The Chen laboratory focuses on gene therapies and cancer immunotherapies. Specifically, we’re focused on elucidating the mechanisms underlying the establishment of immune suppressive tumor microenvironments, a major impediment to the success of immune-based cancer therapies and overcoming cancer cells’ resistance to chemo-radiation therapies.
Shu-Hsia Chen, PhD
Emily Herrmann Chair in Immunology Research, Dr. Mary and Ron Neal Cancer Center
Director, Center for Immunotherapy Research
Professor of Oncology, Academic Institute
Full Member, Research Institute
Weill Cornell Medical College
Shu-Hsia Chen, Ph.D., is the Emily Herrmann endowed Professor in cancer immunotherapy, director of Cancer Immunotherapy Research Center and Immune Assessment Core at the Methodist Research Institute. Prior to joining Houston Methodist, she was a tenured Professor in the Department of Oncological Sciences and Surgery in the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York. She obtained her PhD from National Yang-Ming Medical University in Taiwan in 1993 and finished her fellowship training at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. In 1996, she assumed the role of Assistant Professor in the Department of Cell Biology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. She has made significant contributions to the fields of gene therapy and cancer immunotherapy. Dr. Chen invented adenoviral gene delivery of suicide and immune modulatory genes for use in cancer immune therapies. Subsequently, she identified myeloid derived suppressor cell (MDSC) populations and has played an integral role in demonstrating MDSC-mediated suppression of antitumor T cell immune responses, identifying the tumor factors involved in MDSC expansion/accumulation, and discovering MDSC-mediated regulatory T cell activation in the tumor microenvironment. Furthermore, Dr. Chen identified the novel immune checkpoint receptors on MDSC population and was able to reprogram the myeloid cell differentiation, thereby modulating the tumor microenvironment.