies. One of Dr. Yang's major efforts is to promote and implement the immunotherapy component of the Program. The Program Co-leaders, Dr. Chao (with expertise in stem-cell based therapy) and Dr. Yang (with expertise in immune-based therapy) have established long-standing interactions and collaborations in grant funding (i.e. P01) and in publications. In addition, Drs. Chao and Yang interact extensively with members of the HMCT Program as well as other research programs within the DCI.