Zheng W. Chen
Professor and Director
MD, PhD, Peking Union Medical College (now Tsinghua University)
Our lab is one of the front runners in the field of studying Ag-specific human/primate γδ T cells in infectious diseases. Our decades-long publications add to the literatures assessing these γδ T cells for Ag presentation/TCR recognition, innate-like features, memory-like characteristics, immune regulation, anti-microbial responses, homeostatic protection against lung damages, and anti-TB immunity. We provide 1st evidence implicating that dominant γδ T subset existing only in primates can protect against severe TB. Advanced studies of this γδ T subset are ongoing.
Our published studies also show that primate/human CD8+ CTL, CD4+ T helpers, Th1, and Th22 cells play roles in immunity against TB, demonstrating protective correlates of these T-cell subsets. We are currently studying how these anti-TB immunity components act in concert to mount protective responses against TB and immune mechanisms.
Our lab has demonstrated fundamental immunology and therapeutic effects for γδ T-cell-targeted intervention and Teff/Treg-based potential immnotherapeutics against TB and HIV-related TB. We now continue to develop and test immunotherapeutics against TB and MDR TB.
Our lab also has track records of additional NIH-funded research programs studying orthopoxvirus diseases, pneumonic plagues, malaria/HIV-related malaria and re-emerging poliovirus/poliomyelitis. Additional efforts are now focused on pathogenesis and translational science in the aspects of infection/immunity fundamentals, nano-biology/nano-medicine, mucosal vaccine candidate development, and re-purposing FDA-approved drugs for new therapeutics.