Chuang Chen has research results published in the Journal of Immunology

Chen’s article is titled “Signal Transduction by Different Forms of the γδ T Cell–Specific Pattern Recognition Receptor WC1”.  The research was co-authored by Dr. Janice C. Telfer and Dr. Cynthia L. Baldwin co-senior authors and primary investigators in the Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences at UMass, Haoting Hsu, graduate student in the ABBS program at UMass and Edward Hudgens, research fellow.  Their research focuses on the immune responses that cattle make to infectious disease agents with a view towards next generation vaccines. The goal is to incorporate the ability to stimulate a special population of white blood cells known as gamma delta T lymphocytes into the vaccine design. To do this they are evaluating the roles of a type of receptor, known as WC1, made exclusively by these cells and which interacts with bacteria. This paper shows that different subsets of these cells express different types of these WC1 receptors and that this affects the outcome of the response by the cells due to differences in signaling pathways. Their article in the July 1, 2014 issue of The Journal of Immunology is being featured by the “In This Issue” section. “In This Issue” highlights articles considered to be among the top 10% of articles published in the journal; a corresponding ImmunoCast of the “In This Issue” section is produced for each issue, and can be found on The Journal of Immunology web site at:http://www.jimmunol.org/rss/jipodcast.xhtml.

Chuang Chen conducted her doctoral research at UMass with Professor Cynthia L. Baldwin.  Chen’s dissertation was titled “Characterization of Bovine T cell WC1 Coreceptors: sequence, expression and function.”

Chen has continued her post-doctoral training in immunology with Dr. Reiser at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois studying human gamma delta T cells. Her current post-doctoral research goal is to delineate the role of gamma delta T cells in focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS). FSGS is a severe glomerular disease that is characterized by podocyte injury, proteinuria and progressive renal decline. T cells infiltration with increased levels of a soluble glomerular permeability factor has been proposed to play a major role in the pathogenesis of FSGS. It has been suggested that gamma delta T cells, the bridging population between innate and adaptive immune systems, could be implicated in perpetuating T cell activation in this condition. However, the actual contribution of gamma delta T cells in the immunopathogenesis of FSGS is still largely unclear. Chen’s project will potentially unravel a major cause of FSGS and might lead to a refined treatment for patients with FSGS.