The Chang Lab

The Chang Lab delves into the intricate realm of immune cell metabolism and its profound impact on diseases like cancer and lupus, forging effective treatments through in-depth molecular understanding.

The Chang Lab leverages the intersecting fields of immunology and metabolism to uncover the cellular and molecular mechanisms that control immune cell behaviors, which shape disease development, with primary focus on lupus and cancer, along with other autoimmune and aging diseases. Using diverse mouse models of cancer and autoimmunity, we employ cutting edge technologies and analytical techniques such as spatial metabolite, protein, and transcriptomic analyses, single-cell RNA sequencing, seahorse metabolic flux analyses, and diverse immunometabolic therapies. These analyses allow for us to explore the relationships between immune cell fate, populations, metabolism, cellular function, and disease progression to develop more effective therapeutics for human diseases. Specifically, we investigate the metabolic regulation of B and T cells, including the effects of inhibiting glycolysis on disease progression, and explore T-cell reprogramming within the tumor microenvironment, asking:

  • How does the biology of cancer cells shape the tumor microenvironment to suppress the function of tumor-infiltrating immune cells?

  • How can we enhance the efficacy of current immunotherapeutic strategies in the rejuvenation of anti-tumor function of T cells in cancer?

  • How does blocking glycolysis impact the functional properties of B and T cells that contribute to the pathogenesis of lupus?

  • Can targeting glycolysis in B and T cells effectively attenuate disease activity and improve disease outcomes?

  • How can we leverage the metabolic interplay between immune cells and diseased tissues to develop novel therapeutic strategies for lupus and cancer treatment?

By operating at the intersection of immunology, metabolism, microbiology, oncology, pharmacology, and bioinformatics, our research seeks to uncover a holistic and mechanistic understanding of the metabolic interplay between immune cells and afflicted tissues. Ultimately, we strive to provide novel strategies for vaccines, drug development, disease prognosis, and immunotherapy by illuminating the intricate metabolic mechanisms that drive cellular fate.