Howard Hang, PhD

Professor
Department of Immunology and Microbiology
California Campus


 Email

Scripps Research Joint Appointments

Department of Chemistry
Faculty, Graduate Program

Research Focus

My laboratory is broadly interested in the molecular mechanisms by which chemical signals modulate host microbe interactions in infection and immunity. These chemical signals (metabolites) may be derived from host metabolism (endogenous metabolites) or the environment (diet, microbiota, therapeutics) and have been challenging to mechanistically elucidate. To dissect the mechanisms that govern host-microbe interactions, my laboratory has 1) developed chemical methods to characterize metabolite-protein interactions and 2) employed key animal models to discover new protective factors from specific microbiota species and elucidated their mechanisms of action. These studies have revealed unpredicted metabolite-protein functions in host immunity and microbial pathogenesis as well as novel microbiota protective factors, which have afforded new therapeutic leads and biomarkers for infection, inflammation and immunotherapy.


Awards & Professional Activities

Kenneth Rainin Foundation Synergy Award, 2019.
Eli Lilly Award in Biological Chemistry, American Chemical Society, 2017.
Ellison Medical Foundation New Scholar in Aging, 2008.
Irma T. Hirschl/Monique Weill-Caulier Career Scientist Award, 2007.
Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2004.
American Chemical Society, Organic Division Graduate Fellowship, 2002.


Selected References

All Publications

Site-specific acylation of a bacterial virulence regulator attenuates infection. Zhang ZJ, Pedicord VA, Peng T, Hang HC. Nat Chem Biol. 2020 Jan;16(1):95-103.

Enterococcus faecium secreted antigen A generates muropeptides that activate innate immune signaling. Kim B, Wang Y-C, Hespen CW, Espinosa J, Salje J, Rangan KJ, Oren DA, Kang JY, Pedicord VA, Hang HC. eLife. 2019 Apr 10;8. pii: e45343.

Peptidoglycan metabolite photoaffinity reporters reveal direct binding to intracellular pattern recognition receptors and Arf GTPases. Wang Y-C*, Westcott N*, Griffin M*, Hang HC. ACS Chem Biol. 2019 Mar 15;14(3):405-414.

IFITM3 directly engages and shuttles incoming virus particles to lysosomes. Spence JS*, He R*, Hoffmann H-H, Das T, Thinon E, Rice CM, Peng T*, Chandran K*, Hang HC*. Nat Chem Biol. 2019 Mar;15(3):259- 268.

Exploiting a host-commensal interaction to promote intestinal barrier function and enteric pathogen tolerance. Pedicord VA, Lockhart AAK, Rangan KJ, Craig JW, Loschko J, Rogoz A, Hang HC*, Mucida D*. Sci Immunol. 2016 Sep;1(3). pii: eaai7732.

A secreted bacterial peptidoglycan hydrolase enhances tolerance to enteric pathogens. Rangan KJ, Pedicord VA, Wang Y-C, Kim B, Lu Y, Shaham S, Mucida D, Hang HC. Science. 2016 Sep 23;353(6306):1434-1437.