Dr. Yeonseok Chung, Ph.D.

Dr. Yeonseok Chung, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor (Adjunct), Center for Immunology and Autoimmune Diseases

Email Address: Yeonseok.Chung@uth.tmc.edu
Room Number: 713-500-3190


Dr. Chung received his Ph.D. from the Seoul National University (South Korea) in 2003. As a post-doctoral fellow, and later a junior faculty from 2005 to 2009, in the laboratory supervised by Dr. Chen Dong at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. Dr. Chung has provided a major contribution to the understanding of the biology of pathogenic T cells in autoimmune diseases. Dr. Chung described how the pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-1 shapes the generation and maintenance of inflammatory T cells. In 2010, he joined the IMM as an assistant professor. Dr. Chung is a member of the International Society for Interferon and Cytokine Research.

Research Interests

Dr. Chung's research interests are directed at understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in mediating the immune-mediated disorders. His previous studies were focused on understanding the differentiation of helper T cells in autoimmune disease settings. Dr. Chung’s research goal is to understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms whereby immune responses are regulated in healthy and disease status, especially in acute and chronic inflammation. Outcome of these studies will help us to better understand our immune system, and to develop novel approaches for treating immune-mediated diseases and cancer. To this aim, Dr. Chung’s research team will utilize genetic and immunologic approaches in diverse animal disease models.

His research projects will include;

  1. Understanding the plasticity and antagonism of T cell immunity in mucosal area.
  2. Characterizing the function of IL-1 and IL-10 family cytokines in chronic inflammation and cancer.
  3. Development of a novel vaccine approach against cancer and infectious agents.

Publications (40 total as of November, 2011) 

Selected peer-reviewed publications

  • Chung Y*, Tanaka S, Chu F, Nurieva RI, Martinez GJ, Rawal S, Wang YH, Lim H, Reynolds JM, Zhou XH, Fan HM, Liu ZM, Neelapu SS, Dong C*. Follicular regulatory T cells expressing Foxp3 and Bcl6 suppress germinal center reactions. Nature Medicine. 2011: 17: 983-8 (* co-corresponding authors)
  • Chang SH, Chung Y, Dong C. Vitamin D suppresses Th17 cytokine production by inducing C/EBP homologous protein (CHOP) expression. J Biol Chem. 2010: 285: 38751
  • Reynolds JM, Pappu BP, Peng J, Martinez GJ, Zhang Y, Chung Y, Ma L, Yang XO, Nurieva RI, Tian Q,  Dong C. Toll-like Receptor 2 Signaling in CD4+ T Lymphocytes Promotes T Helper 17 Responses and Regulates the Pathogenesis of Autoimmune Disease. Immunity. 2010;32: 692
  • Nurieva RI, Chung Y. Understanding the development and function of T follicular helper cells. (review) Cell. Mol. Immunol. 2010: 7: 190
  • Yang XO, Angkasekwinai P, Zhu J, Peng J, Liu Z, Nurieva R, Liu X, Chung Y, Chang SH, Sun B, Dong C. Requirement for the basic helix-loop helix transcription factor Dec2 in initial Th2 lineage commitment. Nat Immunol. 2009: 10: 1260
  • Martin-Orozco N, Muranski P, Chung Y, Yang XO, Yamazaki T, Lu S, Hwu P, Restifo NP, Overwijk WW, Dong C. T helper 17 cells promote cytotoxic T cell activation in tumor immunity. Immunity. 2009: 31: 787
  • Nurieva RI, Chung Y, Martinez GJ, Yang XO, Tanaka S, Matskevitch TD, Wang YH, Dong C. Bcl6 mediates the development of follicular helper T cells. Science. 2009: 325: 1001
  • Chung Y, Chang SH, Martinez GJ, Yang XO, Nurieva R, Kang HS, Li Ma L, Watowich SS, Jetten A, Tian Q, Dong C. Critical regulation of early Th17 cell differentiation by IL-1 signaling. Immunity 2009; 30: 576 (selected as a ‘featured article of the month’)
  • Nurieva R*, Yang XO*, Chung Y*, Dong C. Cutting Edge: In vitro Generated Th17 Cells Maintain Their Cytokine Expression Program in Normal but Not Lymphopenic Hosts. J Immunol. 2009; 182: 2565 (* co-first authors)
  • Chung Y, Dong C. Don’t leave home without it: the IL-23 visa to Th17 cells. Nat Immunol.2009;10:236 (preview)
  • Chung Y, Nurieva R, Esashi E, Wang YH, Zhou D, Gapin L and Dong C. A Critical Role of Costimulation During Intrathymic Development of Invariant NKT cells.  J. Immunol. 2008: 180: 2276.
  • Chung Y, Qin H, Kang CY, Kim S, Kwak LW, Dong C. An NKT-mediated autologous vaccine generates CD4+ T cell-dependent potent anti-lymphoma immunity. Blood.  2007: 110: 2013
  • Chung Y, Kim BS, Kim YJ, Ko HJ, Ko SY, Kim DH, Kang CY. CD1d-restricted T cells license B cell to generate potent cytotoxic anti-tumor immunity. Cancer Research. 2006 ;66: 6843. (selected as a ‘highlighted article of the month’)
  • Chung Y, Chang JH, Kweon MN, Rennert PD, Kang CY. CD8a-11b+ dendritic cells but not CD8a+ dendritic cells mediate cross-tolerance toward intestinal antigens.  Blood. 2005 ;106:201