Qiao Li, Ph.D.

Research Professor of Surgery
Accepting Students


Dr. Li received his bachelor's degree from Wuhan University in Wuhan, China and a master's degree from the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He received his PhD in Immunology and Biological Sciences from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan and completed his postgraduate training in Molecular Biology and Cell Biology from the Brigham and Women's Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts. Dr. Li joined the faculty at the University of Michigan in 1997.


Research Interests

Dr. Li’s primary research interest is on tumor immunology and cancer immunotherapy.  Specifically, his lab has conducted both preclinical studies and clinical trials using in vivo primed and in vitro activated/expended tumor-draining lymph node (TDLN) T cells for adoptive immunotherapy of cancers. Recent efforts have been on the immunological targeting of cancer stem cells (CSCs) and the generation of antitumor effector B cells, which represent two novel directions in cancer immunotherapy.  His lab initially reported that CSC vaccination confers significant antitumor immunity. Specifically, his lab described the therapeutic efficacy of CSC vaccines in the adjuvant setting, and also found that CSC vaccination with PD-L1 and CTLA-4 blockades enhances the eradication of CSCs.  In addition, his lab demonstrated for the first time the use of in vivo sensitized and in vitro activated B cells alone could mediate tumor regression in cancer adoptive immunotherapy, and observed that effector B cells could kill tumor cells directly in the absence of complement and other effector cells, e.g. independently of traditional CDC and ADCC.


  1. Ning N, Pan Q, Zheng F, Teitz-Tennenbaum S, Egenti M, Yet J, Li M, Ginestier C, Wicha, MS, Moyer JS, Prince ME, Xu Y, Zhang XL, Huang S, Chang AE, Li Q, Cancer stem cell vaccination confers significant anti-tumor immunity. Cancer Res, 72(7): 1853-1864, 2012
  2. Huang J, Li C, Wang Y, Lv H, Guo Y, Dai H, Wicha MS, Chang AE, Li Q, Cytokine-induced killer (CIK) cells bound with anti-CD3/anti-CD133 bispecific antibodies target CD133high cancer stem cells in vitro and in vivo, Clin Immunol, 149(1): 156-168, 2013
  3. Li Q, Lu L, Tao H, Xue C, Teitz-Tennenbaum S, Owen JH, Moyer JS, Prince ME, Chang AE, Wicha MS, Generation of a novel dendritic-cell vaccine using melanoma and squamous cancer stem cells. J Vis Exp, 83: e50561, 2014
  4. Tao H, Lin L, Xia Y, Dai Fu, Wang Y, Bao Y, Lundy SK, Ito F, Pan Q, Zhang X, Zheng F, Shu G, Fang B, Jiang J, Xia J, Huang S, Li Q, Chang AE, Antitumor effector B cells directly kill tumor cells via the Fas/FasL pathway and are regulated by IL-10. Eur J Immunol, 45(4): 999-1009, 2015
  5. Lu L, Tao H, Chang AE, Hu Y, Shu G, Chen Q, Egenti M, Owen J, Moyer JS, Prince ME, Huang S, Wicha MS, Xia JC, Li Q,Cancer stem cell vaccine inhibits metastases of primary tumors and induces humoral immuneresponses against cancer stem cells. Oncoimmunology, 4(3): e990767, 2015
  6. Pan Q, Li Q, Liu S, Ning N, Zhang X, Xu Y, Chang AE, Wicha MS, Targeting Cancer Stem Cells Using Immunologic Approaches. Stem Cells, 33: 2085-2092, 2015
  7. Prince MEP, Zhou L, Moyer JS, Tao H, Lu L, Owen J, Etigen M, Zheng F, Chang AE, Xia J, Wolf G, Wicha MS, Huang S, Ren X, Li Q,Evaluation of the immunogenicity of ALDHhigh human head and neck squamous cell carcinoma cancer stem cells in vitroOral Oncol, 59: 30-42, 2016
  8. Hu Y, Lu L, Xia Y, Chen X, Chang AE, Hollingsworth RE, Hurt E, Owen J, Moyer JS, Prince ME, Dai F, Bao Y, Wang Y, Whitfield J, Xia JC, Huang S, Wicha MS,  Li Q,Therapeutic efficacy of cancer stem cell vaccines in the adjuvant setting. Cancer Res, 76(16): 4661-4672, 2016
  9. Zheng F, Dang J, Zhang H, Xu F, Ba D, Zhang B, Cheng F, Chang AE, Wicha MS, Li Q, Cancer stem cell vaccination with PD-L1 and CTLA-4 blockades enhances the eradication of melanoma stem cells. J Immunother, 41(8): 361-368, 2018
  10. Scheetz L, Park KS, Li Q, Lowenstein PR, Castro MG, Schwendeman A, Moon JJ, Novel Engineering Strategies for Precision Cancer Immunotherapy. Nat Biomed Eng. Doi: 10.1038/s41551-019-0436-x [Epub ahead of print]