Assistant Professor of Biology; Core Faculty, Broad Institute
Graduate: Ph.D., 2011, MIT; MD, 2013, Harvard Medical School Undergraduate: BA, 2006, Biology, University of Chicago
Broad Institute, 75 Ames St, Room 6050
Erin Chen is a core institute member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, an assistant professor of biology at MIT, and an attending dermatologist at MGH. Her lab studies and engineers commensal microbe-immune crosstalk. During her postdoctoral research in Michael Fischbach’s lab at Stanford University, Chen developed genetic methods in commensal skin bacteria. She engineered these bacteria to generate anti-tumor immunity, pioneering a novel approach to vaccination and cancer immunotherapy. Chen earned her B.A. in biology from the University of Chicago, her Ph.D. from MIT, and her M.D. from Harvard Medical School, and she completed her dermatology residency at UCSF. She is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Hanna H. Gray Fellow. She was also awarded the A.P. Giannini Postdoctoral Fellowship and the Dermatology Foundation Research Fellowship.
Diverse commensal microbes colonize every surface of our bodies. We study the constant communication between these microbes and our immune system. We focus on our largest organ: the skin. By employing microbial genetics, immunologic approaches, and mouse models, we can dissect (1) the molecular signals used by microbes to educate our immune system and (2) how different microbial communities alter immune responses. Ultimately, we aim to harness these microbe-host interactions to engineer novel vaccines and therapeutics for human disease.