Chen Shen joined the Department of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases as an assistant professor in January 2023. He is a structural biologist with long-term interests in studying innate immune signaling and related cell death pathways. He has multidisciplinary training in the areas of structural biology (X-ray crystallography/cryo-electron microscopy), biochemistry, biophysics, and inflammasome biology. He was an organic chemist as an undergraduate. After receiving his BS in Chemistry Education in 2010, he was admitted to Peking University for graduate studies. After a short period of training in molecular dynamics of protein molecules, he became deeply fascinated by three-dimensional protein structure. The focus of his PhD work is to understand the structure and function of important protein molecules involved in the extrinsic apoptosis pathway.
He received his PhD in July 2015, staying in his PhD lab for a short period to complete a few manuscripts. Then he joined Dr. Hao Wu’s laboratory in Boston in February 2017. The Wu Lab created a great environment for him to pursue his long-term interests related to innate immunity and death domain signaling. He was supported by Irvington Postdoctoral Training Fellowship Award from Cancer Research Institute from 2019 to 2021. His current research focuses on studying the molecular mechanisms of host-pathogen interaction using structural and biochemical tools, with an emphasize on signaling involving NOD-like receptors and inflammasome sensors. He is also interested in developing biomimetic materials based on the assembly of innate immune signaling complex in the long term. The ultimate goal is to provide the foundation for the development of therapeutics targeting various infectious diseases (e.g. HIV infection, gram positive bacterial infection) and inflammatory bowel disease.