ZHANG Shen-Ying


Shen-Ying Zhang, MD, PhD, is an Associate Professor at the Rockefeller University in USA and at the Imagine Institute (INSERM) in France. She is a physician scientist by training. After completing her medical study at the Shanghai Fudan University in China, she pursued her interest in the investigations of immunopathogenesis of infectious diseases by joining the Laboratory of Human Genetics of Infectious Diseases as a post-doctoral fellow, and later obtained her PhD of Immunology and Genetics under the mentorship of Prof Jean-Laurent Casanova at the Paris Descartes University in France.


Since 2008, she leads a team working on genetic predisposition to viral diseases, in the two branches of the Laboratory of Human Genetics of Infectious Diseases in USA and in France (headed by Jean-Laurent Casanova at the Rockefeller University and Laurent Abel at the Imagine Institute, respectively). She has made substantial contributions to our understanding of human inborn errors of immunity predisposing to severe viral infections mainly HSV-1 encephalitis.


She played a major role in the discovery of the various single gene inborn errors immunity underlying childhood viral encephalitis caused by HSV-1, VZV, Influenza and other viruses, via known TLR3-IFN-mediated or new previously unknown molecular mechanisms. Her team developed a model for the molecular and cellular dissection of viral encephalitis pathogenesis based on the use of human central nervous system cells differentiated in vitro from patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cells. These work set up an example for investigations of inborn errors of organ-specific cell-intrinsic immunity, as opposed to hematopoietic cell immunity, that can result in susceptibility to severe viral infection of a specific organ in humans.

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