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Yanguang Cao

Associate Professor

Yanguang Cao, Ph.D.

Associate 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 initially as an assistant professor and was promoted to associate 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 quantitative systems pharmacology, pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics, and computational oncology and immunology. He led a multidisciplinary team having scientists in the field of quantitative systems pharmacology, molecular biology, 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 quantitative systems pharmacology (QSP), pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics (PK/PD), and systems biology. Dr. Cao combines molecular imaging and computational modeling tools to study the immune system and immunotherapy. Specifically, his lab employ QSP modeling approaches coupled with molecular imaging and statistical modeling to resolve the mechanistic complexities of antibody PK/PD, disease progression and evolution, and immunodynamics. His group uses QSP and computational models to deconvolute the multiplex and multilateral interactions among disease, the immune system, and antibody therapies, disclosing the dynamics and mechanisms of the immune system in response to the constantly evolving diseases.

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
  • Modeling effector and target cell-cell interaction predicts efficacy and resistance to antibody therapy
  • Exploring spatial/temporal harmonization between immune systems and immunotherapy

View Complete List of Publications

Research in the Cao Lab investigates antibody pharmacology and treatment resistance using QSP and molecular imaging approaches with spatiotemporal resolution. We have developed and applied multiscale QSP models to characterize antibody PK/PD, disease heterogeneity and evolution, and immune response dynamics. Our models have unveiled many hidden mechanisms of resistance to therapeutic antibodies.

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