Aaron Ring received his undergraduate training at Yale University and entered the Stanford Medical Scientist Training Program for his MD and PhD degrees. At Stanford, he worked in the laboratories of Christopher Garcia and Irving Weissman to use structure-based protein engineering to develop new cytokine and immune checkpoint therapies for cancer, including therapies in the CD47 and IL-2 pathways that are now in clinical development. Aaron joined the faculty of the Yale Department of Immunobiology in 2016 as the Robert T. McCluskey Yale Scholar. The focus of his research is to understand and manipulate the activity of immune receptors using precision immunopharmacology and systems immunology. He has been recognized with numerous awards and honors, including a Pew-Stewart Scholar award from the Pew Charitable Trusts, and the NIH Director’s Early Independence Award (DP5).
Dr. Elia Tait Wojno pursues a life-long passion for immunology research as an Assistant Professor in the University of Washington Department of Immunology. Elia received her PhD from the University of Pennsylvania, working with Dr. Christopher Hunter in the School of Veterinary Medicine to examine how cytokines regulate immunity to the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii. She went on complete a postdoctoral fellowship with Dr. David Artis in the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine and Weill Cornell Medical College, focusing on cytokine and prostaglandin responses during helminth infection and allergic disease. As an Assistant Professor, first at Cornell University and now at UW, she continues her work in dissecting innate and adaptive immune responses following helminth parasite infection and during allergy, with a special emphasis on cytokines and prostaglandins. Her work aims to inform efforts to develop new therapies to combat infectious diseases, particularly diseases caused by parasite infection, and to limit allergic inflammation.
Dr. Zhenyu Zhong is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Immunology at UT Southwestern Medical Center, who is working in the area of innate immunity. He obtained his Ph.D. degree from Loyola University Chicago in late 2013 and was recruited to UT Southwestern Medical Center in the fall of 2018 following his postdoctoral training at University of California, San Diego. During his PhD and postdoctoral training, Dr. Zhong has made several fundamental discoveries that contribute to establishing mitochondria as the command center for innate immunity. While at UT Southwestern, Dr. Zhong has built an outstanding research program centered on understanding how mitochondria in myeloid cells sense tissue damage, initiate inflammatory response, and orchestrate tissue repair/regeneration to restore tissue homeostasis. Additionally. Dr. Zhong’s group is also interested in understanding how dysregulation of inflammation promotes the development of chronic liver disorders and neurodegenerative diseases.