Yan joined Amgen in 2015 as a Principal Scientist in Inflammation and Oncology Research. Prior to that, he spent several years at various companies (BMS, Novo Nordisk & Pfizer) to drive the discovery and development of therapeutic targets in both autoimmune diseases and cancer immunotherapy, with primary focus on modulating T cells responses for disease intervention.

Yan’s current basic research interest at Amgen aims to understand the immune-dysfunction in cancer immunity. Regulatory T cells (Treg), which frequently accumulate in the tumor microenvironment (TME), represent the major population of infiltrating CD4+ T cells, and substantially contribute to the suppression of antitumor effector T cell (Teff) responses. He would like to explore the mechanisms for the differential regulation of Treg and Teff cells within the TME including their metabolism and their trafficking upon tumor reprograming of a “social network” of endothelial, fibroblastic stroma and lymphocyte cells within the TME. Ultimately, he would like to apply these learnings to discover and develop novel therapeutic agents to treat cancer patients.

Featured Publications

Zheng Y, Gallucci S, Gaughan JP, Gross JA and Monestier M. A role for BAFF in chemically-induced autoimmunity. J. Immunol. 2005, 175: 6163-6168 https://www.jimmunol.org/content/175/9/6163.long

Zheng Y, Danilenko DM, Valdez P, Kasman I, Eastham-Anderson J, Wu J and Ouyang W. Interleukin-22, a TH17 cytokine, mediates IL-23-induced dermal inflammation and acanthosis. Nature 2007, 445(7128):648-51 https://www.nature.com/articles/nature05505

Zheng Y, Valdez PA, Danilenko DM, Hu Y, Sa SM, Gong Q, Abbas AR, Modrusan Z, Ghilardi N, de Sauvage FJ and Ouyang W. Interleukin-22 mediates early host defense against attaching and effacing bacterial pathogens. Nature Medicine 2008 Mar;14(3):282-9 https://www.nature.com/articles/nm1720

Pickert G, Neufert C, Leppkes M, Zheng Y, Wittkopf N, Warntjen M, Lehr HA, Hirth S, Weigmann B, Wirtz S, Ouyang W, Neurath MF and Becker C. STAT3 links IL-22 signaling in intestinal epithelial cells to mucosal wound healing. J. Exp. Med. 2009 Jul 6;206(7):1465-72 https://rupress.org/jem/article-lookup/doi/10.1084/jem.20082683

Ota N, Wong K, Valdez PA, Zheng Y, Crellin NK, Diehl L and Ouyang W. IL-22 bridges the lymphotoxin pathway with the maintenance of colonic lymphoid structures during infection with Citrobacter rodentium. Nature Immunology 2011 Aug 28;12(10):941-8 https://www.nature.com/articles/ni.2089


Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship, Genentech
Ph.D., Microbiology & Immunology, Temple University
B.S., Biochemistry, Fudan University