Dr. Zihai Li is an expert in the field of cancer immunology—finding ways to help the body's immune system recognize and fight cancer cells and control tumor growth. Types of immunotherapy, such as cancer vaccines and antibody treatment, have the potential to be more effective, more targeted, and less toxic than traditional cancer treatments.
Dr. Li’s research captured international attention when his study was published in the October 2009 issue of Stem Cells. The study revealed the potential for human stem cells to be used in the creation of a vaccine to protect against colon cancer and potentially for other types of cancer as well. Other discoveries include identifying a master chaperone for Toll-like receptors and uncovering the underlying mechanisms.
His work could lead to new, more effective cell-based therapies and drugs to help the immune system fight cancer. These innovations have the potential to save or prolong life as well as create business development opportunities for South Carolina.
Dr. Li holds a U.S. patent and four investigational new drug applications approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. He is a clinical scholar of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and an elected member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation.