Lei S. Qi, Ph.D.

Title
Assistant Professor
Department
Department of Bioengineering
Institution
Stanford University
Address
443 Via Ortega
Shriram Center Room 329
City, State, Zip
Stanford, CA 94305
Phone
(510) 520-8281
E-mail
stanley.qi[at]stanford.edu
Website
https://med.stanford.edu/profiles/stanleyqi
Research Field
Bioengineering
Award Year
2016

Research

My lab is developing new approaches for programming immune cells to recognize and destroy tumors. A major hallmark of cancer cells is their extraordinary ability to evade detection and elimination by the immune system. For example, many cancer cells coat themselves in a protein called CD47, which, when encountered by immune cells, shuts down their defense mechanism—thus protecting the malignant cells from getting destroyed. Combining protein and genome engineering, I will generate enhanced immune cells with a special protein that, when encountered by CD47 on a cancer cell, creates a signal to switch immune defenses on, allowing the immune cell to engulf and kill the cancer cell. Notably, this system can be customized to recognize cancer-specific markers for diverse tumor types and to activate different kinds of immune responses. The work represents a novel method for designing and manufacturing cell-based immunotherapies against a variety of human cancers.