The immune system is best known for defense against infection. It also plays a critical role in cancer immune surveillance, and tissue repair and homeostasis. Dysfunction of the immune system could lead to infection, cancer, and various inflammatory diseases. The Chen Laboratory studies the molecular and cellular mechanisms of immune system in health and disease using experimental and computational approaches by taking advantage of a vast array of genomic data, cell and small animal models, and human clinical samples. The long-term goal is to elucidate how the immune system contributes to health, how its dysfunction leads to disease pathogenesis, and how the immune system can be enhanced or engineered for disease intervention.
Our research is carried out at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts and at the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART) in Singapore.
Currently, the Chen Laboratory is focused on three areas of basic and translational research: 1) natural killer (NK) cell biology and development of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) armed NK cell for cancer adoptive cell therapy, 2) macrophage biology and re-programming for altering tumor immunosuppressive microenvironment and for treating inflammatory diseases, and 3) elucidating the molecular basis of pathogen-host interactions to identify targets for prophylactic and therapeutic development. These researches could broaden the fundamental understanding of the immune system and directly contribute to therapeutic development for cancer and other diseases. Learn more about our research>>