Professor Yaohe Wang

Professor Yaohe Wang

Centre: Molecular Oncology
Professor of Cancer Cell and Gene Therapy
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We work on cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment using tumour-targeted oncolytic viruses, in particular focusing on personalised cancer vaccines and viro-immunotherapy.

Research Details

Oncolytic viruses have been developed as a new approach for the treatment of cancers that are resistant to standard therapies. Although the safety profile has been encouraging in clinical trials, antitumour efficacy using one virus alone has been disappointing in human studies.

The major research interest in my group is investigating the interaction of oncolytic viruses, tumour cells and host immune responses, and seeking for the new strategies to enhance the antitumour potency of oncolytic viruses. Combination of oncolytic viruses with cancer cell therapy is the focus of a major new programme.

Our five main research areas of interests are:

  1. Development and optimisation of novel oncolytic mutants of adenovirus and vaccinia virus, by engineering the viral genomes to enhance anti-tumour potency while maintaining safety.

  2. Determination of how tumour genetic alterations modulate viral potency, to identify the potential targets that can enhance the infection of oncolytic viruses in cancer cells.

  3. Development of new cancer therapeutic regimens by combining of different oncolytic viruses as well as immune gene and cell therapy for enhanced antitumour efficacy through investigation of the interactions of viruses and host immune responses.

  4. Development of novel personalised cancer vaccines through further improvement of our recently characterised VICCV (Virus-Infected Cancer Cell Vaccine) regimen and identification of neo-antigens from human cancer genome sequencing data.

  5. Development of genetically modified cancer models, in particular transgenic Syrian hamster cancer models.


I qualified in medicine and obtained PhD in 1997. From 1999 to 2005, I undertook postdoctoral research in molecular biology of cancer as well as cancer viral and genetic therapy at the MRC Toxicology Unit in Leicester University and the Cancer Research UK Molecular Oncology Unit based at Imperial College London.

I joined the Barts Cancer Institute (formerly Institute of Cancer) on 1st July 2005 as a Lecturer, then promoted as a senior Lecturer, Reader in Molecular Oncology in 2007 and 2011, and became Professor of Cancer Cell and Gene Therapy in 2015.

I have been working in cancer virotherapy since 2001 with a substantial track record of publications in prestigious scientific journals such as “Nature Biotechnology”, “The Journal of Clinical Investigation (JCI)”, “Gut”, and “Clinical Cancer Research”, etc.

My long-term research aim is to develop more effective cancer cell and gene therapies based on the genetically engineered oncolytic virus platform, for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of human cancer, and advance them into clinical testing.


Key Publications

A Vaccinia virus armed with interleukin-10 is a promising therapeutic agent for treatment of murine pancreatic cancer. Chard SL, Maniati E, Wang P, Zhang Z, Gao D, Wang J, Cao F, Ahmed J, Khouri M EI, Hughes J, Wang S, Li X, Denes B, Fodor I, Hageman T, Lemoine NR and Wang Y*. Clin Cancer Res, 2015, 21(2): 405-16. PMID: 25416195

Efficiently editing the vaccinia virus genome by using the CRISPR-Cas9 system. Yuan M, Zhang W, Wang J, Al Yaghchi C, Ahmed J, Chard L, Lemoine NR, Wang Y*. J virol, 2015, 89(9): 5176-9 PMID: 25741005

A novel therapeutic regime to eradicate established solid tumors with an effective induction of tumor-specific immunity. Tysome JR, Li X, Wang S, Wang P, Gao D, Du P, Chen D, Gangeswaran R, Chard LS, Yuan M, Alusi G, Lemoine NR, Wang Y*. Clin Cancer Res. 2012, 18(24):6679-89. PMID: 23091113

PRSS3 promotes tumour growth and metastasis of human pancreatic cancer. 
Jiang G, Cao F, Ren G, Gao D, Bhakta V, Zhang Y, Cao H, Dong Z, Zang W, Zhang S, Wong HH, Hiley C, Crnogorac-Jurcevic T, Lemoine NR, and Wang Y. Gut. (2010) PMID: 20947888

Further Publications

For additional publications, please click here.

We work on cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment using tumour-targeted oncolytic viruses, in particular focusing on personalised cancer vaccines and viro-immunotherapy.

External Activities

  • Visiting Professor in Cancer Viral and Genetic Therapy, Zhengzhou University of China, 2005-
  • Chief Scientific Officer, Sino-British Research Centre for Molecular Oncology, Zhengzhou University, China, 2006-
  • Editorial Board member of Gene Therapy: 2008-2010


  • March 2015: MRC grant awarded for oncolytic Vaccinia development
  • December 2014: Vaccinia immunotherapy results published in Clinical Cancer Research
  • October 2014: BCI’s Dr. Wang working on revolutionary ”Viro-immunotherapy” for breast cancer
  • March 2013: PCRF grant awarded for research into vaccinia virus as a treatment for pancreatic cancer

We are very interested in collaborations with scientists or companies to develop research tools (antibodies, gene sequencing, etc) for the Syrian Hamster model.

See other researchers working on:

Breast Gene Therapy Immunology Pancreas Viruses
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