Chih-Hao "Lucas" Chang, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

We love to study metabolic events in immune cells and tissue microenvironments that govern their immune function and contribute to disease outcomes.

Metabolism is a set of biochemical transformations, which remains the single most fundamental force driving cell fate and sustaining life. Our lab is particularly interested in understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms that control immune cell behavior during disease development. Our investigation is currently focused on elucidating the metabolic events involved in T cell reprogramming in tumor microenvironment. Our research lies at the intersection of immunology, metabolism, microbiology, oncology, pharmacology, and bioinformatics. Ultimately, our goal is to provide detailed mechanistic understanding of metabolic interplay between immune cells and diseased tissues, which will offer novel strategies for vaccines, drug development, disease prognosis, and immunotherapy.

Education and experience


D.Phil. (Ph.D.) Clinical Medicine, University of Oxford, United Kingdom

M.Sc. Pharmacology, University of Oxford, United Kingdom

M.Sc. Microbiology, National Taiwan University

B.Sc. Agricultural Chemistry, National Taiwan University



Assistant Professor, The Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor, ME

Research Instructor, Washington University School of Medicine, Department of Pathology and Immunology, Saint Louis, MO

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Washington University School of Medicine, Department of Pathology and Immunology, Saint Louis, MO

Postdoctoral Researcher, Trudeau Institute, Saranac Lake, NY

Research Scientist, R&D division, Hen Te Biotechnology Co., Taipei, Taiwan

Research Assistant, Academia Sinica, Institute of Zoology, Taipei, Taiwan

Chemical Officer, Second Lieutenant, Taiwan Army

Annotated publications

  1. Chang CH, Pearce EL. (2016) Emerging concepts of T cell metabolism as a target for immunotherapy. Nature Immunology, 17(4):364-368.
  2. Chang CH, Qiu J, O’Sullivan D, Buck MD, Noguchi T, Curtis JD, Gindin M, Chen Q, Gubin MM, Tonc E, van der Windt GJ, Schreiber RD, Pearce EJ, Pearce EL. (2015) Metabolic competition in the tumor microenvironment is a driver of cancer progression. Cell, 162(6):1229-1241.
    • Highlighted by WUSTL theSource, Medical Xpress, World News, Health Canal.
    • Featured in a ‘Preview’ by Drs. Sukumar M., Roychoudhuri R., and Restifo N.P. “Nutrient Competition: A New Axis of Tumor Immunosuppression”, Cell 2015; 162(6):1206-1208
    • Selected as a ‘Research Highlight’ in Nature Reviews Cancer (October 2015); an ‘Editors’ Choice’ in Science Signaling (October 2015); and a ‘Research Watch’ in Cancer Discovery (November 2015).
  3. Chang CH, Kist N, Chester TLS, Sreenu VB, Herman M, Luo M, Lunn D, Bell J, Plummer FA, Ball TB, Katzourakis A, Iversen AK. (2015) HIV-infected patients with beneficial HLA variants are potential hubs for selection of HIV-1 recombinants that may affect disease progression. Scientific Reports, 5:11253.
  4. O’Sullivan D, van der Windt GJ, Huang SC, Curtis JD, Chang CH, Buck MD, Qiu J, Smith AM, DiPlato LM, Hsu FF, Birnbaum MJ, Pearce EJ, Pearce EL. (2014) Memory CD8+ T Cells Use Cell-Intrinsic Lipolysis to Support the Metabolic Programming Necessary for Development. Immunity, 41(1):75-88.
    • Featured in a ‘Preview’ by Drs. Weinberg S.E. and Chandel N.S. “Futility sustains memory T cells”, Immunilty 2014, 41(1):1-3.
    • Selected as a ‘Research Highlight’ in Nature Reviews Immunology (July 2014)
  5. Chang CH, Curtis JD, Maggi LB, Faubert B, Villarino AV, O’Sullivan D, Huang SC, van der Windt GJ, Blagih J, Qiu J, Weber JD, Pearce EJ, Jones RG, Pearce EL. (2013) Posttranscriptional control of T cell effector function by aerobic glycolysis. Cell, 153:1239-1251.
    • Highlighted by Bio Headlines, Biotech Daily, CTH, Science Daily, Free Press Journal, The Indian Express, WUSTL theSource, and News Medical.
    • Featured in a ‘Preview’ by Drs. Green D.R. and Rathmell J. “Sweet Nothings: Sensing of Sugar Metabolites Controls T Cell Function”, Cell Metabolism 2013; 18(1):7-8; and a ‘Prospective’ by Dr. Bensinger S.J. “Fueling function over expansion in T cells”, Science 2013; 341(6141):37-38.
    • Recommended by Drs. Yap G., Baldari C.T., Onnis A., and Berg L. in Faculty of 1000 (F1000Prime).
    • Selected as an ‘Editors’ Choice’ in Science Signaling (June 2013); a ‘Research Highlight’ in Nature Reviews Immunology (July 2013); and a ‘Research Highlight’ in Nature Immunology.
    • Selected and re-published in Best of 2013: Cell Press (January 2014).
  6. Pearce EL, Poffenberger E, Chang CH, Jones RG. (2013) Fueling Immunity: Insights into Metabolism and Lymphocyte function. Science, 342:1242454.
  7. Armitage AE, Deforche K, Chang CH, Wee E, Kramer B, Welch JJ, Gerstoft J, Fugger L, McMichael AJ, Rambaut A and Iversen AK. (2012) APOBEC3G-induced hypermutation of human immunodeficiency virus type-1 is typically a discrete "all or nothing" phenomenon. PLoS Genetics, 8(3):e1002550.
  8. van der Windt GJ, Everts B, Chang CH, Curtis JD, Freitas TC, Amiel E, Pearce EJ, Pearce EL. (2012) Mitochondrial respiratory capacity is a critical regulator of CD8+ T cell memory development. Immunity, 36(1):68-78.
    • Featured in and a ‘Preview’ by Drs. Powell J.D. and Pollizzi K. “Fueling memories”, Immunity 2012; 36(1):3-5.
    • Selected as a ‘Research Highlight’ in Nature Reviews Immunology (February 2012).
    • Recommended by Drs. Watts T., Petrie H., and Green D.R. in F1000Prime.
    • Selected and re-published in Immunity Best of 2012 (January 2013).