Dr. Shen’s lab has developed a droplet organoid technology termed micro-organospheres (MOS). Several clinical trials are ongoing in both US and Europe to validate the ability of MOS to predict patient outcomes. He founded a company, Xilis Inc., with Drs. Hans Clevers and David Hsu, to develop MOS-based clinical diagnostics that has received a $70M series-A. His lab is further developing this technology for applications including immunotherapy, stem cell regeneration, autoimmune diseases, host-microbe interactome, and infectious diseases.
Mixed response to chemotherapy between primary tumors and metastases occurs in a significant fraction of patients, supporting the existence of important biological differences between the two. The Shen lab was the first to demonstrate that metastatic colorectal cancer undergo metabolic and epigenetic reprogramming in the liver. New therapeutic development to target the metabolic and epigenetic reprogramming axes have led to clinical trials and pharma partnerships.
Gut-brain axis and Neuromodulation
Dr. Shen leads the Chan-Zuckerberg Human Atlas Along the Gut-Brain Axis program. With deeper understanding of the gut-brain axis using cutting-edge tools such as single-cell sequencing and viral tracing, the Shen lab is developing novel neuromodulation methods to treat a variety of systemic diseases.
The Shen lab developed the first intestinal window with scaffold and graphene sensors to measure the enteric nervous system in real time. They then developed the first intravital colon window to study stem cells, inflammation, and peripheral stimulation in the colon. They also developed the very first embryonic window that allowed real-time imaging of embryos and organogenesis. Ongoing projects include improving transplantation and chimeric efficiencies for disease modeling and therapeutic development.