Electrostatic Mechanisms in T Cell Triggering


Event details

Date 03.10.2023
Hour 14:0015:00
Speaker Prof. Chenqi Xu, Shanghai Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai (China)
Location Online
Category Conferences - Seminars
Event Language English
Electrostatic interaction is one of the fundamental forces mediating biomolecular interactions. In immunoreceptor signaling, a spatiotemporal electrostatic network formed by immunoreceptors, acidic phospholipids, ions and other signaling molecules regulate conformation, phosphorylation, clustering, and degradation. Using the T cell receptor (TCR) as a system, we show the importance of electrostatic interactions in regulating safety, sensitivity and specificity of antigen responses. Introducing the TCR electrostatic motif into Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) improves long-term persistence and antigen sensitivity of CAR-T cells, leading to improved antitumor immunity.

Chenqi Xu is now a principal investigator at Shanghai Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology (SIBCB), Distinguished Adjunct Professor of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and also serves as a deputy director of the State Key Laboratory of Molecular Biology. Chenqi completed his PhD training in protein chemistry with Dr. Chengwu Chi in 2004 at SIBCB. A part of his PhD work was done in University of Leuven and University of Hasselt in Belgium, under supervision of Drs. Jan Tytgat and Emmy Van Kerkhove. He then received postdoctoral training in immunology with Dr. Kai Wucherpfennig at Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School. In 2009, he moved back to SIBCB to start his independent program focusing on T cell signaling and metabolism. The Xu lab has developed cutting-edge biochemical and biophysical tools to study immunoreceptor signaling and translates the basic knowledge to the development of engineered T cell therapy. In addition, he is interested in the fundamental functions of membrane lipids in T cell biology and have demonstrated the application potential of cholesterol-based immunotherapy. His works have been published in Nature, Cell and other prestigious journals, and selected as Top 10 Science Breakthroughs in China. He has received many awards, including the 2022 Chinese Biological Investigators Society Young Investigator Award and the 2023 Xplorer prize.

Zoom link for attending remotely: https://epfl.zoom.us/j/67431130421

Practical information

  • Informed public
  • Free



  • Li Tang, Ph.D.
    Associate Professor
    Institute of Bioengineering (IBI) / Institute of Materials (IMX)
    École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)