Immunometabolic regulation

| Research interest | Research group projects | Selected publications | Funding | News @ Ho Lab

Pr. Ping-Chih Ho

Ping-Chih HO
Associate Professor
Ludwig associate member
Laboratory P-C. Ho

Department of oncology UNIL CHUV
Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research Lausanne

Phone +41 21 692 59 47

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Research interest

The research focus is to decipher how nutrients affect immune responses of an array of immune cells through the unexplored metabolic regulations and to investigate how metabolic reprogramming and targeting can be harnessed to fine-tune immune responses in diseases, especially tumor immunity and autoimmune.

Research group projects

Metabolic adaptation of T cells

Metabolic stress imposed by the tumor microenvironment and peripheral tissues to CD8 T cells and other tissue-resident T cells challenges cellular behaviors. In this research theme, we would like to decipher how these regulations tailor T cell behavior and differentiation program by intervening signaling, epitranscripome, and proteome.

Metabolic crosstalk during immuosurveillance

Metabolic competition and communication between cancer cells and their neighboring immune cells determines the amplitude and type of immune response. In this direction, we would like to understand how this communication influence immune cell’s behavior and metabolic makeup of cancer cells uring tumorigenesis.

Firing up immune ignorant tumor

Lack of T cell infiltration in tumors represents one of the major barriers of effective cancer immunotherapy, especially checkpoint blockade. In this project, we would like to understand how we can fire up cold tumors to synergize with current immunotherapy and aim to define new types of immunotherapies for cancer treatment.

Immunometabolic regulations in macrophages

The functional plasticity of macrophages is tightly regulated by cytokines. In vivo, metabolic activities of macrophages have been revealed to play a new layer of regulation to orchestrate macrophage activities. We would like to decipher how these metabolic regulations, especially mitochondrial processes, guide macrophage activation and shape their functions in tumor and inflammatory diseases.

Exosome and immunometabolic regulations

Exosome released by dendritic cells play a critical role on guiding T cell activation. However, it remains unclear if it regulates T cell metabolism. Here, we would like to explore this and aim to exploit novel approaches for vaccine design and cancer immunotherapy.

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Selected publications

  • Wan-Chen Cheng, Yao-Chen Tsui, Simone Ragusa, Marco Mina, Viktor Koelzer, Fabien Franco, Heinz Laubli, Benjamin Tschumi, Alfred Zippellius, Daniel Speiser, Pedro Romero, Tatian Petrova, Kirsten Mertz, Giovanni Ciriello, Ping-Chih Ho (2019) Uncoupling protein 2 reprograms the tumor microenvironment supporting anti-tumor immune cycle. Nat. Immunol. 20; 206-217. 
  • Pu-Ste Liu, Haiping Wang, Xiaoyun Li, Tung Chao, Stefan Christen, Giusy Di Conza, Wan-Chen Cheng, Chih-Hung Chou, Magdalena Vavakova, Charlotte Muret, Koen Debackere, Massimiliano Mazzone, Hsien-Da Hung, Sarah Maria-Fendt, Julijana Ivanisevic, Ping-Chih Ho (2017) a-Ketoglutarate orchestrates macrophage activation through metabolic and epigenetic reprogramming. Nat. Immunol. 18; 985-994.

  • Daniel Thommen, Viktor Koelzer, Petra Herzig, Andreas Roller, Marcel Trefny, Sarah Dimeloe, Anna Kiialainen, Jonathan Hanhart, Catherine Schill, Christoph Hess, Spasenija Savic Prince, Mark Wiese, Didier Lardinois, Ping-Chih Ho, Christian Klein, Vaios Karanikas, Kirsten Mertz, Ton Schumacher, Alfred Zippelius (2018) A transcriptionally and funcationally distinct CD8+ T cell pool with predictive potential in non-small cell lung cancer. Nat. Med. 24; 994-1004.

  • Ping-Chih Ho, Jessica Dauz Binhuniak, Andrew N. Macintyre, Matthew M. Staron, Xiaojing Liu, Robert Amezquita, Yao-Chen Tsui, Guoliang Cui, Goran Micevic, Jose C. Perales, Steven H. Klenstein, E. Dale Abel, Karl Insogna, Stefan Feske, Jason W. Locasale, Marcus W. Bosenberg, Jeffrey C. Rathmell, and *Susan M. Kaech (2015) Phosphoenolpyruvate is a metabolic checkpoint controlling Ca2+-NFAT signaling and anti-tumor T cell responses. Cell 162; 1217-1228. *is corresponding author. (Cover story).

  • Xiaoyun Li, Mathias Wenes, Pedro Romero, Sarah-Maria Fendt, Stanley Ching-Cheng Huang, Ping-Chih Ho (2019) Targeting metabolic pathways to enhance anticancer immunity and immunotherapy. Nat. Rev. Clin. Oncol. 16; 425-441



  • EMBO Young Investigator
  • European Research Council Starting Grant
  • ISREC Foundation
  • SNSF
  • Swiss Cancer League
  • Melanoma research alliance
  • Society of immunotherapy for cancer care
  • Roche
  • Actelion
  • Harry J. Llyod Charitable Trust
  • Anna Fuller Fund
  • Cancer Research Institute-CLIP


News @ Ho Lab

Melanoma Research Alliance to Ping-Chih Ho

Melanoma Research Alliance to Ping-Chih Ho

Pei-Chun Hsueh /Ho Lab awarded  Ministry of Science & Technology (Taiwan)  fellowship

Pei-Chun Hsueh /Ho Lab awarded Ministry of Science & Technology (Taiwan) fellowship

Group members

Ch. des Boveresses 155 - CH-1066 Epalinges
Tel. +41 21 692 59 92
Fax +41 21 692 59 95
Ludwig Cancer Research Université de Lausanne Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois (CHUV)