Weiping Zou

Weiping Zou, MD, PhD

Charles B. de Nancrede Professor of Surgery, Immunology and Biology
Co-Director, Tumor Immunology and Transplantation Biology Program


Weiping Zou, MD, PhD is the Charles B. de Nancrede and a Professor of Surgery, Immunology and Biology at the University of Michigan.  He is also the Co-Director of the Tumor Immunology and Transplantation Biology Program.  Within the University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center, he directs the Immunologic Monitoring Core and the Surgical Oncology Fellow Training (T32) program.

He received his MD from the Tongji Medical School in 1990 and his PhD from the University of Paris in 1997 for Immunology.  He did post-doctoral work at the Baylor Research Institute in Immunology ending in 2001.

Weiping Zou has delivered more than 200 invited lectures at different institutions and conferences, published more than 120 articles and book chapters including 16 in the series of journals of Nature, Science, and Cell, and provided 7 authority reviews and commentary articles in Nature and Science journals. Dr. Zou leads a laboratory staff whose primary focus is tumor immunology and immunotherapy.  His laboratory is one of the most cited research teams in the field of immunology. Its work has been highlighted by many scientific news agencies. The single original work on Tregs has been cited nearly 4,000 times. 

Weiping Zou leads a multidisciplinary laboratory that investigates the human cancer microenvironment with the goal of understanding the nature of human tumor immune responses and developing mechanism-informed combination therapies for cancer. The laboratory has demonstrated that the interaction between tumor cells and the host immune system fosters tumor immunosuppressive networks and results in cancer progression and therapeutic resistance. Its studies of cancer infiltrating antigen presenting cells (APCs), regulatory T cells (Tregs), effector T cell subsets, and myeloid derived suppressor cells (MDSCs), and molecular signatures have elucidated major cancer immunosuppressive mechanisms and allowed for determination of clinically targeting immunosuppressive networks to effectively treat cancer patients. The laboratory’s work including the first demonstration of the expression, regulation, and function of PD-L1 (B7-H1) in the human cancer microenvironment and its early concept of combinatorial immunotherapeutic strategy has laid the scientific foundation for current cancer immunotherapy and provides rationales for novel combinations.

In recent years, the laboratory has identified and characterized “hot” and “cold” subsets of ovarian cancer patients based on the levels of T cell tumor infiltration and defined epigenetic and metabolic mechanisms controlling effector T cell tumor trafficking and function. Much ongoing work is focused on identifying the molecular basis explaining different tumor phenotypes, immunotherapeutic response, and chemoresistance with an eye towards new combinatorial therapeutic approaches that should expand the range of patients who respond to current immunotherapies including PD-L1 blockade.

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