Personal profile

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. Her current research focuses on overcoming immune suppression in the tumor microenvironment, controlling MDSC/tumor associated macrophage differentiation, and developing effective immune therapeutic strategies for clinical use in cancer and autoimmune diseases. Dr. Chen is a world-class researcher and has done pioneering work in the field of gene therapy and immunotherapy, as demonstrated by her several inventions. She has also served on national and international grant review committees and as a reviewer/consultant for multiple international journals, institutes, and cancer centers. Her laboratory has published high-impact research articles in the field and her research has been continuously supported by multiple NIH grants, DOD grants, and pharmaceutical companies.

Research interests

Over the past years, my laboratory has focused on gene therapies and cancer immunotherapies. My laboratory has also, to a large extent, 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. Specifically, we have been examining the mechanisms of immune suppression that are mediated by myeloid derived suppressor cells, macrophages, B cells, and T regulatory cells. In addition, we have been studying the biology of cancer initiating cells, the control of differentiation of myeloid cells and tumor associated macrophages, and modulation of the tumor microenvironment, all of which will influence our ability to control malignant disease.

Our laboratory is working to further define the activation of cancer initiating cells, as well as the immunological changes inside the distinct tumor microenvironment, after administration of radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapeutics, T cell therapy, and antibody-based novel immune checkpoint therapies. This will help researchers and clinicians integrate conventional therapies with the ideal immunotherapies, thereby achieving the maximal therapeutic efficacy in patients. We are also investigating whether and how targeting therapeutics can overcome the stress-/inflammation-induced immune suppression that subsequently interferes with the success of immunotherapy and chemo/radiation therapy.

One of the primary aims of my lab is to examine how novel immune checkpoint pathways influence tumor growth, receptor/ligand interaction, and the tumor microenvironment. We also aim to develop novel therapeutic agents that effectively target tumors or tumor stromal cells, causing an increase local antigen priming and T cell activation/infiltration for subsequent immunotherapy. This is a key component of achieving long-term tumor remission and lasting immune memory. Using our newly developed immune checkpoints, nanotechnology, and T cell therapy, we can improve tumor targeting and reduce toxicity in patients. Collaborating with colleagues, we have been continually successful in obtaining support from NIH, DOD, and pharmaceutical companies, with the aim of developing novel therapeutic strategies through preclinical and clinical trials.

Program 1.  Modulate tumor microenvironment to facilitate cancer immune therapy.

Program 2. Identify novel immune checkpoints, reprogram of myeloid cell/macrophage function and stress signaling to develop novel immune therapy strategies.

Program 3. Tumor inflammation on the regulation of tumor progression and metastases.

Program 4. The MDSC and macrophage mediated immune regulation in human health

Program 5. Synergist effect of innate and adaptive immune response for immune therapy

Keywords

    Research Area Keywords

  • Immunobiology & Inflammation
  • Cancer
  • Transplantation

Fingerprint

Genetic Therapy
Concept: Genetic Therapy
Weight: 100%
Domain: Medicine & Life Sciences
Adenoviridae
Concept: Adenoviridae
Weight: 81%
Domain: Medicine & Life Sciences
Neoplasms
Concept: Neoplasms
Weight: 80%
Domain: Medicine & Life Sciences
Thymidine Kinase
Concept: Thymidine Kinase
Weight: 78%
Domain: Medicine & Life Sciences
Ganciclovir
Concept: Ganciclovir
Weight: 66%
Domain: Medicine & Life Sciences
Interleukin-12
Concept: Interleukin-12
Weight: 51%
Domain: Medicine & Life Sciences
Simplexvirus
Concept: Simplexvirus
Weight: 46%
Domain: Medicine & Life Sciences
Genes
Concept: Genes
Weight: 41%
Domain: Medicine & Life Sciences
T-Lymphocytes
Concept: T-Lymphocytes
Weight: 40%
Domain: Medicine & Life Sciences
Neoplasm Metastasis
Concept: Neoplasm Metastasis
Weight: 34%
Domain: Medicine & Life Sciences
Research OutputsResearch Output authored by Shu-Hsia Chen is tagged with the concept

Journals

Cancer Research

ISSNs: 0008-5472

American Association for Cancer Research Inc.

Journal

14

Human gene therapy

ISSNs: 1043-0342

Mary Ann Liebert Inc.

Journal

6

Gene therapy

ISSNs: 0969-7128

Nature Publishing Group

Journal

6

Journal of Immunology

ISSNs: 0022-1767

Additional searchable ISSN (Electronic): 1550-6606

Journal

5

Molecular therapy : the journal of the American Society of Gene Therapy

ISSNs: 1525-0016

Additional searchable ISSN (Electronic): 1525-0024

Nature Publishing Group

Journal

5
has published Research OutputsResearch Output by Shu-Hsia Chen

Research Network

Visualization: Institutional Network

Click on a line in the diagram to see collaboration details.

Click icons to see information about the content.

Shu-Hsia Chen

Visualization: Co-author Network

Click on a line in the diagram to see collaboration details.

Click icons to see information about the content.

Shu-Hsia Chen

Shared Pub. Internal Organizations

Houston Methodist Hospital

Organizational unit: Schools & Hospitals

8

Neurosciences Research Program

Organizational unit: Programs

7

Neurological Institute

Organizational unit: Centers of Excellence

7

Department of Neurosurgery

Organizational unit: Departments

7

Department of Surgery

Organizational unit: Departments

1
has Research OutputsResearch Output by Shu-Hsia Chen

Shared Pub. External Organizations

Mount Sinai School of Medicine

External organization: Unknown

56

Baylor College of Medicine

External organization: Academic

29

Howard Hughes Medical Institute

External organization: Academic

5

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

External organization: Academic

4

Mount Sinai Medical Center

External organization: Unknown

4
has Research OutputsResearch Output by Shu-Hsia Chen

Shared Pub. Internal co-authors

has co-authored Research OutputsResearch Output with Shu-Hsia Chen

Shared Pub. External co-authors

S. L. C. Woo

External person

43

Celia M. Divino

External person

13

Ge Ma

External person

12

Johnny Kao

External person

8

M. Finegold

External person

8
has co-authored Research OutputsResearch Output with Shu-Hsia Chen

ID: 30793175