Kang Chen, Ph.D.

Kang Chen, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor



Kang Chen, Ph.D.

Academic Rank

Assistant Professor (Research Educator track)

Office Address

421 E. Canfield Street, Detroit, MI 48201


Dr. Chen studied in the National University of Singapore on a Singapore government scholarship. He initially majored in Computer Science and later graduated with First-Class Honors degree in biochemistry, studying tumor immunology and microbial pathogenesis. He did graduate research in immunology and microbial at Weill Cornell Medicine and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and postdoctoral research at Weill Cornell Medicine and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. He is an author of many studies published in top scientific journals, such as Science, Nature Medicine, Nature Immunology, Immunity, Nature Reviews Immunology, Annual Review of Immunology and Journal of Clinical Investigation. While in New York, he also worked with the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) on initiatives of sustainable urbanization and public health and organized regular seminars to host world-renowned political leaders and scientists in the UN Headquarters. He is a member of the NIH/NIAID Mucosal Immunology Studies Team, the tumor biology and microenvironment program at Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute and the UN Committee on Human Settlements in consultative relationship with the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).


B.Sc. with Honours (First-Class Honours), National University of Singapore

Ph.D., Weill Cornell Medicine and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY

Courses taught

  • Instructor.  Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Laboratory Techniques Summer Course
  • Instructor/Advisor/Mentor. Cancer Biology PhD Program Comprehensive Exam
  • IBS 7090 - Instructor.  Biomedical Immunobiology
  • IM 7010/CB 7010 - Instructor. Fundamentals of Immunology 
  • CB 7700 - Instructor. Cancer Biology Journal Club
  • PSL 7700 - Instructor. Stem Cell Biology.
  • PSL 7690 - Instructor. Principles of Reproductive Biology
  • CB 7410/IM 7410 - Course Director and Instructor.  Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy
  • Instructor.  MD2 Immunology Case Study
  • Lecturer.  Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery Grand Rounds
  • Lecturer.  KCI Tumor and Microenvironment Program Seminars
  • Organizer and Speaker.  Wayne State University, Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, and Henry Ford Health Systems Immunology Focus Group Annual Retreat
  • Lecturer.  CS Mott Center for Human Growth and Development Brown Bag Seminars
  • Lecturer.  Perinatology Research Branch Research Rounds 
  • Lecturer.  Department of Medicine Grand Rounds, Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, MI



A large number of reproductive disorders have an immunological basis. Leveraging our immunological expertise, novel and original diagnostic, therapeutic and preventive strategies are being developed in my lab to reduce adverse pregnancy outcomes and the associated infant mortality and disability. We also collaborate with leading scientists and clinicians on campus and across the country.

Research Interests

  • Reproductive immunology
  • Mucosal Immunology
  • Immunodeficiency
  • Gynecologic cancer


  • Huang B, Faucette AN, Pawlitz MD, Pei B, Goyert JW, Zheng ZJ, El-Hage NG, Cols M, Lin J, Yao F, Jassal JS, Dewar RS III, Dai J, Shen C, Polin LA, Nichols RA, Jones TB, Deng J, Bluth MH, Puder KS, Gonik B, Nayak NR, Puscheck E, Wei W-Z, Cerutti A, Colonna M, Chen K. Interleukin-33-induced expression of PIBF1 by decidual B cells protects against preterm labor. Nature Medicine 2017;23:128-35
  • Huang B, Yin M, Li X, Cao G, Qi J, Lou G, Sheng S, Kou J, Yu B, Chen K. Migration-Inducing Protein 7 promotes epithelial ovarian cancer tumorigenesis and angiogenesis and independently predicts poor prognosis. Oncotarget 2016;7:27552-66.
  • Faucette AN, Unger BL, Gonik B, Chen K Maternal vaccination: moving the science forward. Human Reproduction Update 2015;21:119-35.
  • Shan M, Gentile M, Yeiser JR, Walland AC, Bornstein VU, Chen K, He B, Cassis L, Bigas A, Cols M, Comera L, Huang B, Blander JM, Xiong H, Meyer L, Berin C, Augenlicht LH, Velcich A, Cerutti A. Mucus enhances gut homeostasis and oral tolerance by delivering immunoregulatory signals. Science 2013;342:447-453.
  • Hong P, Chen K, Huang B, Liu M, Li Z, Cui M, Chaqour B, Pan X, Barton ER, Jiang X-C, Siddiqui MAQ. HEXIM1 controls satellite cell expansion after injury to regulate skeletal muscle regeneration. Journal of Clinical Investigation 2012;122:3873-87.
  • Puga I, Cols M, Barra CM, He B, Cassis L, Gentile M, Comerma L, Chorny A, Shan M, Xu W, Magri G, Knowles DM, Tam W, Chiu A, Bussel JB, Serrano S, Lorente JA, Bellosillo B, Lloreta J, Juanpere N, Alameda F, Baró T, de Heredia CD, Torán N, Català A, Torrebadell M, Fortuny C, Cusí V, Carreras C, Diaz GA, Blander JM, Farber CM, Silvestri G, Cunningham-Rundles C, Calvillo M, Dufour C, Notarangelo LD, Lougaris V, Plebani A, Casanova JL, Ganal SC, Diefenbach A, Aróstegui JI, Juan M, Yagüe J, Mahlaoui N, Donadieu J, Chen K, Cerutti A. B cell-helper neutrophils stimulate immunoglobulin diversification and production in the marginal zone of the spleen. Nature Immunology 2012;13:170-80 (cover story).
  • Cerutti A, Chen K, Chorny A. Immunoglobulin responses at mucosal interfaces. Annual Review of Immunology 2011;29:273-93.
  • Chen K, Cerutti A. AIDing the pursuit of IgA diversity. Nature Immunology 12:197-198, 2011.
  • Ballon G, Chen K, Perez R, Tam W, Cesarman E. Kaposi Sarcoma Herpesvirus (KSHV) vFLIP oncoprotein induces B-cell transdifferentiation and tumorigenesis in mice. Journal of Clinical Investigation 121:1141-1153, 2011.
  • He B, Santamaria R, Xu W, Cols M, Chen K, Puga I, Shan M, Xiong H, Bussel J B, Chiu A, Puel A, Reichenbach J, Marodi L, Doffinger R, Vasconcelos J, Issekutz A, Krause J, Davies G, Li X, Grimbacher B, Plebani A, Meffre E, Picard C, Cunningham-Rundles C, Casanova J-L, Cerutti A. The transmembrane activator TACI triggers immunoglobulin class switching by activating B cells through the adaptor MyD88. Nature Immunology 11: 836-845, 2010.
  • Chen K, Cerutti A. Vaccination strategies to promote mucosal antibody responses. Immunity 33:479-491, 2010.
  • Chen K, Xu W, Wilson M, He B, Miller NW, Bengten E, Edholm E-S, Santini PA, Rath P, Chiu A, Cattalini M, Litzman J, Bussel J, Huang B, Meini A, Riesbeck K, Cunningham-Rundles C, Plebani A, Cerutti A. Immunoglobulin D enhances immune surveillance by activating antimicrobial, pro-inflammatory and B-cell stimulating programs in basophils. Nature Immunology 10:889-898, 2009.
  • Xu W, Santini PA, Sullivan JS, He B, Shan M, Ball SC, Dyer WB, Ketas TJ, Chadburn A, Cohen-Gould L, Knowles DM, Chiu A, Sanders RW, Chen K, Cerutti A. HIV-1 evades virus-specific IgG2 and IgA responses by targeting systemic and intestinal B cells via long-range intercellular conduits. Nature Immunology 10:1008-1017, 2009.

Other Information

Chen Lab's website