Hua Zhang, PhD, Biologist
Hua Zhang received his Bachelor of Medicine at Shanghai Second Medical University then a PhD in Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Arizona. Dr. Zhang has had a longstanding interest in the development of immunotherapies for cancer. He first postdoctoral fellowship was in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Texas where he worked to develop scFv antibody derived biologics (Zhang et al, Cancer Research 1995) and then he subsequently studied with Dr. Keith Black at Cedars-Sinai where worked on a clinical trial of dendritic cell vaccines for patients with brain tumors. Dr. Zhang came to the NCI in 1999 as postdoctoral fellow where he conducted studies on anti-tumor immune responses in patients with pediatric solid tumors (Zhang et al, Cancer Biology and Therapy, 2003), followed by a seminal study demonstrating IL-2 induced expansion of regulatory T cells in patients enrolled on a clinical immunotherapy trial (Zhang et al, Nat Med, 2005). He also developed an artificial antigen presenting cell based approach to expand cytolytic T cells for adoptive cell therapy (Zhang et al, J Immunol 2007), then subsequently adapted this approach for the expansion of highly lytic activated NK cells (Zhang et al, J Immunoth, 2011), which is currently being explored in a clinical trial in the Pediatric Oncology Branch (NCI-11-C-0073, NCT01287104). His current work focuses on identifying a novel subset of myeloid derived suppressor cells in patients with metastatic pediatric solid tumors and on further elucidating the factors regulating lysis of tumor cells by aAPC activated NK cells.