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Xiaoyun DAI, Ph.D.
Cell Engineering and Cell Therapy Lab
Dr. Xiaoyun Dai is an assistant professor in Westlake University. Dr. Dai received her Ph.D. degree in Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine at National University of Singapore in 2016. Then, she moved to US for her postdoctoral training in Department of Genetics at Yale University, where she developed new technologies for generating modular CAR-Ts and performing massively parallel engineering of persistent CAR-Ts. Her work led to many peer-reviewed publications, such as Nature Biotechnology, Nature Methods, Molecular Cell, Cell and Nature Immunology, as well as 2 US patents. She was awarded a Lily Medal and Prize in Pharmacology for her excellent performance in her PhD studies and Charles H. Revson senior fellowship in Biomedical Science during her postdoctoral training.
Modern advances in immune cell engineering have vastly expanded our ability to answer fundamental questions in immunology and immunotherapy. My lab is focused on developing a next-generation suite of tools for cellular and genetic manipulation of immune cells, combining these techniques with high-throughput screening, synthetic biology tools, and interdisciplinary approaches. Our mission is to comprehensively understand the molecular networks of immune cells and subsequently translate these insights toward the development of enhanced cellular therapies for cancer patients.
The research interests of my lab include (but are not limited to):
1. Developing novel transgene delivery systems for primary immune cells that overcome the key challenges of cell toxicity, immunogenicity, and DNA damage, thereby improving the safety, precision, and efficiency of gene editing;
2. Integrating high-throughput screening with systems biology approaches to discover new strategies and targets for enhancing immune cell therapies;
3. Utilizing multi-omics and interdisciplinary methods to interrogate inter- and intra-individual heterogeneity of tumor-infiltrating immune cells and reveal predictive factors of cell therapy efficacy, ultimately informing the design of next-generation cell therapies.
1. Dai X*, Park J*, Du Y*, Na ZK*, Lam S*,Chu Z, Liao C, Clark P and Chen S. Massively parallel knock-in engineering of human T cells. 2023. Nature Biotechnology, https://doi.org/10.1038/s41587-022-01639-x
2. Na Z*, Dai X*, Zheng S, Bryant C, Loh K, Su H, Luo Y, Buhagiar A, Cao X, Baserga S, Chen S and Slavoff S. Mapping subcellular localizations of unannotated microproteins with MicroID. 2022, Molecular Cell 82, 2900–2911 (*co-first authors)
3. Dai X*, Park J*, Du Y, Kim HR, Wang G, Errami Y and Chen S. One-step generation of modular CAR-T with AAV-Cpf1. Nature Methods, 16, pages 247–254 (2019).
4. Dong M, Wang G, Chow R, Ye L, Zhu L, Dai X, Park J, Kim H etc. Systematic Immunotherapy Target Discovery Using Genome-Scale In Vivo CRISPR Screens in CD8 T Cells. Cell, 178(5), 2019, 1189-1204.
5. Wang G, Chow R, Bai Z, Zhu L, Errami Y, Dai X, Matthew B. Dong etc. Multiplexed activation of endogenous genes by CRISPRa elicits potent antitumor immunity. Nature Immunology, 20, 2019, 1494-1505.
1. Chen S and Dai X. Compositions and Methods for Rapid and Modular Generation of Chimeric Antigen Receptor T Cells. International Patent No. WO2020092057
2. Chen S, Dai X and Du Y, Park J. Compositions and Methods for Engineering and Selection of CAR-T Cells with Desired Phenotypes. Pending
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