Feng Shao, Ph.D., is an investigator and deputy director at the National Institute of Biological Sciences (NIBS), Beijing. Dr. Shao’s work has been recognized by numerous awards including the 2022 William B. Coley Award, Future Science Prize, Qiu Shi Outstanding Scientist Award, HHMI International Early Career Award and the Protein Society Irving Sigal Young Investigator Award.
Prior to becoming a faculty member at NIBS, Dr. Shao was a Damon Runyon Postdoc Fellow at Harvard Medical School. He is a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, an associate member of EMBO, and a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology.
Dr. Shao’s research lies at the interface between bacterial pathogen and host immunity. He identified most of the known cytosolic pattern recognition receptors for bacterial molecules, including caspase-11/4/5 for LPS and ALPK1 for ADP-heptose (a precursor for LPS biosynthesis). He also identified gasdermin-D (GSDMD) whose cleavage by caspase-1/4/5/11 determines pyroptosis, which is critical for septic shock and other inflammatory diseases. His research further establishes the gasdermin family of pore-forming proteins, therefor re-defining pyroptosis as gasdermin-mediated programmed necrosis. Among the family, GSDME is activated by caspase-3, which occurs mostly in noncancer cells and contributes to the toxicity of chemotherapy drugs. His most recent work demonstrates that pyroptosis is a critical mechanism underlying lymphocyte cytotoxicity and gasdermin activation in cancer cells can stimulate potent antitumor immunity.
Dr. Shao received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan and B.S. in chemistry from Peking University.