Skip to main content

Wei-Chun Chou, PhD

Assistant Professor, Genetics 

Research Interests

Keywords: Inflammation, molecular immunology, signal transduction, immune cell metabolism, functional transcriptome and proteomics, neuro-inflammation, asthma, lung inflammation, cancer research

Dr. Chou received her Master in Microbiology of Medical Technology and PhD in Immunology from National Taiwan University. She completed her post-doctoral training in the laboratory of Dr. Jenny Ting at University of North Carolina and has been appointed as Assistant Professor since April 2021.

Dr. Chou has broad interest in the application of cutting-edge ideas and technology to the study of disease-relevant models and mechanisms. Major directions include innate and adaptive immunity, dendritic cell function, autophagy, ER stress, signal transduction, functional proteomics, virus infection, neuro-inflammation, lung inflammation. Clinical issues of interest include multiple sclerosis, asthma, colitis, cancer, infection and inflammation. She has studied the effects of NLRs (nucleotide-binding domain leucine-rich repeat containing) on mice models of these diseases in Dr. Ting’s lab.

Dr. Chou recently published a paper in Nature as first author, showing an unexpected and previously unappreciated role for innate immune receptor AIM2 in Treg cells in adaptive immunity, which is independent of AIM2’s classic function in the innate immunity. She found that AIM2 is important to maintain the normal function of Treg cells, which could not effectively protect mice from developing autoimmune encephalomyelitis and inflammatory colitis without AIM2. Additionally, by using functional proteomics screening, she showed AIM2-RACK1-PP2A-AKT signaling pathway that regulates the metabolism and stability of Treg cells to mitigate autoimmune disease. As a result of these studies, she hopes to modulate the expression or function of molecules in the AIM2 signaling pathway in human Treg cells or effector T cells to eventually affect the outcome of diseases such as cancer or autoimmune disorders in the future.

Mentor Training:

Publications

Wei-Chun Chou in UNC Genetics News

Wei-Chun Chou