Welcome to the Chen Lab »

Our research group is based in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center. We are also a member of the Wayne State University Perinatal Research Initiative and the Mucosal Immunology Studies Team (MIST) of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NIH. Immunological concepts and technologies are integral to our work. Our collaborators include leading scientists and clinicians in the academia and the industry in the U.S., Europe and Asia.

First, we study the immune regulation of reproduction and neonatal development because a large number of reproductive and developmental disorders have an immunological basis. Leveraging our immunological expertise, novel and original diagnostic, therapeutic and preventive strategies are being developed to reduce adverse pregnancy outcomes and infant mortality and disability. Specific areas that are under investigation include mucosal immunity in the female reproductive tract, development of maternal vaccines to protect pregnant women and the newborn and immune homeostasis and sterile inflammation during heart development and pregnancy.

Second, we study antibody defects in immunodeficiency and autoimmune diseases using a diverse array of cellular, histological and molecular techniques to elucidate mechanisms of antibody maturation and production by B lymphocytes, including heavy chain class switching and somatic hypermutation. These processes are critical for the diversification of the antibody repertoire to generate effective immune protection and avoid autoimmune diseases.

Third, we study the pathogenesis of gynecologic malignancies with the goals of understanding cancer pathogenesis, identifying biomarkers for early diagnosis and accurate prognosis and individualized molecular targets for treatment. We employ cell culture-, patient specimen- and mouse model-based conventional and high-throughput strategies to elucidate the cellular and molecular pathways important for the growth, metastasis and immune evasion of ovarian cancer. Our current focuses are the identification of novel biomarkers of ovarian cancer prognosis and the regulation of the ovarian cancer immune microenvironment.

We are a team that is diverse, collaborative and energetic. Our current and former members have won prestigious national and local awards and moved to take up independent and key positions in the academia or the industry.

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