National Institutes of Health
Dr. Chen is the Senior Investigator and Chief, Mucosal Immunology Section, NIDCR, NIH. He received his M.D. degree in China and did his postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School. His lab studies mechanisms of T-cell immunity and tolerance, with specific interests in transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-). Dr. Chen discovered that TGF- induces Foxp3 gene in naive CD4+ T cells and converts them into regulatory T cells (Tregs). Recently, Dr. Chen’s lab has uncovered a way to induce autoantigen-specific regulatory T cells in vivo in animals with established autoimmune diseases and shown that these autoantigen-specific Tregs suppressed target autoantigen-specific inflammatory immune cells without compromising the immune responses to infectious pathogens and cancer. Most recently, Dr. Chen’ lab has discovered that TCR-regulated TGF- type I receptor expression determines T cell quiescence and activation, and proposed that TCR-mediated TβRI downregulation acts as a “third criterion” to fully activate T cells in addition to the “two-signal” model. Dr. Chen has published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles and received many honors and awards, including the scientific achievement award from the NIH Asian and Pacific Islander American Organization. Dr. Chen serves as editor for multiple scientific journals and is ad hoc reviewer for science foundations in USA, Europe, and China.