Dr. Zihai Li
President & Founding Director, IIO
As a physician scientist and leader in academic medicine, Dr. Li plays unique roles in advancing clinical and academic missions at multiple levels. Dr. Li’s work is supported by the National Institutes of Health, including a program project grant from the National Cancer Institute and four R01 grants for which he is principal investigator. He also is an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians and he is widely published on topics of immune tolerance, cancer immunology and chaperone biology.
With primary interests in the mechanisms of immune regulation in cancer, Dr. Li’s laboratory team has made seminal contributions to understanding the immunological properties of heat shock proteins in cancer immunotherapy and immune tolerance. His current interests focus on developing better immune-therapeutics against cancer by reprogramming the tumor microenvironment, including regulatory T cells, thrombocytes and protein response.
As the Founding Director, Dr. Li will establish the Institute for Immuno-Oncology at the OSUCCC – James and will draw from new and existing faculty from multiple colleges at Ohio State. Development of the institute will include, a robust recruitment strategy, establishment of new shared resources and several centers of excellence, including cell therapy, immunogenomics and systems immunology, with platforms in immune discovery and monitoring to support existing and new clinical trials.
At the University of South Carolina, Dr. Li was a tenured professor and chair of the Department of Microbiology & Immunology, and co-leader of the Cancer Immunology Program at the Hollings Cancer Center. He earned his medical degree at Henan Medical University in China and his PhD in immunology from the Icahn School of Medical at Mount Sinai in New York City. He completed his residency at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City and his oncology fellowship training at the University of Washington and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. He joined The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute on April 1, 2019
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Dr. Zihai Li
President & Founding Director of IIO
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