Erin Chen, Ph.D., M.D.

Erin Chen. Photo courtesy of Brianna Williams.

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. Chen studies the constant communication between the immune system and the diverse microbes that colonize every surface of the human body. Members of the Chen lab focus on the human body’s largest organ: the skin.

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. At the Broad, members of the Chen lab will continue to employ microbial genetics, immunologic approaches, and mouse models to dissect the molecular signals used by commensal microbes to educate the immune system. Ultimately, Chen aims to harness these microbe-host interactions to engineer novel therapeutics for human disease.

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.

Photo courtesy of Brianna Williams.

January 2023