Weiping Zou

Weiping Zou, M.D., Ph.D.

Charles B. de Nancrede Professor
Professor of Pathology, Immunology, Biology, and Surgery
Director, Center of Excellence for Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy
Co-Director, Cancer Hematopoiesis and Immunology Program
Director, Translational Research, Department of Surgery
Director, University of Michigan Surgical Oncology Research Training Program



Weiping Zou serves as Director of the Michigan Center of Excellence for Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy and Co-Director of the Cancer Hematopoiesis and Immunology Program at the University of Michigan School of Medicine and Rogel Cancer Center. He also co-directs the Surgical Oncology Fellow Training (T32) program, through which clinical fellows are trained to become physician scientists with a focus on cancer immunology and immunotherapy. At the national level, he was the AACR Cancer Immunology (CIMM) Chairperson 2019-2020 and served as the Cancer Immunology Abstract Programming Chair for AAI for 4 years. He has delivered more than 300 invited lectures at different institutions and conferences and published more than 200 articles and book chapters, including many articles in Nature, Science, and Cell journal series. His laboratory is one of the most cited research teams in the field of immunology. Their work has been highlighted by many scientific news agencies. “Specific recruitment of regulatory T cells in ovarian carcinoma fosters immune privilege and predicts reduced survival”, an original work on human Tregs, has been cited more than 6,000 times since its publication. Weiping Zou has developed an international reputation in human tumor immunology and immunotherapy.

Research Interests

The Zou laboratory uses multidisciplinary research approach and models, including systems biology and bioinformatics, the in vitro and ex vivo culture systems, basic immunology and molecular biology tools, specific genetic animal models, and patients treated with different types of therapy; and investigates the involvement of several immunological and biological pathways in the tumor microenvironment. Their research interests are to understand the nature of the immune responses in the tumor microenvironment, and their relevance in clinical translation and therapeutic application.

Reseach Opportunities for Rotating Students

We study genetic, epigenetic, metabolic, and autophagic mechanisms controlling APC and T cell trafficking and function in the tumor microenvironment, thereby impacting on tumor progression, metastasis, and therapeutic efficacy. Ongoing work is focused on identifying the molecular basis, that defines different immune and biological phenotypes of tumors, and shapes tumor responses to immunotherapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and radiation therapy. These studies will eventually help identify previously unknown therapeutic targets and inform novel combinatorial therapeutic approaches that should expand the range of patients who respond to current immunotherapies.