VCU Massey Cancer Center


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Howard Li, M.D.

Massey Cancer Center research program membership

Developmental Therapeutics

Department affiliations

Associate Professor, Division of Pulmonary, Department of Medicine, Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center
Associate Professor, Division of Pulmonary Disease and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine


MD, Vanderbilt University (2002)

Research description

My laboratory focuses on various pathways that regulate immune responses during lung cancer progression. These include prostacyclin, which is a prostaglandin derived from arachidonic acid that is a potent vasodilator and inhibitor of platelet aggregation. In preclinical mouse models, prostacyclin inhibits lung cancer growth by activating anti-tumor T cell responses. One goal of my laboratory's research is to define the cellular and molecular mechanisms whereby prostacyclin regulates anti-tumor immunity. My laboratory also studies the role of immune checkpoints in the progression of premalignant lung lesions to lung cancer, and whether immune checkpoint inhibitors are pharmacologic agents that may prevent the development of lung cancer in high-risk individuals. More recently, my laboratory has started a project that focuses on the role of microRNAs in regulating responses of lung cancer to immune checkpoint inhibition.

Disease focus of research


Research keywords

Animal models,Immunotherapy,Inflammation,Metastasis,Tumor microenvironment

Published research (during tenure as a Massey Cancer Center member)

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Contact information


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