Member, Cancer Immunology, Inflammation and Tolerance Program
GRU Cancer Center
Assistant Professor of Medicine,
Section of Hematology/Oncology
1120 15th Street, CN 4140
Phone: (706) 721-4472
Gang Zhou, Ph.D. is a member of the Cancer Immunology, Inflammation and Tolerance (CIT) Program at the GRU Cancer Center. Dr. Zhou obtained his Ph.D. in Immunology (2003) from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Zhou is an Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine in the Medical College of Georgia at GRU.
Dr. Zhou studies the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying tumor-induced immune tolerance. The current researches in his laboratory focus on the role of tumor-specific CD4+ T cells in the context of chemotherapy and immunotherapy. Using a variety of murine tumor models, Dr. Zhou’s lab reported that tumor antigen-specific CD4+ T cells undergo aberrant differentiation in the tumor setting, acquiring a dysfunctional phenotype and/or immunosuppressive activities. Certain widely-used chemotherapeutic agents, with cyclophosphamide as an example, can reprogram the tumor microenvironment from tolerogenic to immunogenic, thereby promoting the effector differentiation and clonally expansion of tumor-specific CD4+ T cells. These polyfunctional CD4+ effector cells in turn act as the “gatekeeper” of the host antitumor immunity, and their functional status critically determines the outcome between eradication and regrowth of the residual tumors. Major efforts in Dr. Zhou’s lab include identifying and characterizing novel CD4+ T cell-potentiating chemotherapeutic agents, elucidating the mechanisms by which CD4+ effector cells activate other tumor-reactive immune cells, determining the molecules/pathways involved in sustaining or attenuating the function and survival of CD4+ effector cells. Findings from these studies will provide mechanistic basis for the design of more effective chemo-immunotherapy strategies that capitalize on the therapeutic potential of CD4+ T cells to cure cancer.