Leo Lei is a board certified oral and maxillofacial pathologist, and serves on the editorial board of the Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology, Oral Radiology journal. He is a recipient of the Leon Barnes award from the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology. After receiving his PhD at the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, UNC-Chapel Hill, and residency training at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, he completed a National Cancer Institute sponsored head and neck oncology research fellowship (T32). He is currently supported by a NIH/NIDCR dentist-scientist pathway to independence award (K99/R00). His long term research interests are the precision molecular diagnosis of oral and maxillofacial lesions and the identification of novel molecules that shape oral cancer cells plasticity to immunotherapy. His group is actively developing CRISPR-Cas9 based lentiviral delivery techniques, among other proteomics and molecular immunology techniques, to build a highly efficient discovery platform.
We are actively developing CRISPR-Cas9 based genetic screening system to study tumor - immune cell interaction, and exploring potential biomarkers for precision immunotherapy. We are also employing this discovery platform in identifying critical factors for lineage differentiation, in pursuit of better outcome in tissue engineering.