Irene Chen, PhD
Dr. Chen joined the Column Group as a Swanson Fellow in 2023 after completing her PhD in virology and immunology at UC San Francisco. As part of her graduate thesis in Melanie Ott’s group, she discovered a novel immune evasion function of the viral envelope protein of SARS-CoV-2 and first characterized the limited immunity elicited by Omicron variant. Additionally, she helped establish recombinant systems such as viral-like particles, replicon, and infectious clones to aid in the study viral fitness and infectivity of SARS-CoV-2 variants. For these works, Irene received the 2023 Gladstone Distinguished Achievement in Science award. Her work has been published in Nature, Science, and Cell Reports and highlighted by The Atlantic, Forbes, and TWiV. She also holds a BS in biochemistry and cell biology from UC San Diego and studied structural virology under Clodagh O’Shea at the Salk Institute.