Yingzi Cong, PhD

Yingzi Cong, PhD

Departments of Microbiology & Immunology and Pathology

Phone: (409) 772-4902
Email: yicong@utmb.edu

Yingzi Cong, PhD

  • Current interests are focused on the role of blood-brain barrier in the pathogenesis of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are the two major disease entities of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). These two conditions are histopathologically and anatomically distinct, as Crohn’s disease is characterized by transmural inflammation that can occur throughout the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and ulcerative colitis is characterized by more superficial inflammation confined to the colon and rectum. Despite these differences, compelling evidence generated from studies of human patients and experimental models indicate that both disorders are dependent upon factors present within the complex intestinal microbiota. However, how microbiota regulates chronic intestinal inflammation is still not completely understood. Dr. Cong’s research focuses on host immune response to microbiota and the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), specifically on how T cell, B cell and dendritic cell response to microbiota, how microbiota regulates mucosal immune system, and the role of this interplay in the pathogenesis of IBD, and also the development of mucosal adjuvants.
  • BSc Shandong University, PR China Developmental Biology 1982
    MSc Shandong University, PR China Developmental Biology 1985
    PhD Shandong University, PR China Developmental Biology 1990
  • 2008-Present Ad hoc reviewer in NIH study sections
    2006-2009 Ad hoc reviewer, Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA)
    2009-Present Member, Research Training Committee, Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA)
    2008-Present Ad hoc reviewer, DOD-Inflammatory Bowel Disease Panel
    2000-Present Ad hoc reviewer, J Immunol; Vaccine; Gastroenterology; Infect & Immun; IBD; Gut; Mol Immunol; Mol Med
    1. Cong, Y, Brandwein, SL, McCabe, RP, Ridwan, BU, Birkenmeier, EH, Sundberg, JP, and Elson, CO. CD4+ T cell response to enteric bacteria in colitic C3H/HeJBir mice: Increased Th1 response and induction of colitis. Journal of Experimental Medicine 1998; 187:855.
    2. Cong Y, Weaver CT, Lazenby A, Elson CO. Colitis induced by enteric bacterialantigen-specific CD4+ T cells requires CD40-CD40 ligand interactions for a sustained increase in mucosal IL-12. Journal of Immunology 2000; 165: 2173-82.
    3. Cong Y, Oliver FJ, Elson CO. Effects of cholera toxin on macrophage production of costimulatory molecules. European Journal of Immunology 2001; 31: 64-71.
    4. Cong Y, Weaver CT, Lazenby A, Elson CO. Bacterial-reactive T regulatory cells inhibit pathogenic immune responses to the enteric flora. Journal of Immunology 2002; 169: 6112-9.
    5. Lodes MJ*, Cong Y*, Elson CO, Mohamath R, Landers CJ, Targan SR, Fort M, Hershberg RM. Bacterial flagellin is a dominant antigen in Crohn’s disease. Journal of Clinical Investigation 2004; 113:1296-1306. (*Co-first authors)
    6. Cong Y, Konrad A, Iqbal N, Hatton RD, Weaver CT and Elson CO. Generation of antigen-specific, Foxp3-expressing CD4+ regulatory T cells by inhibition of antigen presenting cell proteosome function. Journal of Immunology 2005; 1: 174:2787-95.
    7. Konrad A, Cong Y, Duck W, Borlazza R, Elson CO. Tight mucosal compartmentation of the murine immune response to antigen of the enteric microbiota. Gastroenterology 2006; 130(7):2050-9.
    8. Elson CO, Cong Y, Weaver CT, Schoeb TR, McClanahan TK, Fick RB, and Kastelein RA. Monoclonal anti-interleukin 23 reverses active colitis in a T cell-mediated model in mice. Gastroenterology 2007; 132:2359-2370.
    9. Qin H, Wang L, Feng T, Elson CO, Niyongere SA, Lee SJ, Weaver, CT, Roarty K, Serra RA, Benveniste EN, Cong Y. TGF-b promotes Th17 cell development through inhibition of SOCS3. Journal of Immunology 2009 183(1):97-105
    10. Cong Y, Wang L, Konrad A, Schoeb TR, Elson CO. Curcumin induces the tolerogenic dendritic cell that promotes differentiation of intestine-protective regulatory T cells. European Journal of Immunology 2009. 39:3134-3146.
    11. Cong Y, Feng T, Fujihashi K, Schoeb TR, Elson CO. A dominant, coordinated T regulatory cell-IgA response to the intestinal microbiota. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2009. 106:19256-61.
    12. Feng T, Wang L, Schoeb TR, Elson CO, and Cong Y. Microbiota innate stimulation is a prerequisite for T cell spontaneous proliferation and induction of experimental colitis. Journal of Experimental Medicine 2010. 207:1321-32.
    13. Feng, T, Cong, Y, Qin, H, Benveniste, EN and Elson, CO. Generation of mucosal dendritic cells from bone marrow reveals a critical role of retinoic acid. Journal of Immunology2010. 185:5915-25. Epub 2010 Oct 13.
    14. Feng, T, Elson, CO and Cong, Y. Microbiota: dual-faceted player in experimental colitis. Gut Microbes 2010. 1(6):1-4
    15. Feng, T, Elson, CO and Cong, Y. Treg-IgA axis in maintenance of host immune homeostasis with microbiota. International Immunopharmacology 2010 Nov 24. [Epub ahead of print]

    NIH Biosketch