Xiaohua Chen, M.D., Ph.D.

  • Research Assistant Professor of Pediatrics

Professional Affiliations/Society Memberships

  • Member/certification, Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative
  • Member, American Society of Hematology
  • Member, American Association of Immunologists
  • Member, Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies

Research Interests

Xiaohua Chen focused on characteristics and corresponding biomarkers that are essential for human transplant tolerance and their potential for application in organ transplantation. She also monitors immune reconstitution in ongoing clinical protocols.

Cadaveric Donor Lung and Bone Marrow Transplantation in Immunodeficiency Diseases. As a co-investigator, Chen spearheads the tolerance and immune competence studies in the Szabolcs Lab.

Regulatory T Cells and Tolerance in Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation (HSCT). Clonal deletion of alloreactive thymocytes is a critical and central mechanism in forming long-term tolerance however, hyporeactivity may depend on additional peripheral mechanisms with or without immunosuppression. The degree of influence from peripheral factors is unknown. Chen’s studies explored the mechanisms of long-term immune tolerance formed in allo-HSCT and their potential in organ transplantation. Both central (clonal deletion) and peripheral (anergy, Treg, Tr1) tolerance were examined after HLA-mismatched cord blood and deceased donor bone marrow transplant setting. She used high-throughput digital sequencing to track clonal evolution versus deletion. She characterized Treg cells and evaluated anergy in patients who achieved immune tolerance and those with GVHD to continue toward mapping the longitudinal evolution of immune tolerance mechanisms and plot efficacy of GVHD treatments. Evolution of Treg and alloreactive T-cell clonotypes are studied after tandem lung and bone marrow transplant.

Cellular and Molecular Monitoring Immune Reconstitution post-HSCT in on-going Clinical Protocols. This project consisted in applying reliable approaches in cellular and molecular monitoring immune reconstitution in ongoing clinical protocols. By using multiple fluorescence-activated cell sorting panels, TCRb, TCRgd BCR spectratyping, and sjTREC real-time polymerase chain reaction, Chen has monitored immune recovery post-HSCT.