Nan-Ping Peter Weng, M.D., Ph.D.

Senior Investigator

Laboratory of Molecular Biology and Immunology


251 Bayview Boulevard
Suite 100
Baltimore, MD 21224


Research Topics

Epigenetic regulation of transcription, function, and aging of memory T cells: Immunological memory is a fundamental basis for the adaptive immune response and for the modern practice of vaccination. However, the mechanism underlying immunological memory is still not fully understood. In the past, we have identified genes that are differentially expressed in naïve and memory (central, Tcm, and effector, Tem) CD8 T cells in the resting and activated states, providing a starting point for elucidating the contribution of these differentially expressed genes in memory T cell formation, maintenance, function and possibly aging. Currently, we focus our studies on two areas: 1) The role of histone modifications, in particular histone methylation (H3K4me3 and H3K27me3), in regulation of differential gene expressions in memory T cells, and 2) the role of microRNA in regulating cytokine and chemokine expression in naïve and memory T cells. For the first area, our studies have identified four different modes of association between chromatin state and differential gene expression in memory T cells. We are currently investigating the dynamic changes of histone methylation and enzymes that are responsible for histone methylation during T cell activation and differentiation. For the second area, we have identified specific miRNAs and their targets in naïve and memory T cells. Now we are focusing on the contribution of these miRNAs in regulation of differential gene expression and in age-associated changes of T cell functions.


Dr. Weng received his M.D. from Fudan University Shanghai Medical College (former Shanghai First Medical College), China in 1984 and Ph.D. in Immunology from Baylor College of Medicine in 1993. He obtained his postdoctoral training at National Cancer Institute, NIH. He joined the Laboratory of Immunology at NIA as a tenure-track investigator in 1997 and was tenured in 2006.

Selected Publications

  1. Araki Y, Wang Z, Zang C, Wood WH 3rd, Schones D, Cui K, Roh TY, Lhotsky B, Wersto RP, Peng W, Becker KG, Zhao K, Weng NP. Genome-wide analysis of histone methylation reveals chromatin state-based regulation of gene transcription and function of memory CD8+ T cells. Immunity. 2009;30(6):912-25.

  2. Najarro K, Nguyen H, Chen G, Xu M, Alcorta S, Yao X, Zukley L, Metter EJ, Truong T, Lin Y, Li H, Oelke M, Xu X, Ling SM, Longo DL, Schneck J, Leng S, Ferrucci L, Weng NP. Telomere Length as an Indicator of the Robustness of B- and T-Cell Response to Influenza in Older Adults. J Infect Dis. 2015;212(8):1261-9.

  3. Chen G, Yang X, Ko A, Sun X, Gao M, Zhang Y, Shi A, Mariuzza RA, Weng NP. Sequence and Structural Analyses Reveal Distinct and Highly Diverse Human CD8<sup>+</sup> TCR Repertoires to Immunodominant Viral Antigens. Cell Rep. 2017;19(3):569-583.

  4. Chen G, Subedi K, Chakraborty S, Sharov A, Lu J, Kim J, Mi X, Wersto R, Sung MH, Weng NP. Ezh2 Regulates Activation-Induced CD8<sup>+</sup> T Cell Cycle Progression <i>via</i> Repressing <i>Cdkn2a</i> and <i>Cdkn1c</i> Expression. Front Immunol. 2018;9:549.

  5. Ko A, Watanabe M, Nguyen T, Shi A, Achour A, Zhang B, Sun X, Wang Q, Zhuang Y, Weng NP, Hodes RJ. TCR Repertoires of Thymic Conventional and Regulatory T Cells: Identification and Characterization of Both Unique and Shared TCR Sequences. J Immunol. 2020;204(4):858-867.

This page was last updated on July 25th, 2020