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Emma Kuan, Ph.D

Scientist III


Emma is a Scientist in Experimental Immunology at the Allen Institute for Immunology, joining in October 2020. Her current focus in Allen Institute is to understand myeloid cells in healthy and patients suffered from inflammation-driven diseases, in hope to develop specific therapeutic targets. Her previous work focused on migration, activation, and functions of different myeloid cells in inflammation and cancer. Before joining Allen Institute, she was a Staff Scientist in Benaroya Research Institute and worked with Dr. Steven Ziegler, in collaboration with Dr. Thomas Wight, and led the project to study the regulation of versican in monocytes for their suppressive functions on cytotoxic T cells in breast cancers.

Her work during post-doctoral training with Dr. Ziegler elucidated the mechanisms of myeloid cells regulating breast tumor cell survival through thymic stromal lymphopoietin by using multiple in vivo mouse breast cancer models and human breast tumor samples. Emma earned her Ph.D. in Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and was trained by Dr. Gwendalyn Randolph. Her thesis revealed a novel subset of phagocytes in perinodal adipose tissue around skin draining lymph nodes and their roles in skin immunity. She was also actively involved in multiple projects in studying monocytes and dendritic cells in skin, gut, and atherosclerosis plaque. Emma received her M.S. degree in Graduate Institute of Immunology in National Taiwan University and studied signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 in NK cells in liver with Dr. Chien-Kuo Lee and received a B.S. degree in Zoology from National Taiwan University.

Research Focus:

I am interested in myeloid cell biology and their interactions with other cells, including T cells, tumor cells, and stromal cells. I would like to utilize multimodal methods and big data analyses to understand subsets and functions of myeloid cells in healthy and patients suffered from inflammation-driven diseases in humans. My main contributions will be generating hypotheses based on preliminary observations from pipeline work and validating them by experiments to elucidate novel molecules and/or pathways for immunotherapy.

Science Programs at Allen Institute