Skip to Content

Chen Dong, Ph.D.

Present Title & Affiliation

Primary Appointment

Professor, Department of Immunology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
Director, Center for Inflammation and Cancer, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX

Office Address

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
7455 Fannin Street
Unit Number: 906
Houston, TX 77054
Room Number: SCR2.2013

Education & Training

Degree-Granting Education

1996 University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL, PHD, Cell and Molecular Biology
1989 Wuhan University, Wuhan, China, BS, Cell Biology

Postgraduate Training

4/1997-11/2000 Postdoctoral Fellowship, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, Dr. Richard A. Flavell


Academic Appointments

Associate Professor, Department of Immunology, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, 7/2004-8/2008
Regular Member, Graduate Faculty, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Houston, TX, 2004-present
Assistant Professor, Department of Immunology, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA, 11/2000-6/2004

Endowed Positions

Olga Keith and Harry Carothers Wiess Distinguished University Chair in Cancer Research, Department of Immunology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, 1/2010-present

Honors and Awards

2011 Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science
2009 BD Biosciences Investigator Award for Outstanding Early-Career Research Contributions to the Field of Immunology, American Association of Immunologists
2008-2013 Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Scholar Award
2007-2010 American Lung Association Career Investigator Award
2007-2010 M. D. Anderson Cancer Center Faculty Scholar Award in Research
2004-2011 M. D. Anderson Cancer Center Research Trust Fellow
2004 Milstein Young Investigator Award, International Society of Cytokine and Interferon Research
2003-2009 Cancer Research Institute Investigator Award
2002 Young Investigator Award (1st Prize), International Cytokine Society

Selected Publications

Peer-Reviewed Original Research Articles

1. Prasad DV, Nguyen T, Li Z, Yang Y, Duong J, Wang Y, Dong C. Murine B7-H3 is a negative regulator of T cells. J Immunol 173(4):2500-6, 2004. PMID: 15294965.
2. Zhang Y, Blattman JN, Kennedy NJ, Duong J, Nguyen T, Wang Y, Davis RJ, Greenberg PD, Flavell RA, Dong C. Regulation of innate and adaptive immune responses by MAP kinase phosphatase 5. Nature 430(7001):793-7, 2004. PMID: 15306813.
3. Park H, Li Z, Yang X, Chang S, Nurieva R, Wang Y, Hood L, Tian Q, Dong C. A distinct lineage of CD4 T cells regulates tissue inflammation by producing interleukin 17. Nat Immunol 6(11):1069-70, 2005. PMCID: PMC1618871.
4. Nurieva R, Thomas S, Nguyen T, Martin-Orozco N, Wang Y, Kaja MK, Yu XZ, Dong C. T-cell tolerance or function is determined by combinatorial costimulatory signals. EMBO J 25(11):2623-33, 2006. PMCID: PMC1478197.
5. Nguyen T, Liu X, Zhang Y, Dong C. BTNL2, a butyrophilin-like molecule that functions to inhibit T cell activation. J Immunol 176(12):7354-7360, 2006. PMCID: PMC1626526.
6. Zhang Y, Chung Y, Bishop C, Daugherty B, Chute H, Holst P, Kurahara C, Lott F, Sun N, Welcher A, Dong C. Regulation of T cell activation and tolerance by PDL2. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 103:11695-11700, 2006. PMCID: PMC1544232.
7. Chung Y, Yang X, Chang SH, Ma L, Tian Q, Dong C. Expression and regulation of IL-22 in the IL-17-producing CD4+ T lymphocytes. Cell Res 16(11):902-7, 2006. PMID: 17088898.
8. Martin-Orozco N, Wang YH, Yagita H, Dong C. Cutting Edge: Programmed death (PD) ligand-1/PD-1 interaction is required for CD8+ T cell tolerance to tissue antigens. J Immunol 177(12):8291-5, 2006. PMID: 17142723.
9. Chang SH, Park H, Dong C. Act1 adaptor protein is an immediate and essential signaling component of interleukin-17 receptor. J Biol Chem 281(47):35603-7, 2006. PMID: 17035243.
10. Yang Y, Liu XK, Nguyen T, Bishop C, Graf D, Dong C. Characterization of B7S3 as a novel negative regulator of T cells. J Immunol 178(6):3661-7, 2007. PMID: 17339463.
11. Nurieva R, Chuvpilo S, Elkon K, Locksley R, Serfling E, Dong C.. A costimulation-initiated signaling pathway regulates NFATc1 transcription in T lymphocytes. J Immunol 179(2):1096-1103, 2007. PMID: 17617602.
12. Yang X, Panopoulos A, Nurieva R, Chang S, Wang D, Watowich S, Dong C.. Stat3 regulates cytokine-mediated generation of inflammatory helper T cells. J Biol Chem 282(13):9358-63, 3/2007. e-Pub 2/2007. PMID: 17277312.
13. Angkasekwinai P, Park H, Wang YH, Wang YH, Chang SH, Corry DB, Liu YJ, Zhu Z, Dong C. Interleukin 25 promotes the initiation of proallergic type 2 responses. J Exp Med 204(7):1509-17, 7/2007. e-Pub 6/2007. PMCID: PMC2118650.
14. Chang SH, Dong C.. A novel heterodimeric cytokine consisting of IL-17 and IL-17F regulates inflammatory responses. Cell Res 17(5):435-440, 5/2007. PMID: 17452998.
15. Nurieva R, Yang X, Martinez G, Zhang Y, Ma L, Schluns K, Tian Q, Watowich S, Jetten A, Dong C.. Essential autocrine regulation by IL-21 in the generation of inflammatory T cells. Nature 448(7152):480-83, 7/2007. e-Pub 6/2007. PMID: 17581589.
16. Akimzhanov AM, Yang XO, Dong C. Chromatin remodeling of interleukin-17 (IL-17)-IL-17F cytokine gene locus during inflammatory helper T cell differentiation. J Biol Chem 282(9):5969-72, 3/2007. e-Pub 11/2007. PMID: 17218320.
17. Chung Y, Qin H, Kang CY, Kim S, Kwak LW, Dong C. An NKT-mediated autologous vaccine generates CD4 T-cell dependent potent antilymphoma immunity. Blood 110(6):2013-9, 9/2007. e-Pub 6/2007. PMCID: PMC1976361.
18. Yang XO, Pappu BP, Nurieva R, Akimzhanov A, Kang HS, Chung Y, Ma L, Shah B, Panopoulos AD, Schluns KS, Watowich SS, Tian Q, Jetten AM, Dong C. T helper 17 lineage differentiation is programmed by orphan nuclear receptors ROR alpha and ROR gamma. Immunity 28(1):29-39, 1/2008. e-Pub 12/2007. PMCID: PMC2587175.
19. Yang XO, Chang SH, Park H, Nurieva R, Wang Y-H, Zhu Z, Dong C. Regulation of inflammatory responses by IL-17F. J Exp Med 205(5):1063-75, 2008. PMCID: PMC2373839.
20. Pappu BP, Borodovsky A, Zheng TS, Yang X, Wu P, Dong X, Weng S, Browning B, Scott ML, Ma L, Su L, Tian Q, Schneider P, Flavell RA, Dong C and Burkly LC. TL1A-DR3 interaction regulates Th17 cell function and Th17-mediated autoimmune disease. J Exp Med 205(5):1049-62, 4/2008. PMCID: PMC2373838.
21. Yang X, Nurieva R, Martinez G, Chung Y, Kang H, Pappu B, Shah B, Chang S, Schluns K, Watowich S, Feng X, Jetten A, Dong C. Molecular antagonism and plasticity of regulatory and inflammatory T cell programs. Immunity 29(1):44-56, 6/2008. PMCID: PMC2630532.
22. Nurieva RI, Chung Y, Hwang D, Yang XO, Kang HS, Ma L, Wang YH, Watowich SS, Jetten AM, Tian Q, Dong C. Generation of T follicular helper cells is mediated by interleukin-21 but independent of T helper 1, 2, or 17 cell lineages. Immunity 29(1):138-49, 2/2008. PMCID: PMC2556461.
23. Chung Y.S., Nurieva R, Esashi E, Wang Y, Zhou D, Gapin L, Dong C. A critical role of costimulation during intrathymic development of invariant NK T cells. J Immunol 180(4):2276-2783, 2/2008. PMID: 18250436.
24. Yamazaki T, Yang XO, Chung Y, Fukunaga A, Nurieva R, Pappu B, Martin-Orozco N, Kang HS, Ma L, Panopoulos AD, Craig S, Watowich SS, Jetten AM, Tian Q, Dong C. CCR6 regulates the migration of inflammatory and regulatory T cells. J Immunol 181(12):8391-8401, 12/2008. PMCID: PMC2752441.
25. Martin-Orozco N, Chung Y, Chang SH, Wang YH, Dong C. Th17 cells promote pancreatic inflammation but only induce diabetes efficiently in lymphopenic hosts after conversion into Th1 cells. Eur J Immunol 39(1):216-24, 1/2009. PMCID: PMC2755057.
26. Nurieva R, Yang XO, Chung Y, Dong C.. Cutting edge: In vitro generated TH17 cells maintain their cytokine expression program in normal but not lymphopenic hosts. J Immunol 182(2):2565-8, 3/2009. PMCID: PMC2755098.
27. Chung Y, Chang SH, Martinez GJ, Yang XO, Nurieva R, Kang HS, Ma L, Watowich SS, Jetten A, Tian Q, Dong C. Critical regulation of early Th17 cell differentiation by IL-1 signaling. Immunity 30(4):576-87, 4/2009. e-Pub 4/2009. PMCID: PMC2705871.
28. Liu X, Alexiou M, Martin-Orozco N, Chung Y, Nurieva R, Ma L, Tian Q, Kollias G, Lu S, Graf D and Dong C. Cutting edge: A critical role of BTLA in peripheral T cell tolerance induction. J Immunol 182(8):4516-20, 4/2009. PMCID: PMC2767106.
29. Nurieva RI, Chung Y, Martinez GJ, Yang XO, Tanaka S, Matskevitch TD, Wang YH, Dong C. Bcl6 mediates the development of T follicular helper cells. Science 325(5943):1001-1005, 8/2009. e-Pub 7/2009. PMCID: PMC2857334.
30. Yang XO, Angkasekwinai P, Zhu J, Peng J, Liu Z, Nurieva R, Liu X, Chung Y, Chang SH, Sun B, Dong C. Requirement for the basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor Dec2 in initial TH2 lineage commitment. Nat Immunol 10(12):1260-1266, 12/2009. e-Pub 11/2009. PMCID: PMC2784129.
31. Zhang Y, Reynolds JM, Chang SH, Martin-Orozco N, Chung Y, Nurieva RI, Dong C. MKP-1 isnecessary for T cell activation and function. J Biol Chem 284(45):30815-24, 11/2009. e-Pub 9/2009. PMCID: PMC2781480.
32. Martin-Orozco N, Muranski P, Chung Y, Yang XO, Yamazaki T, Lu S, Hwu P, Restifo NP, Overwijk WW, Dong C. T helper 17 cells promote cytotoxic T cell activation in tumor immunity. Immunity 31(5):787-98, 11/2009. e-Pub 10/2009. PMCID: PMC2787786.
33. Peng J, Yang XO, Chang SH, Yang J, Dong C. IL-23 signaling enhances Th2 polarization and regulates allergic airway inflammation. Cell Res 20(1):62-71, 1/2010. e-Pub 11/2009. PMCID: PMC2801763.
34. Martinez GJ, Zhang Z, Chung Y, Reynolds JM, Lin X, Jetten AM, Feng XH, Dong C. Smad3 differentially regulates the induction of regulatory and inflammatory T cell differentiation. J Biol Chem 284(51):35283-35286, 12/2009. PMCID: PMC2790957.
35. Angkasekwinai P, Chang SH, Thapa M, Watarai H, Dong C. Regulation of IL-9 expression by IL-25 signaling. Nat Immunol 11(3):250-6, 3/2010. e-Pub 2/2010. PMCID: PMC2827302.
36. Reynolds JM, Pappu BP, Peng J, Martinez GJ, Zhang Y, Chung Y, Ma L, Yang XO, Nurieva RI, Tian Q, Dong C. Toll-like receptor 2 signaling in CD4+ T lymphocytes promotes Th17 responses and regulates the pathogenesis of autoimmune disease. Immunity 32(5):692-702, 5/2010. PMCID: PMC2878917.
37. Nurieva RI, Zheng S, Jin W, Chung Y, Zhang Y, Martinez GJ, Reynolds JM, Wang SL, Lin X, Sun SC, Lozano G, Dong C. The E3 ubiquitin ligase GRAIL regulates T cell tolerance and regulatory T cell function by mediating T cell receptor-CD3 degradation. Immunity 32(5):670-80, 5/2010. e-Pub 5/2010. PMCID: PMC2915546.
38. Martinez GJ, Zhang Z, Reynolds JM, Tanaka S, Chung Y, Liu T, Robertson E, Lin X, Feng XH, Dong C. Smad2 positively regulates the generation of Th17 cells. J Biol Chem 285(38):29039-43, 9/2010. e-Pub 7/2010. PMCID: PMC2937933.
39. Chang SH, Chung Y, Dong C. Vitamin D suppresses Th17 cytokine production by inducing C/EBP homologous protein (CHOP) expression. J Biol Chem 285(50):38751-5, 12/2010. e-Pub 10/2010. PMCID: PMC2998156.
40. Yamazaki T, Goya I, Graf D, Craig S, Martin-Orozco N, Dong C. A butyrophilin family member critically inhibits T cell activation. J Immunol 185(10):5907-14, 11/2010. e-Pub 10/2010. PMID: 20944003.
41. Chung, Y., Tanaka, S., Chu, F., Nurieva, R., Martinez, G. J., Rawal, S., Wang, Y.-H., Lim, H. Y., Reynolds, J. M., Zhou, X.-H., Fan, H.-M., Liu, Z.-M., Neelapu, S. S. and Dong C. Follicular regulatory T (Tfr) cells with Foxp3 and Bcl6 expression suppress germinal center reactions. Nat Med 17(8):983-8, 7/2011. PMCID: PMCPMCID: PMC3151340.
42. Xu T, Wang X, Zhong B, Nurieva R, Ding S and Dong C. Ursolic acid suppresses IL-17 production by selectively antagonizing the function of RORgammat. J Biol Chem 286(26):22707-22710, 7/2011. e-Pub 5/2011. PMCID: PMCPMC3123037.
43. Chang SH, Reynolds JM, Pappu BP, Chen G, Martinez GJ, Dong C. Interleukin-17C Promotes Th17 Cell Responses and Autoimmune Disease via Interleukin-17 Receptor E. Immunity 35(4):611-21, 10/2011. e-Pub 10/2011. PMID: 21982598.
44. Wang X, Zhang Y, Yang XO, Nurieva RI, Chang SH, Ojeda SS, Kang HS, Schluns KS, Gui J, Jetten AM, and Dong C. Transcription of Il17 and Il17f is controlled by conserved noncoding sequence 2. Immunity 36(1):23-31, 1/2012. e-Pub 1/2012. PMCID: PMC3270375.
45. Chung Y, Lee YH, Zhang Y, Martin-Orozco N, Yamazaki T, Zhou D, Kang CY, Hwu P, Kwak LW, and Dong C. T cells and T cell tumors efficiently generate antigen-specific cytotoxic T cell immunity when modified with an NKT ligand. Oncoimmunology 1(2):141-151, 3/2012. PMCID: PMC3376985.
46. Nurieva RI, Podd A, Chen Y, Alekseev AM, Yu M, Qi X, Huang H, Wen R, Wang J, Li HS, Watowich SS, Qi H, Dong C, Wang D. STAT5 protein negatively regulates T follicular helper (Tfh) cell generation and function. J Biol Chem 287(14):11234-9, 3/2012. e-Pub 2/2012. PMCID: PMC3322890.
47. Tong Z, Yang XO, Yan H, Liu W, Niu X, Shi Y, Fang W, Xiong B, Wan Y, Dong C. A protective role by interleukin-17F in colon tumorigenesis. PLoS One 7(4):e34959, 2012. e-Pub 4/2012. PMCID: PMC3324558.
48. Reynolds JM, Martinez GJ, Chung Y, Dong C. Toll-like receptor 4 signaling in T cells promotes autoimmune inflammation. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 109(32):13064-9, 8/2012. e-Pub 7/2012. PMCID: PMC3420161.
49. Liu X, Yan X, Zhong B, Nurieva RI, Wang A, Wang X, Martin-Orozco N, Wang Y, Chang SH, Esplugues E, Flavell RA, Tian Q, Dong C. Bcl6 expression specifies the T follicular helper cell program in vivo. J Exp Med 209(10):1841-52, 9/2012. e-Pub 9/2012. PMCID: PMC3457730.
50. Zhong B, Liu X, Wang X, Chang SH, Liu X, Wang A, Reynolds JM, Dong C. Negative regulation of IL-17-mediated signaling and inflammation by the ubiquitin-specific protease USP25. Nat Immunol 13(11):1110-7, 11/2012. e-Pub 10/2012. PMCID: PMC3477275.
51. Reynolds JM, Martinez GJ, Nallaparaju KC, Chang SH, Wang YH, Dong C. Cutting Edge: Regulation of Intestinal Inflammation and Barrier Function by IL-17C. J Immunol 189(9):4226-30, 11/2012. e-Pub 9/2012. PMCID: PMC3478486.

Invited Articles

1. Dong C, Nurieva RI, Prasad DV. Immune regulation by novel costimulatory molecules. Immunol Res 28(1):39-48, 2003. PMID: 12947223.
2. Dong C, Sanjabi S, Eynon E. Gene regulation and function: It's rocking science. Immunity 23(6):557-60, 2005. PMID: 16392168.
3. Dong C. Diversification of T-helper-cell lineages: finding the family root of IL-17-producing cells. Nat Rev Immunol 6(4):329-33, 2006. PMID: 16557264.
4. Martin-Orozco N, Dong C.. New battlefields for costimulation. J Exp Med 203(4):817-20, 2006. PMCID: PMC2118297.
5. Martin-Orozco N, Dong C. Inhibitory costimulation and anti-tumor immunity. Semin Cancer Biol 17(4):288-98, 2007. PMCID: PMC1995405.
6. Zhang Y, Dong C. Regulatory mechanisms of mitogen-activated kinase signaling. Cell Mol Life Sci 64(64):2771-89, 2007. PMID: 17726577.
7. Dong C. IL-23/IL-17 biology and therapeutic considerations. J Immunotoxicol 5(1):43-46, 2008. PMID: 18382857.
8. Pappu BP, Angkasekwinai P, Dong C. Regulatory mechanisms of helper T cell differentiation: New lessons learned from interleukin 17 family cytokines. Pharmacol Ther 117(3):374-84, 2008. PMCID: PMC2276145.
9. Dong C. TH17 cells in development: An updated view of their molecular identity and genetic programming. Nat Rev Immunol 8(5):337-348, 2008. PMID: 18408735.
10. Dong C. Regulation and pro-inflammatory function of interleukin 17 family cytokines. Immunol Rev 226:80-6, 12/2008. PMCID: PMCPMC2631160.
11. Martinez GJ, Nurieva RI, Yang XO, Dong C. Regulation and function of pro-inflammatory TH17 cells. Ann N Y Acad Sci 1143:188-211, 2008. PMID: 19076351.
12. Nurieva RI, Dong C. Keeping autoimmunity in check: How to control a Th17 cell controller. Immunity 29(6):841-3, 2008. PMID: 19100696.
13. Dong C. Mouse Th17 cells: Current understanding on their generation and regulation. Eur J Immunol 39(3):640-4, 2009. PMID: 19283704.
14. Chang SH, Dong C. IL-17F: Regulation, signaling and function in inflammation. Cytokine 46(1):7-11, 2009. PMCID: PMC2663007.
15. Dong C. Differentiation and function of pro-inflammatory Th17 cells. Microbes Infect 11(5):584-8, 2009. PMCID: PMC2698049.
16. Nurieva R, Liu X, Dong C. Yin-Yang of Costimulation: Crucial controls of immune tolerance and function. Immunol Rev 229(1):88-100, 2009. PMID: 19426216.
17. Martin-Orozco N, Dong C. The IL-17/IL-23 axis of inflammation in cancer: friend or foe? Curr Opin Investig Drugs 10(6):543-9, 2009. PMID: 19513943.
18. Chung Y and Dong C. Don't leave home without it: The IL-23 visa to TH-17 cells. Nat Immunol 10(3):236-238, 2009. PMID: 19221553.
19. Martinez GJ, Dong C. Batf: Bringing (in) another Th17-regulating factor. J Mol Cell Biol 1(2):66-8, 2009. PMID: 19726487.
20. Nurieva RI, Dong C. (IL-)12 and 21-a new kind of help in the follicles. Immunol Cell Biol 87(8):577-8, Nov-Dec, 11/2009. PMID: 19907426.
21. Reynolds JM, Angkasekwinai P, and Dong C. IL-17 family member cytokines: regulation, and function in innnate immunity. Cytokine Growth Factor Rev 21(6):413-23, 12/2010. PMCID: PMC3008409.
22. Dong C. Transcriptional control of Th17 cell differentiation and plasticity. Experimental and Molecular Medicine 31:1-6, 1/2011.
23. Chang SH, Dong C. Signaling of Interleukin-17 family cytokines in immunity and inflammation. Cell Signal 23:1069-1075, 7/2011. PMID: 21130872.
24. Nurieva RI, Liu X, Dong C. Molecular mechanisms of T cell tolerance. Immunol Rev 241(1):133-44, 5/2011. PMID: 21488895.
25. Dong C. Towards understanding TH17 cell lineage specifications. Nat Rev Immunol(11):698-699, 2011.

Book Chapters

1. Pappu B, Dong C. "Measurement of Interleukin-17". In: Current Protocols in Immunology. 79. Ed(s) R Coico. John Wiley & Sons: Hoboken, 6.25.1-6.25.8, 2007. ISBN: 18432994.
2. Dong C, Nurieva R, Martin-Orozoco N. "Costimulation regulation of immune tolerance and autoimmunity". In: Immune Regulation and Immunotherapy in Autoimmune Disease, XVI. Ed(s) J Zhang. Springer: New York, 121-138, 2007. ISBN: 978-0-387-36002-7.
3. Dong C, Chang SH, Yang XO, Nurieva RI. Inflammatory T cells: Regulation, function and pathological roles in diseases. In: Effector CD4 T Cell Subsets in Health and Disease. Ed(s) S Na and C Iyer. Research Signpost: Indianapolis, 65-84, 2007. ISBN: 978-81-7895-310-6.
4. Zhang Y, Dong C. "Regulation of innate immunity by mitogen-activated protein kinase phosphatases". In: New Research on Innate Immunity. Ed(s) M Durand, CV Morel. Nova Science: New York, 2009. ISBN: 978-1-60456-549-2.
5. Angkasekwinai P, Dong C. IL-25, another promoter of allergy. In: Th17 Cells: role in inflammation and autoimmune disease, Progress in Inflammation research series. Ed(s) V Quesniaux V, B Ryffel B, F Di Padova. Birkauser: Basel, 69-80, 2009. ISBN: 978-3-7643-8680-1 (Print) 978-3-7643-8681-8 (Online).
6. Angkasekwinai, P and Dong C. TH17 cytokines: characteristics, regulation, and biological function. In: TH17 cells in health and disease. Ed(s) Shuiping Jiang. Springer: New York, Dordrecht Heidelberg London, 27-40, 2011.

Last updated: 3/6/2014