Key Advisors

Feng Shao, Ph.D.

Feng Shao, Ph.D.

Feng Shao, Ph.D., is an investigator and deputy director at National Institute of Biological Sciences (NIBS), Beijing. He was a chemistry undergraduate of Peking University (1991-1996) and obtained his PhD from the University of Michigan in 2003. Before becoming a faculty member at NIBS in 2005, he was a Damon Runyon Postdoc Fellow at Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Shao’s research lies at the interface between bacterial pathogen and host immunity. He identified most of the known cytosolic pattern recognition receptors for bacterial molecules, including caspase-11/4/5 for LPS and ALPK1 for ADP-heptose (a precursor for LPS biosynthesis). He also identified gasdermin-D (GSDMD) whose cleavage by caspase-1/4/5/11 determines pyroptosis, which is critical for septic shock and other inflammatory diseases. His research further establishes the gasdermin family of pore-forming proteins, therefor re-defining pyroptosis as gasdermin-mediated programmed necrosis. Among the family, GSDME is activated by caspase-3, which occurs mostly in noncancer cells and contributes to the toxicity of chemotherapy drugs. His most recent work demonstrates that pyroptosis is a critical mechanism underlying lymphocyte cytotoxicity and gasdermin activation in cancer cells can stimulate potent antitumor immunity.

Dr. Shao‘s work has been recognized by numerous awards including the Future Science Prize, Qiu Shi Outstanding Scientist Award, HHMI International Early Career Award and the Protein Society Irving Sigal Young Investigator Award. He is a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, an associate member of EMBO, and a fellow of American Academy of Microbiology.

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