Pyroptosis: from innate immunity to cancer
Dr. Feng Shao is an investigator and deputy director at National Institute of Biological Sciences (NIBS), Beijing, China. He was a chemistry undergraduate of Peking University and obtained his PhD from University of Michigan in 2003. Dr. Shao’s research spans from bacterial pathogenesis to innate immunity and to pyroptotic cell death. His group has identified several cytosolic pattern recognition receptors, including the NAIPs for bacterial flagellin and Pyrin for bacterial Rho-modifying toxins in the canonical caspase-1 inflammasome pathway as well as caspase-11/4/5 for cytosolic LPS. He has also identified Gasdermin-D (GSDMD) protein whose cleavage by caspase-1/4/5/11 determines pyroptosis, playing important roles in innate defense and sepsis. Dr. Shao’s research further establishes a Gasdermin family of pyroptotic factors characterized by the conserved membrane pore-forming domain, thereby re-defining pyroptosis as Gasdermin-mediated programmed necrosis. Among the family, Gasdermin-E (GSDME) is activated by caspase-3 cleavage and the resulting pyroptosis contributes to the adverse effect of chemotherapy drugs. Dr. Shao‘s work has been well recognized by numerous prestigious awards including the HHMI International Early Career Award. Dr. Shao is an elected member of the Chinese Academy of Science, an associate member of European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO), and a fellow of American Academy of Microbiology.