Group Members

Principal Investigator

LILI YANG
liliyang at ucla.edu

Lili received her B.S. degree in Biology from the University of Science & Technology of China (USTC) in 1997, her M.S. degree in Biomedical Sciences from the University of California, Riverside (UCR) in 1999, and her Ph.D. degree in Biology from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in 2004. She had her postdoctoral training and led the Engineering Immunity Program at the Laboratory of David Baltimore at Caltech from 2004-2012. She joined UCLA as an Assistant Professor in January of 2013.
Besides research, Lili enjoys reading and traveling.

Lab Manager & Research Assistant

Alice Yang Zhou
ZZYDCAT at g.ucla.edu

Alice received her B.A. degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Science & Technology of China (USTC) in 2013, and her M.S. degree in Foods and Nutrition from the University of Georgia in August of 2016. She joined the Yang Lab in September of 2016. Alice works on cancer immunotherapy. 
Besides research, Alice enjoys pet sitting, cooking, and traveling. 

Postdoctoral Scholar

Shirley Xi Wang
xwang81 at ucla.edu

Shirley received her B.A. degree in Medicine from Chongqing Medical University at China in 2004, and her M.S. degree in Medicine from Shanghai Jiaotong University at China in 2007. She received her PH.D. in Biomedical Sciences from the the University of Tennessee Health Science Center/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in December of 2014. Her Ph.D. thesis work was studying the role of MCL-1 in cardiac function. She joined the Yang Lab in May of 2015. Shirley works on molecular control of immune cell activities in cancer, and engineering immunity against cancer.
Besides research, Shirley enjoys reading, traveling, and cooking.

Inyoung Choi
inyoungc88 at gmail.com

Inyoung received her B.A. degree in Biochemistry with minor in Biomedical Research from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 2010, and her Ph.D. in Genetics, Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Southern California (USC) in 2016. Her Ph.D. thesis work was to investigate the effects of dietary restriction on age-associated CNS degeneration, CNS stem cell regeneration and neurodegenerative diseases. She joined the Yang lab in June of 2016. Inyoung works on the interface of immune system and nervous system in tumor microenvironment.
Besides research, Inyoung enjoys yoga and any outdoor activities.

Stefano Di Biase
stefanodb at g.ucla.edu

Stefano received his B.S. degree in Biotechnologies with a minor in Biochemistry in Italy from La Sapienza University of Rome in 2008, his M.S. degree in Biochemistry from La Sapienza University of Rome in 2010, and his Ph.D. from the University of Southern California (USC) in May of 2016. In his Ph.D. thesis, Stefano discovered a novel pathway linking dietary restriction and immune system activation that targets cancer cells. Stefano joined the Yang Lab in June 2016 and he is currently working on tumor immunology and cancer metabolism.
Besides research, Stefano enjoys motorcycle riding, cycling, and playing guitar.

Ryan Yuchen wang
  wangyuchen at ucla.edu

Ryan received his B.A. degree in Biology from Anhui University at China in 2010, and his Ph.D. degree in Immunology & Cell Biology from the University of Science & Technology of China (USTC) in 2016. His Ph.D. thesis work was to study the role of Forkhead Box protein O1 during macrophage polarization in Staphylococcus aureus infection, autoimmunity and tumor immunology. He joined the Yang Lab in August of 2016. Ryan works on tumor immunology and cancer immunotherapy.

Besides research, Ryan enjoys hiking, playing board games, and visiting museums.

Graudate Student

drake Smith
drakeJsmith at gmail.com

Drake received his B.S. degree in Biochemistry with a minor in Biology from Utah State University in May of 2013. He is currently a Ph.D. student in the Immunity, Microbes and Molecular Pathogenesis (IMMP) Home Area at UCLA. He joined the Yang Lab in March of 2014. Drake works on the therapeutic applications of stem cell-engineered invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells.
Besides research, Drake enjoys rock climbing, hiking, and camping. 

Samuel weijia Zeng
samzeng32 at gmail.com

Sam received his B.A. degree in Biology from Columbia University in the May of 2014. He is currently a second year medical student (MS2) in UCLA’s Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP), and will be joining the Yang lab in the summer of 2017.  Sam is interested in immunotherapy and aims to work on invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells-based immunotherapy for cancer.
Besides research, Sam enjoys self-learning the piano, reading web novels, and maintaining his awesome fish tank. 

Rotating Graduate Student

Victor Jiaji Yu
jiaji at g.ucla.edu

Victor received his B.A. degree in Applied Biology and Biotechnology from Hong Kong Polytechnic University in 2016. He is currently a Ph.D. student in the Immunity, Microbes and Molecular Pathogenesis (IMMP) Home Area at UCLA. He Joined the Yang Lab in August of 2016. Victor works on engineering immune system against cancer.
Besides research, Victor enjoys playing basketball, badminton, and tennis.

Murphy Feiyang Ma
mafeiyang at g.ucla.edu

Murphy received his B.S. degree in Biological Science from Nankai University at China in 2016. He is currently a Ph.D. student in the Immunity, Microbes and Molecular Pathogenesis (IMMP) Home Area at UCLA. He joined the Yang Lab in August of 2016. Murphy works on molecular control of immune cell activities in cancer, and engineering immunity against cancer.
Besides research, Murphy enjoys playing sports and reading.

Geoff pronovost
GEOFFPRONOVOST AT GMAIL.COM

Geoff received his B.S. degree in Biochemistry with an emphasis in Biology from the University of California, Riverside (UCR) in June of 2016. He is currently a Ph.D. student in the Immunity, Microbes and Molecular Pathogenesis (IMMP) Home Area at UCLA. He joined the Yang lab in September of 2016. Geoff works on invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cell-based immunotherapy.
Besides research, Geoff enjoys playing cello, surfing, and sculpting.

Undergraduate Student

alexander pham
alexphamder at ucla.edu

Alex is currently an undergraduate student majoring in Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics (MIMG) at UCLA. He joined the Yang Lab in August of 2014. Alex works with Shirley Wang on molecular control of immune cell activities in cancer and autoimmune diseases.
Besides research and classes, Alex enjoys playing with the Nanodrop 2000 and having Boba Tea!

Levina Lin
levina.j.lin at ucla.edu

Levina is currently an undergraduate student majoring in Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics (MIMG) at UCLA. She joined the Yang Lab in June of 2015. Levina works with Drake Smith on invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells.
Besides research and classes, Levina enjoys reading, running, and playing piano.

Lab Alumni

CLARET SIYUAN LIU

Claret received her B.S. degree in Biotechnology from Huazhong Agriculture University at China in 2006, and her M.S. degree in Genetics from Iowa State University in 2010. Claret worked with Dr. Lili Yang at the Laboratory of David Baltimore at Caltech from 2010-2013. She was a lab manager at the UCLA Yang Lab in 2013-2015. At the Yang Lab, she worked on engineering immune system against cancer and other chronic diseases like autoimmunity and HIV/AIDS.

Currently Claret works as a Scientist at the Amgen Inc. in Thousand Oaks, California.

Bo li

Bo received his B.A. degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Wuhan Institute of Technology at China in 2005, his M.S. degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Beijing Institute of Technology in 2007, and his PH.D. degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College in 2010. He had his first postdoctoral training at Loma Linda University School of Medicine from December of 2010 to March of 2014. He continued his postdoc training at the Yang Laboratory from 2014-2016, working on molecular control of immune cell activities in cancer and autoimmune diseases.

Currently Bo works as an Assistant Professor at the Loma Linda University in Loma Linda, California.



Lili Yang Lab • UCLA • 610 Charles E. Young Dr. East • TLSB3045 • Los Angeles • California 90095-7243