Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine.
Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Wenhao Chen Ph.D.

Wenhao Chen, Ph.D.

Assistant Member 
Transplant Immunology Research Program
Houston Methodist Research Institute

Email: wchen@houstonmethodist.org
Phone: 713-441-2173 


B.S.   Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China (Medicine)
Ph.D.   University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (Biomedical Science)

Postdoctoral Training

Research Fellow, Transplantation Immunology, University of Texas Medical School at Houston, Houston, TX
Research Fellow, Immunology, Toronto General Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Postdoctoral Associate, Immunology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX



Dr. Wenhao Chen earned his Ph.D. in Biomedical Science from the University of Toronto in 2006. He held faculty appointments at the University of Toledo College of Medicine in Toledo, Ohio and Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas before becoming a member of Houston Methodist Research Institute in 2013. As a member of the Transplantation Immunology Program, Dr. Chen studies the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying immune tolerance. He has published more than 40 original papers and review articles in high-impact scientific journals.

Description of Research

Dr. Chen’s research interests are to define the molecular mechanisms by which immune cells reject the transplanted organs or cause autoimmune type 1 diabetes and develop novel strategies to selectively abrogate undesired immune responses against self-islets or transplanted organs.

Major Areas of Research

Transplantation, Type 1 diabetes, T cell, immune tolerance

Recent Publications

Ye P, Chen W, Wu J, Huang X, Li J, Wang S, Liu Z, Wang G, Yang X, Zhang P, Lv Q, Xia J. GM-CSF contributes to aortic aneurysms resulting from SMAD3 deficiency. J Clin Invest. 2013 May 1;123(5):2317-31. PMID: 23585475

Guo Z, Khattar M, Schroder PM, Miyahara Y, Wang G, He X, Chen W, Stepkowski SM. A dynamic dual role of IL-2 signaling in the two-step differentiation process of adaptive regulatory T cells. J Immunol. 2013 Apr 1;190(7):3153-62. PMID: 23427250

Chen W, Xie A, Chan L. Mechanistic basis of immunotherapies for type 1 diabetes mellitus. Transl Res. 2013 Apr;161(4):217-29. PMID: 23348026

Wu J, Zhou C, Chen W, Xie A, Li J, Wang S, Ye P, Wang W, Xia J. Digoxin attenuates acute cardiac allograft rejection by antagonizing RORγt activity. Transplantation. 2013 Feb 15;95(3):434-41. PMID: 23296151

Miyahara Y, Khattar M, Schroder PM, Mierzejewska B, Deng R, Han R, Hancock WW, Chen W, Stepkowski SM. Anti-TCRβ mAb induces long-term allograft survival by reducing antigen-reactive T cells and sparing regulatory T cells. Am J Transplant. 2012 Jun;12(6):1409-18. PMID: 22420295

Li J, Chen G, Ye P, Wang S, Zhang K, Chen W, Stepkowski SM, Li J, Zhong S, Xia J. CCR5 blockade in combination with cyclosporine increased cardiac graft survival and generated alternatively activated macrophages in primates. J Immunol. 2011 Mar 15;186(6):3753-61. PMID: 21307294

Xie A, Wang S, Zhang K, Wang G, Ye P, Li J, Chen W, Xia J. Treatment with interleukin-12/23p40 antibody attenuates acute cardiac allograft rejection. Transplantation. 2011 Jan 15;91(1):27-34. PMID: 21452409

Wang G, Khattar M, Guo Z, Miyahara Y, Linkes SP, Sun Z, He X, Stepkowski SM, Chen W. IL-2-deprivation and TGF-beta are two non-redundant suppressor mechanisms of CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cell which jointly restrain CD4+CD25- cell activation. Immunol Lett. 2010 Aug 16;132(1-2):61-8. PMID: 20570629

Wang G, Miyahara Y, Guo Z, Khattar M, Stepkowski SM, Chen W. "Default" generation of neonatal regulatory T cells. J Immunol. 2010 Jul 1;185(1):71-8. PMID: 20498359

Guo Z, Wang G, Miyahara Y, Khattar M, Linkes SP, Wang C, Xia J, Pan Y, Chen W, He X, Stepkowski SM. IL-7, but not thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP), during priming enhances the generation of memory CD4+ T cells. Immunol Lett. 2010 Feb 16;128(2):116-23. PMID: 20064560