Zhibin Chen, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology
Description of Research
Dr. Chen’s research interests focus on bridging genetic and genomic discoveries to biology and pathophysiology. Dr. Chen’s group is developing novel animal models to dissect the autoimmunity implications in antitumor immunity. His team is also tackling the mechanisms by which adaptive immune dysregulation and inflammation promote de novo cancer development. In collaboration with computational biologists, his team is also engaged in genome-wide analyses of alternative transcript expression in cancer, particularly the impact of splice variants on diversification of cancer genome and evolution of cancer cells.
- The quantitative biology of CTLA4 in immune regulation and inflammatory carcinogenesis. The quantitative variations of CTLA4 have been associated with human autoimmunity, cancer occurrence, and both the autoimmune toxicity and therapeutic efficacy in cancer immunotherapy. With a novel approach of lentiviral RNAi transgenesis, Dr. Chen and his colleagues have found that subtle quantitative variations of CTLA4 levels regulate tissue-specific immune damage and inflammatory carcinogenesis.
- Studies of autoimmune mechanisms in antitumor immunity revealed the immunological identity of tumor as an "immuneprivileged self".
- Epigenetic dysregulation during aging-associated carcinogenesis.
- Genome-wide analyses of alternative transcripts in human breast cancer revealed new classification of breast cancer and gene expression signature.