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Jenny P. Ting, PhD, is a UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center member with research interests in immunology. Her lab has a broad interest in studying the application of cutting edge ideas and technology to better understand disease-relevant issues.

William Rand Kenan Professor of Genetics
Director, Center for Translational Immunology
Co-Director, Inflammatory Diseases Institute
UNC-Chapel Hill

Area of Interest

Analysis of the NLR gene family

A major focus is the study of NLR genes in diseases, ranging from inflammatory disorders, cancer and infectious diseases. We are working with multiple labs across campus to assess the roles of NLRs in diseases. One of our unique discoveries is that many NLRs are negative regulators of inflammation. As a consequence, their dysregulation can lead to immunologic imbalance. For example, NLR-X1 reduces inflammation that promotes cancer growth. This gene is downregulated in colon cancer and colitis in humans, and conventional anti-inflammatory therapeutics can be repurposed to combat cancer or colitis resulting from low NLR-X1 in mouse models. We also find that negative NLRs maintain tolerance to microbiome and prevent microbiome imbalance. Importantly, restoring specific bacteria order restores colon health suggesting a therapeutic path forward.

Usage of innate immune agonists as vaccine adjuvant

We are working to explore the use of nano-particles and micro-particles to deliver innate immune agonists that can control immunity. We have used these agonists to mode the immune response as to elicit superior immunity for the development of vaccines for cancer and infectious viruses. We will continue to focus on difficult-to-treat cancers such as triple-negative breast cancer and high impact infections such as influenza, Dengue and Zika viruses.

Learn more about our research on the Ting Lab website

Find publications on PubMed

Awards and Honors

  • Highly Cited Researchers (Top 1%), Web of Science, Clarivate Analytics, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023
  • Elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2022
  • ICIS-Pfizer Award for Excellence in Interferon and Cytokine Research, 2021
  • American Association of Immunologists, Vice President 2019-2020
  • NCI Outstanding Investigator Award, 2019-2016
  • Clarivate/Analytics Highly Cited Researcher 2017, 2018
  • Hyman L. Battle Distinguished Cancer Research Award, 2017
  • Thomas Reuter Highly Cited Researcher, 2015, 2016
  • Academia Sinica, Taiwan, elected member, 2015
  • Henry Kunkel Society, elected member, 2015
  • University Award for the Advancement of Women, UNC-Chapel Hill, 2013
  • American Association of Immunologists Centennial Conference, Distinguished Lecturer, 2013
  • American Association of Immunologists Life Technologies Meritorious Award, 2013

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Headshot of Jenny Ting.