Lieping Chen, M.D., Ph.D., professor of immunobiology, dermatology, and medicine, has been appointed the United Technologies Corporation Professor in Cancer Research. Also director of the cancer immunology program at Yale Cancer Center, Chen focuses his research on developing new immunotherapeutic treatment options for cancer. His laboratory was the first to apply costimulation as a means for cancer therapy and, working more than a decade, discovered the B7-H1/PD-1 immune inhibitory pathway and established the principle of cancer therapy by blocking this pathway.

Chen earned his medical degree at Fujian Medical University in China, his m.s. at Beijing Union Medical College in Beijing, China, and his Ph.D. at Drexel University College of Medicine. Prior to his arrival at the School of Medicine in 2010, he was a research scientist at Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and served on the faculty at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Chen’s honors and awards include a Presidential Award from Bristol-Myers Squibb, a Clinical Investigator Award from Cancer Research Institute-New York, and the Milton Fromer Memorial Lectureship in the Case Western Reserve University. He was an American Cancer Society Research Scholar, and keynote speaker at the International Society for Biological Therapy of Cancer and the Congress of the Spanish Society of Immunology.

The professorship was established earlier this year with a $3 million gift from Hartford, Conn.-based United Technologies Corporation (UTC), a multinational manufacturer.