Liang Qiao, M.D.

M.D. University of Lausanne, Switzerland


Innate Immunity, Mucosal tolerance, and Vaccine Development


Mucosa is constantly exposed to environmental antigens including pathogens and unharmful antigens, such as commensal bacteria and food. It is not fully clear how the mucosa-associated lymphoid tissues remain tolerant of unharmful antigens but are able to mount an effective immune response against pathogens. Understanding of the immune system's regulatory mechanisms will greatly help us elucidate the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) and develop mucosal vaccines to prevent and to treat mucosa-transmitted viral and bacterial infections, such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and human papillomavirus (HPV), as well as mucosal tumors. Our current research interests are:

  • Innate immunity regulation and its role in mucosal tolerances

  • Development of mucosal (oral) vaccines against HPV and HIV

  • Development of mucosal vaccines against mucosal tumors, such as colorectal cancer

  • Mechanisms of tumor resistance to immunotherapy

Selected Publications

Zhai, Y., Z. Zhong, M. Zariffard, G. T. Spear, and L. Qiao. Bovine papillomavirus-like particles presenting conserved epitopes from membrane-proximal external region of HIV-1 gp41 induced mucodal and systemic antibodies. Vaccine, 2013 Sep 18. doi:pii: S0264-410X(13)01230-9. 10.1016/j.vaccine.2013.09.003. [Epub ahead of print]

Lyer, S.S., H. Qiong, J.R. Janczy, E.I. Elliot, Z. Zhong, A.K. Olivier, J.J. Sadler, V. Knepper-Adrian, R. Han, L. Qiao, S.C. Eisenbarth, W.M. Nauseef, S.L. Cassel, and F.S. Sutterwala. Mitochondrial cardiolipin regulates Nlrp3 inflammasome activation. Immunity. 2013 Aug 22;39(2):311-23. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2013.08.001. Epub 2013 Aug 15. PMID: 23954133.

Zhong, Z., Y. Zhai, S. Liang, Y. Mori, R. Han, F. S. Sutterwala and L. Qiao. TRPM2 links oxidative stress to NLRP3 inflammasome activation. Nature Communications. 2013 Mar 19;4:1611. doi: 10.1038/ncomms2608. PMID:23511475; PMCID: PMC3605705.

Zhang, T., Y. Xu, L. Qiao, Y. Wang, X. Wu, D. Fan, Q. Peng, and X. Xu. Trivalent Human Papillomavirus (HPV) VLP vaccine covering HPV type 58 can elicit high level of humoral immunity but also induce interference among component types. Vaccine. 2010 Apr 26;28(19):3479-87. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2010.02.057. Epub 2010 Mar 6. PMID:20211219.

Shah, S., and L. Qiao. Resting B cells expand a CD4+CD25+Foxp3+ Treg population via TGF-beta3. European Journal of Immunology, 2008 Sep;38(9):2488-98. doi: 10.1002/eji.200838201. PMID:18792402.

Fayad, R., M.I. Brand, D. Stone, A. Keshavarzian and L. Qiao. Apoptosis resistance in ulcerative colitis: high expression of decoy receptors by lamina propria T cells. European Journal of Immunology, 2006 Aug;36(8):2215-22. PMID:16856205.

Huang, Y., N. Obholzer, R. Fayad, and L. Qiao. Turning on/off tumor-specific CTL response during progressive tumor growth. Journal of Immunology, 2005 Sep 1;175(5):3110-6. PMID:16116200.

Huang, Y., R. Fayad, A. Smock, A.M. Ullrich, and L. Qiao. Induction of mucosal and systemic immune responses against human carcinoembryonic antigen by an oral vaccine. Cancer Research, 2005 Aug 1;65(15):6990-9. PMID:16061685.

Zhang, H., R. Fayad, X. Wang, D. Quinn, and L. Qiao. HIV-1 Gag-specific Immunity after Oral immunization with Papillomavirus Pseudoviruses Encoding Gag. Journal of Virology, 2004 Oct;78(19):10249-57. PMID:15367590.

Fayad, R., H. Zhang, D. Quinn, Y. Huang, and L. Qiao. Oral Administration with Papillomavirus Pseudovirus Encoding IL-2 Fully Restores Mucosal and Systemic Immune Responses to Vaccinations in Aged Mice. Journal of Immunology, 2004 Aug 15;173(4):2692-8. PMID:15294987.

Zhang, H., Y. Huang, R. Fayad, G.T. Spear, and L. Qiao. Induction of Mucosal and Systemic Neutralizing Antibodies against HIV-1 by Oral Immunization with Bovine Papillomavirus-HIV-1 gp41 Chimeric Virus-like Particles. Journal of Virology, 2004 Aug;78(15):8342-8. PMID:15254206.

Bu, P., A. Keshavarzian, D. Stone, J. Liu, P. Le, S. Fisher, and L. Qiao. Apoptosis: One of the mechanisms that maintains unresponsiveness of the intestinal mucosal immune system. Journal of Immunology, 2001 May 15;166(10):6399-403. PMID:11342665.

Shi, W., J. Liu, Y. Huang, and L. Qiao. Papillomavirus pseudovirus: A novel vaccine to induce mucosal and systemic cytotoxic T lymphocyte responses. Journal of Virology. 2001 Nov;75(21):10139-48. PMID:11581382.

Schreckerberger, C., P., Sethupathi, A. Kanjanahaluethai, J. Zhou, M. Muller, L. Gissmann and L. Qiao. Induction of an HPV6b L1-specific mucosal IgA response by DNA immunization. Vaccine, 2000 Sep 15;19(2-3):227-33. PMID:10930677.

Contreras, D., P. Krammer, R.K. Potkul, P. Bu, J. Rossi, A. Kaufmann, L. Gissmann, and L. Qiao. Cervical cancer cells induce apoptosis of CTL. Journal of Immunotherapy, 2000 Jan;23(1):67-74. PMID:10687139.

Shi, W., P. Bu, J. Liu, A. Polack, S. Fisher, and L. Qiao. HPV16 E7 DNA vaccine: Mutation in the ORF of E7 enhances specific CTL generation and anti-tumor activity. Journal of Virology, 1999 Sep;73(9):7877-81. PMID:10438884.



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