Associate Professor Jianzhu Chen of the Department of Biology has been promoted to associate professor with tenure. The announcement was intended to be made in the Oct. 17 issue in MIT Tech Talk in an article listing others who received tenure as of July 1, 2001.
Chen has made significant and novel contributions in three distinct areas of immunology, each involving molecular mechanisms of lymphocyte development and function. Among other things, he and his colleagues have developed a mouse system that allows memory T-cells to be studied to determine how they respond to antigen and how they arise by differentiation. Their results show that the critical event for naï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ve-to-memory T-cell differentiation is cell proliferation mediated by the T-cell antigen receptor. These findings may help develop potent vaccines against cancer and infectious pathogens such as HIV. Chen teaches a graduate course in immunology and co-teaches an upper-level course for biology undergraduates and premedical students. A 1990 recipient of a Ph.D. in genetics from Stanford University, Chen joined MIT as an assistant professor in 1994.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on October 24, 2001.