National Key Laboratory of Medical Immunology, Institute of Immunology, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai, China
Dr. Xuetao Cao was born in Shandong Province, China in 1964 and received his both of his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from the Second Military Medical University (1986 and 1990, Shanghai, China). He became Professor in Immunology in 1993 at the Second Military Medical University and the Director of the Institute of Immunology at the same University in 2001. He is the Founder Director of the Institute of Immunology at Zhejiang University since 2000. He has also been Professor and Founder Director of the National Key Laboratory of Medical Immunology since 2006. He was past Vice-President of Second Military Medical University (2004-2010), the past President of Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences (2011-2017), the past President of Peking Union Medical College in Beijing, China (2015-2017) and past President of Nankai University, Tianjin, China (2017-2022). Dr. Cao was elected to the Chinese Academy of Engineering in 2005, German Academy of Sciences in 2013, French Academy of Medicine in 2014, EMBO in 2015, UK Academy of Medicine in 2016 and US National Academy of Medicine in 2017. He was President of Chinese Society for Immunology for 8 years (2006.10-2014.10), President of Federation of Immunological Societies in Asia and Oceania FIMSA (2012.5-2015.6) and President of Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases GACD (2013.12-2015.12). He is currently the President of Chinese Society of Biomedical Engineering (2015-).
Dr. Xuetao Cao's major research interests are innate immunity and inflammation, tumor immunology and immunotherapy . His group has made contributions to the understanding of innate signaling in immunity and inflammation, identification of regulatory cell subsets and new molecules in dendritic cell (DC)-initiated immune response, and translational research of cancer immunotherapy. As corresponding author, he has published more than 230 original papers in prestigious peer-reviewed journals such as Cell, Nature, Science, Nature Immunology, Cancer Cell, and Immunity. He is Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Chinese Journal of Cancer Biotherapy, Editor-in-Chief of Cellular and Molecular Immunology and Senior Editor of Cancer Immunology Research, Review Editor of Journal of Molecular Medicine. He also serves on the editorial or advisory board of a number of international journals including Cell, Annual Reviews of Immunology and Science Translational Medicine, eLife, Cell Research.
His group has identified and functionally characterized 22 novel molecules from a human DC cDNA library since 1998. He has identified several subsets of immune cells with regulatory functions, for example, he found that splenic stroma can drive mature DC to further proliferate and differentiate into IalowCD11bhigh regulatory DC subset which can feedback inhibit immune response. He has identified important mediators and regulators of TLR/RIG-I-triggered innate inflammatory response. For example, he found that Siglec-G, a mouse homolog of human Siglec-10 he independently cloned from human DC library, assists RNA viruses to evade innate immune responses by promoting RIG-I degradation. He has investigated the epigenetic regulation of inflammatory innate response, for example, his group identified miRNomes in DC and also discovered the first DC-specific long non-coding RNA he named Lnc-DC to regulate DC differentiation and function by directly binding STAT3 and promoting STAT3 activation. More recently, he discovered a new function of Tet2 in inhibiting inflammatory cytokine production by promoting histone deacetylation during inflammation resolution, and proposed new models of epigenetic regulation of innate immunity and inflammation.
Cao was also a pioneer in cancer immunotherapy and translational research in China. He launched Chinese Journal of Cancer Biotherapy as Editor-in-Chief in 1994. He received certification from Chinese FDA to produce recombinant human IL-2 and recombinant human GM-CSF in late 90s. His group screened and identified several candidates of biomarkers such as microRNA-199 in the predication of cancer patients' prognosis and responsiveness to immunotherapy, and also investigated new approaches to cancer immunotherapy in basic and clinic trial. For example, his group identified hepatic RIG-I as one useful biomarker and tumor suppressor to predict survival and interferon-α therapeutic response in hepatocellular carcinoma patients. Recently he verified TLR3 as the useful biomarker of lung metastasis, linking the innate inflammatory response and cancer prognosis. He headed and completed a randomized multi-center Phase II clinical trial of autologous DC-based chemoimmunotherapy of metastatic cancer patients with exciting therapeutic efficacy achieved, and is now heading Phase III clinical trial.
Dr. Cao has won many awards in recognition of his scientific achievements and dedication to public services and China's medical research and education. He is widely recognized as a thought leader in promoting innovative and cross-disciplinary medical research at the national level and spearheads a number of initiatives. He has done successfully to reform the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences (CAMS) and has set up several new CAMS institutes and Research Centers, especially he launched CAMS Innovation Funds for Medical Sciences (300 million USD, 2016-2018) to support researchers. He had been the president of Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases (GACD) for two years to coordinate the resources to strengthen the international collaboration among the GACD members (NIH, MRC, CIHR, NHMRC, CAMS, etc). He served the president of Federation of Immunology Societies of Asia-Oceania (FIMSA) for three years, bridging the immunologists in this area to have meetings and advanced courses. He is proud to act as a bridge between China and the world on many occasions and has worked tirelessly to encourage international collaborations and enhance the global visibility of China's own research and development.