Zheng W. Chen, MD, PhD

Professor and Director
Photo of Zheng W. Chen MD, PhD

Biographical Info

Peking Union Medical College (now Tsinghua University)


Research Interest

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.



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Categories: Microbiology & Immunology Faculty