Shin-Heng Chiou, PhD

My background focuses on both cancer biology and immunology. For my first postdoctoral studies I worked in Dr. Monte Winslow’s laboratory at Stanford University. While most of his lab focuses on lung cancer, I focused my investigations on the tumor microenvironment in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) and the impact of microenvironmental cues on metastasis. Within the tumor microenvironment of PDAC, I discovered that hypoxia induces a transient metastatic program in cancer cells (Chiou et al., 2017). I also pioneered CRISPR/Cas9-based methods for PDAC mouse modeling (Chiou et al., 2015; Winters et al., 2017). These tools will help me develop novel approaches to address fundamental questions in PDAC biology. After focusing on cancer cell-intrinsic changes induced by the PDAC tumor microenvironment, I then pursued a short second postdoctoral training with Dr. Mark Davis to learn T cell biology in cancer. The research projects I worked on while at the Davis lab involved understanding the relationships between T cell specificities and the cellular states of tumor-infiltrating T lymphocytes in human non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). This effort has led to the identification of highly prevalent T cell clones that are specific to a novel tumor antigen but also cross-react to the antigen from a pathogen.