CRI Funded Scientists

Chen Shen, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow

Boston Children's Hospital

Area of Research: All Cancers

When the body is challenged by different pathogens, the innate immune system activates a series of receptors to identify specific molecules and mount a defense against infection. One of these receptors is NLRP6, which acts as a guard to recognize bacteria or viruses that invade the intestines. To improve our understanding of how our immune system responds to bacteria and protects our intestinal health, Dr. Chen Shen is characterizing how NLRP6 interacts with RNA to stimulate immune activity.

Specifically, Shen aims to provide clarity with respect to: the detailed molecular mechanisms of NLRP6-ligand interaction; how NLRP6 distinguishes between different targets and signaling pathways; and how NLRP6 protects us from the development of inflammatory diseases like dysbiosis, inflammatory bowel disease, and colorectal cancer. This will provide important insights related to the factors that promote inflammatory diseases caused by viral infection in the intestines and advance development of treatments for inflammation-related diseases and cancer.

Projects and Grants

dsRNA induce NLRP6-mediated innate immune signaling through liquid-liquid phase separation

Boston Children’s Hospital | All Cancers | 2019 | Hao Wu, PhD

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