Welcome to the Chen Lab »

The immune system is intimately linked to human health and diseases. The goals of the Chen lab are to understand the behavior of the immune system in inflammation, infection, pregnancy and cancer. Recent work from the lab has defined important regualators in the diversification of the antibody repertoire, and uncovered critical mechanisms that control the production of systemic and mucosal antibodies to combat infection. Additional studies in the lab have revealed new functions of immune cells in pregnancy. The lab has recently discovered diverse populations of maternal B lymphocytes in the decidua during human pregnancy and the function of these cells in promoting pregnancy to term.

We are based in the Wayne State University School of Medicine and the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, an NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center. Immunological concepts and technologies are integral to our work. We are diverse, energetic and collaborative. Our collaborators include leading scientists and clinicians in the academia and the industry in the U.S., Europe and Asia. Our current and former members have won many awards and moved on to assume independent and key positions in the academia or the industry.

~ Current Research Areas ~

Adaptive immune defects in immunodeficiency and autoimmune diseases
Currently, we are focusing on understanding the processes of antibody diversification and production by B lymphocytes and how the regulation of such processes are defective in human primary and acquired immunodeficiencies and autoimmune diseases.

Immune regulation of reproduction and neonatal development
A large number of reproductive and developmental disorders have an immunological basis. Leveraging our expertise in immunology, specific areas under investigation include the immunology of pregnancy and pregnancy complications, mucosal immunity in the female reproductive tract.

Pathogenesis of gynecologic malignancies
We want to understand the growth, metastasis and immune evasion of ovarian cancer, and to identify biomarkers for early diagnosis and accurate prognosis and individualized molecular targets for treatment. Our current focuses are the identification of novel biomarkers of ovarian cancer prognosis and the regulation of the ovarian cancer immune microenvironment.

~ Funding ~
We thank the following funding agencies, institutions, companies, and foundations for their past and present support of our work:
- Wayne State University
- Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute
- Burroughs Wellcome Fund
- National Institutes of Health
- American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
- Merck

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