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Yanguang Cao

Assistant Professor

Yanguang Cao, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor


(919) 966-4040
2318 Kerr Hall, 301 Pharmacy Lane, CB# 7569, Chapel Hill, NC, 27599


Yanguang Cao, Ph.D., joined the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy as an assistant professor in the division of Pharmacotherapy and Experimental Therapeutics. Prior to joining the School, Cao served as a research assistant professor at SUNY Buffalo for two years after completing a postdoctoral training program at SUNY, Buffalo.

Dr. Cao has training in pharmacology, pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics, and computational oncology and immunology. He led a multidisciplinary team having scientists in the field of molecular biology, pharmacology, and pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics.

His group is currently funded by the National Institute of Health and the Food and Drug Administration.

Representative papers:


The Cao Lab’s research is broadly focused on pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics, and systems pharmacology/biology. Dr. Cao combines molecular imaging and computational modeling tools to study cancer, the immune system, and immunotherapy. Specifically, he has designed several molecular imaging techniques to track immunotherapeutic antibodies or effector cells (NK or T) in the living systems to understand their disposition behaviors, interactions with the target cells, and the mechanism of actions and resistance. He uses computational models to deconvolute the multiplex and multilateral interactions among tumor, the immune system, and immunotherapy, disclosing the dynamics and mechanisms of the immune system in response to the constantly evolving tumors.

The Cao Lab is currently pursuing the following topics:

  • Integrating antibody PK/PD and host system to optimize antibody-based therapies.
  • Developing molecular imaging approaches to trace antibody, the immune system, and tumor cells.
  • Tumor resistance and evolutionary theory.
  • Exploring spatial/temporal harmonization between immune systems and immunotherapy.

View Complete List of Publications

Research in the Cao Lab focuses broadly on antibody- and cellular-based therapy in the treatment of cancers and autoimmune diseases using a variety of techniques from pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics, molecular imaging, engineering, and computational modeling.

Learn More About the Cao Lab

Optimizing antibody-based therapy through a system platform of pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and immunodynamics

  • B.S. in Pharmacology, China Pharmaceutical University
  • Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences, China Pharmaceutical University
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship in Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics, State University of New York at Buffalo
  • Res. Assistant Professor of System pharmacology, State University of New York at Buffalo

Yanguang “Carter” Cao News