Yang Zhang


I got a PhD in immunology in the University of Birmingham, focusing on the signals regulating Germinal Centre (GC) B cell differentiation and antibody production. At the moment I am a senior research scientist within the B cell biology/ Vaccine Group, headed by Prof Kai-Michael Toellner.

I am interested in vaccination-induced B cell differentiation leading to potentially self-reactive antibodies, as well as the generation of memory B cells with regulatory capacity. My expertise in signals regulating plasma cell differentiation from GC may help understanding similar processes in locally inflamed tissues.

My current work is focusing on how to break tolerance promoting the production of autoantibodies from B cells, by using conjugated vaccination. Carrier protein non-toxic fragment C of tetanus toxoid (TTc) is selected to conjugate to antigens highly expressed in tumour vessels (e.g. Robo4) by genetic engineering. The injection of Robo4-TTc in adjuvant did elicit Robo4-specific antibodies and retarded tumour growth.