Yibin Yang, PhD

Yibin Yang, PhD

Assistant Professor

Research Program

Lab Overview

My laboratory is mainly focused on the immune regulatory mechanisms in human lymphoid malignancies, with a particular interest in signaling transduction pathways and ubiquitin-dependent non-proteolytic/proteolytic machineries in lymphoma pathogenesis. Gaining insight into the pathological roles of these regulatory pathways can lead to improved understanding of the molecular circuitry that drives tumor survival and shapes the tumor microenvironment, as well as providing novel intervention strategies for targeted therapy and immunotherapy.

The Genomic Assault on Cancer
The Genomic Assault on Cancer
Functional and Structural Cancer Genomics
Functional and Structural Cancer Genomics
Education and Training

Educational Background

  • Postdoctoral Training,  National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD
  • PhD, Cancer Biology,  University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA, 2010
  • BS, Biological Science, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China, 2001


  • American Association for Cancer Research
  • American Society of Hematology

Honors & Awards

  • Leukemia Research Foundation Hollis Brownstein Research Award, 2020
  • The W. W. SMITH Charitable Trust, 2018
  • American Cancer Society- IRG, 2017
  • NCI K22 Transition Career Development Award, 2016-2019
  • NIH Fellows Award for Research Excellence, 2015
Research Profile

Research Program

Research Interests

Immune Signaling and Regulatory Pathways in Lymphoid Malignancies

  • Identifying previously unrecognized molecular effectors that drive tumor immune escape, in order to provide opportunities to improve immunotherapeutic intervention strategies in lymphoma.
  • Identifying novel immune signaling molecular — “addictions” — of cancer cells that could be exploited therapeutically, and defining the molecular mechanism by which these immune pathways contribute to tumor initiation and maintenance.
  • Investigating the mechanism and the effectiveness of promising anti-cancer drugs, to develop therapeutic strategies to overcome drug resistance in lymphoma that are both effective and safe.

Lab Description

A deep knowledge of cellular immunology has accelerated our understanding of the molecular circuitry that drives human lymphoid malignancies, including common mechanisms of signaling, transcriptional regulation, and survival. Functional cancer genomics using high-throughput library screens have provided the foundation for molecular, cellular and genetic approaches to investigate the role and function of specific genes and pathways in cancer biology, which is essential not only to understand the molecular basis of cancer but also to develop the means to target these pathways therapeutically.

Our laboratory is mainly focused on the immune regulatory pathways in human lymphoid malignancies. We are interested in the immune signaling pathways, particularly key transcriptional factors and ubiquitin-mediated signaling, required for lymphoma pathogenesis and immunotherapy. We have established multiple high-throughput screening technologies, as well as animal models to rapidly and accurately identify key pathways that are suitable for targeted therapy and immunotherapy. As such, our lab focuses on following interdisciplinary directions:

#1: Although the significance of tumor microenvironment in the pathogenesis of lymphoid malignancies is indisputable, our understanding of the connection between the signaling input from the tumor microenvironment and genetic alternations in malignant cells is still at an elementary stage. We have developed analytic pipelines in HL and ALCL Lymphoma, using high-throughput CRISPR library screen, next-generation sequencing (NGS) and lymphoma mice models, to discover deep oncogenic mechanisms for how immune regulatory and protein ubiquitination pathway regulate the micro-environmental signaling to support tumor cell survival.

#2: The success of PD1/PD-L1 based immunotherapy highlights the critical role played by PD-L1 in cancer progression, and reveals an urgent need to develop new approaches to attenuate PD-L1 function by gaining insight into how its level is controlled. Using CRISPR library screen technologies and animal models, we are pursuing a comprehensive understanding of the molecular effectors required for PD-L1 regulation in lymphoma, especially the novel transcriptional factors and ubiquitination enzymes. The findings will provide new strategies to improve immunotherapy efficacy.

#3: We have also established a drug sensitization screen platform using the CRISPR library screen technologies, and we have started to investigate the therapeutic potential and resistance mechanism of some of the most promising anti-lymphoma drugs based on the insights into lymphoma pathogenesis that have emerged from our laboratory. These translational research works provide the mechanistic understanding of how new drugs act in lymphoma, leading to the rational design of new clinical trials for lymphoma patients.

Positions are available for postdoctoral fellows and rotation students. For postdoctoral fellows, please forward a cover letter and updated CV to Dr. Yibin Yang ( For rotation and summer students, please contact Dr. Yibin Yang ( for additional details.

Lab Staff

Zhuhui Song

Postdoctoral Associate

Room: R390

Wei Wei

Postdoctoral Associate

Room: R390

Wenjun Wu

Postdoctoral Associate

Room: R390

Joseph Fabrizio

Summer Student

Room: R390

Ashish Abraham

Summer Student

Room: R390

Selected Publications

Song ZH, Wei W, Xiao W, Al-Saleem ED, Nejati R, Chen L, Yin J, Fabrizio J, Petrus MN, Waldmann TA, and Yang Y. Essential role of the linear ubiquitin chain assembly complex and TAK1 kinase in A20 mutant Hodgkin lymphoma. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2020 Nov 2;202014470. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2014470117; PMID: 33139544. PubMed

Wang H, Wei W, Zhang JP, Song ZH, Li Y, Xiao W, Liu Y, Zeng MS, Petrus MN, Thomas CJ, Kadin KE, Nakagawa M, Waldmann TA, and Yang Y. A novel model of alternative NF-kB pathway activation in anaplastic large cell lymphoma. Leukemia. 2020 Nov 12. doi: 10.1038/s41375-020-01088-y; PMID: 33184494. PubMed

Wei W, Lin Y, Song Z, Xiao W, Chen L, Yin J, Zhou Y, Barta SK, Petrus M, Waldmann TA, Yang Y. A20 and RBX1 regulate brentuximab vedotin sensitivity in Hodgkin Lymphoma models. Clin Cancer Res. 2020 Apr 16; doi: 10.1158/1078-0432. CCR-19-4137. PMID: 32299816; NIHMSID: NIHMS1585314. PubMed

Zhang JP, Song ZH, Wang H, Lang L, Yang YZ, Xiao W, Webster DE, Wei W, Barta S, Kadin ME, Staudt LM, Nakagawa M and Yang Y. A novel model of controlling PD-L1 expression in ALK+ Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma revealed by CRISPR screening. Blood. 2019 May 31. pii: blood.2019001043. PubMed

Pazina T, James AM, Colby KB, Yang Y, Gale A, Jhatakia A, Kearney A, Graziano RF, Bezman NA, Robbins MD, Cohen AD and Campbell KS. Elotuzumab enhances SLAMF7 interactions between natural killer and multiple myeloma cells to co-stimulate cytotoxicity. Cancer Immunol Res. 2019 Aug 20. pii: canimm.0579.2018. PubMed

Nakagawa M, Shaffer AL 3rd, Ceribelli M, Zhang M, Wright G, Huang DW, Xiao W, Powell J, Petrus MN, Yang Y, Phelan JD, Kohlhammer H, Dubois SP, Yoo HM, Bachy E, Webster DE, Yang Y, Xu W, Yu X, Zhao H, Bryant BR, Shimono J, Ishio T, Maeda M, Green PL, Waldmann TA, Staudt LM. Targeting the HTLV-I-Regulated BATF3/IRF4 Transcriptional Network in Adult T Cell Leukemia/Lymphoma. Cancer Cell. 2018 Aug 13;34(2):286-297.e10. doi: 10.1016/j.ccell.2018.06.014. PMID:30057145. PubMed

Barta SK, Zain J, MacFarlane AW 4th, Smith SM, Ruan J, Fung HC, Tan CR, Yang Y, Alpaugh RK, Dulaimi E, Ross EA, Campbell KS, Khan N, Siddharta R, Fowler NH, Fisher R and Oki Y. Phase II Study of the PD-1 Inhibitor Pembrolizumab for the Treatment of Relapsed or Refractory Mature T-cell Lymphoma. Clin Lymphoma Myeloma Leuk. 2019 Apr 3. pii: S2152-2650(18)31750-6. PubMed

Somech R, Lev A, Lee YN, Simon AJ, Barel O, Schiby G, Avivi C, Barshack I, Rhodes M, Yin J, Wang M, Yang Y, Rhodes J, Marcus N, Garty BZ, Stein J, Amariglio N, Rechavi G, Wiest DL, Zhang Y. Disruption of Thrombocyte and T Lymphocyte Development by a Mutation in ARPC1B. J Immunol. 2017 Dec 15;199(12):4036-4045. PubMed

Yang Y, Kelly P, Shaffer AL 3rd, Schmitz R, Yoo HM, Liu X, Huang da W, Webster D, Young RM, Nakagawa M, Ceribelli M, Wright GW, Yang Y, Zhao H, Yu X, Xu W, Chan WC, Jaffe ES, Gascoyne RD, Campo E, Rosenwald A, Ott G, Delabie J, Rimsza L, Staudt LM.  Targeting Non-proteolytic Protein Ubiquitination for the Treatment of Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma.  Cancer cell. 2016; 29(4):494-507. PubMed

Yang Y, Staudt LM.  Protein ubiquitination in lymphoid malignancies. Immunol Rev. 2015 Jan;263(1):240-56. doi: 10.1111/imr.12247. PubMed

Yang Y, Schmitz R, Mitala J, Whiting A, Xiao W, Ceribelli M, Wright G, Zhao H, Yang Y, Xu W, Rosenwald A, Ott G, Gascoyne RD, Connors JM, Rimsza LM, Campo E, Jaffe ES, Delabie J, Smeland EB, Braziel RM, Tubbs RR, Cook JR, Weisenburger DD, Chan WC, Wiestner A, Kruhlak MJ, Iwai K, Bernal F, and Staudt LM Essential Role of the Linear Ubiquitin Chain Assembly Complex in Lymphoma Revealed by Rare Germline Polymorphisms. Cancer Discovery. 2014 Apr;4(4):480-93. PubMed

Kelly PN, Romero DL, Yang Y, Shaffer AL 3rd, Chaudhary D, Robinson S, Miao W, Rui L, Weslin WF, Kapeller R, Staudt LM.  Selective interleukin-1 receptor-associated kinase 4 inhibitors for the treatment of autoimmune disorders and lymphoid malignancy. J Exp Med. 2015 Nov 30. pii: jem.20151074. PubMed

Yang Y, Shaffer AL, Emre N.C, Ceribelli M, Zhang M, Wright G, Xiao W, Powell J, Platig J, Kohlhammer H, Young RM, Zhao H, Yang Y, Xu W, Buggy JJ, Balasubramanian S, Mathews LA, Shinn P, Guha R, Ferrer M, Thomas C, Waldmann TA, and Staudt LM   Exploiting Synthetic Lethality for the Therapy of ABC Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma. Cancer Cell. 2012 Jun 12;21(6):723-37. PubMed

Ceribelli M, Kelly PN, Shaffer AL, Wright GW, Xiao W, Yang Y, Mathews Griner LA, Guha R, Shinn P, Keller JM, Liu D, Patel PR, Ferrer M, Joshi S, Nerle S, Sandy P, Normant E, Thomas CJ, Staudt LM. Blockade of oncogenic IκB kinase activity in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma by bromodomain and extraterminal domain protein inhibitors. PNAS. 2014 Jul 21. pii: 201411701 PubMed

Lim KH, Yang Y, Staudt LM Pathogenetic importance and therapeutic implications of NF-kB in lymphoid malignancies. Immunol Rev. 2012 Mar;246(1):359-78. PubMed

Additional Publications


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