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Tao Dong

Co-Director CAMS Oxford Institute

  • Ita Askonas Professor of Translational Immunology
  • Founding Director (Oxford), CAMS-Oxford joint International Centre for Translational Immunology
  • Founding Director (Oxford), Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences Oxford Institute (COI)


Tao Dong is the founding director of the CAMS-Oxford Institute based in Nuffield Department of Medicine, Oxford University since 2019. She has held the post of Professor of Immunology in the MRC Human Immunology Unit at Oxford University since 2014 and is a Senior Fellow at University College Oxford. In May 2023, Tao was appointed the Ita Askonas Professorship of Translational Immunology. 

Tao moved to Oxford University in 1993 where she received a DPhil degree in Immunology in 1998. In 2010 she became the Head of the human anti-viral and anti-cancer cytotoxic T cell laboratory and subsequently Program Leader in the MRC Human Immunology Unit at Oxford University. She has served as a panel member in varies international funding organisations, and SAB members for several pharmaceutical companies. 

Research Interests

The aim of Tao Dong’s research group is to investigate the functional aspects of antigen specific cytotoxic T cells (CTL) with a focus on the factors affecting CTL in controlling virus infection and cancer progression. While a robust and appropriate T cell response is typically beneficial to the host during human infections, a weak or inappropriate response can be ineffective or even have a detrimental effect. Over the past two decades, they have been working to understand the key factors required for efficient viral control by T cells in a number of different viral infections and cancer. Establishing both ex-vivo and in-vitro T cell functional evaluation platforms for antigen-specific T cells isolated from tissue and blood. By linking functional data with multi-omic single cell and T cell receptor (TCR) repertoire analysis, they continue to identify potential targets and pathways to augment and control the immune response as a way of improving the outcome of several important human diseases including SARS-CoV-2 virus infection and cancer.