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Faculty and Staff

Laijun Lai, M.D.

Associate Research Professor
Address Department of Allied Health Sciences
ABL, Unit-4163
University of Connecticut
1390 Storrs Road
Storrs, CT 06269
Email laijun.lai@uconn.edu
Phone 860-486-6073
Links Curriculum Vitae

 

Research Overview

Dr. Lai is an Associate Research Professor in the Department of Allied Health Sciences at the University of Connecticut. His research areas include: 1) the enhancement of antitumor immunity to treat cancer by using gene engineering approaches, 2) the prevention and treatment of autoimmune diseases by embryonic stem cell (ESC)- or induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived cells, and 3) the prevention and treatment of T cell immunodeficiency in the elderly and genetic diseases such as DiGeorge syndrome by ESC- or iPSC-derived thymic epithelial cells.

Featured Publications
 
Hu R, Liu Y, Song Y, Su M, Liu X, Rood D, and Lai L. Recombinant IL-7/HGFβ hybrid cytokine separates acute graft-versus-host-disease from graft-versus-tumor activity by altering donor T cell trafficking. British Journal of Hematology. doi: 10.1111/bjh.14268, 2016.

Song Y, Su M, Zhu J, Di W, Liu Y, Hu R, Rood D, and Lai L. Recombinant FoxN1 protein enhances T cell regeneration after bone marrow transplantation. European Journal of Immunology. DOI: 10.1002/eji.201546196. 2016.

Hu R, Liu Y Su M, Song Y, Rood D, and Lai L. Transplantation of donor-origin mouse embryonic stem cell-derived thymic epithelial progenitors prevents the development of chronic graft-versus-host disease in mice. Stem Cell Translational Medicine. pii: sctm.2016-0012. 2016.
 
Song Y, Liu Y, Hu R, Su M, Rood D, and Lai L. A recombinant IL-7/IL-15 hybrid cytokine enhances antitumor immunity in mice. Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, pii: molcanther.0111.2016.
 
Su M, Song Y, He Z, Hu R, Rood D, and Lai L. Administration of embryonic stem cell-derived thymis epithelial progenitors expressing myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein induces antigen-specific tolerance and ameliorates EAE.  J Autoimmun. 58:36-47, 2015.

Su M, Hu R, Jin J, Yan Y, Song Y, Sullivan R, and Lai L. Efficient in vitro generation of functional thymic epithelial progenitors from human embryonic stem cells. Scientific Reports, 5: 9882, 2015.

Song Y, Su M, Panchatsharam P, Rood D, and Lai L. c-Met signaling is required for efficient postnatal thymic regeneration and repair in mice. Immunology. 144(2):245-253, 2015.
 
Yan Y, Su M, Song Y, Tang Y, Tian XC, Rood D and Lai L. Tbx1 Modulates Endodermal and Mesodermal Differentiation from Mouse Induced Pluripotent Stem cells. Stem cells and Development. Jul 1, 23(13):1491-500, 2014
 
Lai L, Zhang M and Goldschneider I. The recombinant IL-7/HGFb efficiently induces transplantable murine hematopoietic stem cells. Journal of Clinical Investigation. 122(10):3552-3562. 2012.

Lai L, C Cui, Jin J, Z Hao, Zhen Q, M Ying, R Boyd and Y Zhao. Mouse embryonic stem cell-derived thymic epithelial cell progenitors enhance T cell reconstitution after allogeneic bone marrow transplantation. Blood, 118:3410-3418, 2011.
 
Lai L, Jin J and Goldschneider I. A human recombinant IL-7/HGF alpha chain hybrid cytokine enhances T cell regeneration after bone marrow transplantation. Transplantation, 92:516-522, 2011.
 
Jin J, Goldschneider I and Lai L. In vivo administration of the rIL-7/HGFb hybrid cytokine efficiently restores the thymopoiesis and naïve T cell generation in lethally-irradiated mice after syngeneic bone marrow transplantation. Journal of Immunology, 186: 1915-1922, 2011.
 
Lai L, Jin J and Goldschneider I.  In vivo antitumor activity of a recombinant IL-7/HGFb hybrid cytokine in mice. Cancer Research. 71:61-67, 2011.
 
Lai L. and Jin J. Generation of thymic epithelial progenitors from mouse embryonic stem cells. Stem cells. 27:3012-3020, 2009.
 
Lai L, Zeff  RA, and Goldschneider I.  A recombinant single-chain IL-7/HGFb hybrid cytokine induces juxtacrine interactions of the IL-7 and HGF (c-met) receptors and stimulates the proliferation of CFU-S12, common lymphoid progenitors (CLP) and pre-pro-B cells.  Blood. 107:1776-1784, 2006.
 
Lai L and Goldschneider I.   Identification of a hybrid cytokine of IL-7 and the b chain of hepatocyte growth factor/scatter factor/scatter factor. Journal of Immunology, 167: 3550-3554, 2001.
 
McKenna SD, Chen F, Lai L, and Goldschneider I.  Identification of an IL-7-associated pre-pro-B cell growth-stimulating factor (PPBSF). I. Production of a non-IL-7 component of PPBSF by bone marrow stromal cells from IL-7 gene-deleted mice. Journal of Immunology. 160:2272-2279, 1998.
 
Lai L, Chen F, McKenna SD, and Goldschneider I. Identification of an IL-7-associated pre-pro-B cell growth-stimulating factor (PPBSF). II. PPBSF is a covalently-linked heterodimer of IL-7 and an Mr 30,000 cofactor. Journal of Immunology,160:2280-2286, 1998.
 

about AHS
Graduates go on to health professions and pursue advanced degrees such as physical therapy, physician's assistant, public health and others.

 

Department of Allied Health Sciences
College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources
358 Mansfield Road, Unit 1101
Storrs, Connecticut 06269-1101
Telephone: (860) 486-2834
Fax: (860) 486-5375