Zhenjun Chen

Dr Zhenjun Chen obtained his PhD in 2001 at The University of Melbourne. By 2018, he has published 37 papers, including 4 in Nature (Pang et al, 2010; Illing et al, 2012; Kjer-Nielsen et al, 2012 and Corbett et al, 2014), 4 in Nature Immunol, 2 in Nature Comms, 3 in J.Exp Med 1 in PNAS and 1 in Mucosal Immunology.

Chen once worked on MHC polymorphism, antigen presentation and diseases. He had generated a few transgenic mouse lines for Celiac Disease model. He also established an in vitro T cell cellular assay for measuring T cells activation, which involving reconstitution of specific MHC molecules/their mutants in different APC cells and reconstitution of TCR genes/their mutants in Jurkat/SKW3 cells for human and BW58 cells for mouse. This in vitro T cell cellular assay is currently used by many labs around the world for its simplicity and reliability.

CI Chen's work currently focuses on the recently discovered Mucosal Associated Invariant T (MAIT) cells. He has established animal models with infectious bacteria and fungi for assaying MAIT cell activation, function and vaccination. He is actively exploring potential immune-therapies based on MAIT cells. He is co-supervising a junior postdoc, one PhD and two Masters students. He contributed to the key breakthroughs of MAIT antigen discovery (Nature 2012, 2014) and development of MR1 tetramers to enable specific detection of MAIT cells (JEM 2013), which in turn unravelled the biology of MAIT cells (NI 2x2016, 2017; 2x Nature Comms 2017, 2018; JEM 201, 2x 2015).

  • Contact Details
    Department:Microbiology and Immunology
    Email: zhenjun@unimelb.edu.au
    Phone:03 8344 9910
  • Current Research Focus

    MAIT cell immunity and infection

    Field of ResearchDescription
    110704Cellular Immunology
    110309Infectious Diseases
  • Key Skills
    • Mouse/rat models
    • Molecular biology
  • Looking to collaborate?

    Single cell RNA transcriptomics, T cell differentiation signals and human samples for MAIT cell immunity.