Chaoran Li, Ph.D., Postdoctoral FellowHarvard Medical School

Obesity has a strong link to certain cancers, and I believe that understanding this link is vital for curing cancer.
Area of Research: Liver Cancer, Pancreatic Cancer

Obesity is linked to many different diseases, including metabolic syndrome and cancer, due largely to the chronic inflammation that often accompanies obesity. However, how this inflammation is triggered and maintained is largely unknown. Dr. Li is working to characterize a subset of regulatory T cells (Tregs) that is found in fatty adipose tissue, with the goal of improving our ability to address this damage and prevent associated diseases. Specifically, he’s developed a mouse model that allows him to focus on adipose tissue Tregs and examine their role in the development of obesity-related metabolic syndrome and liver cancer. With these tools he plans to decipher how these Tregs form, function, and are regulated. By examining this activity over time, it may lead to the development of new preventive and therapeutic strategies for patients.

Projects and Grants

Differentiation and accumulation of adipose-tissue Tregs: Important players in the immunological control of metabolism and obesity-associated cancer

Harvard Medical School | Liver Cancer, Pancreatic Cancer | 2016 | Diane Mathis, Ph.D.

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