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 (1991-1996) and obtained his PhD with Dr. Jack E. Dixon from University of Michigan in 2003. Prior to returning to China in 2005 to assume an assistant investigator at NIBS, he was a Damon Runyon Postdoc Research Fellow at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Shao was promoted to become an associate investigator in 2009 and a full investigator in 2012 at NIBS.
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 Rho-modifying bacterial toxins in the caspase-1 inflammasome pathway, as well as caspase-11/4/5 for cytosolic LPS. He has also identified Gasdermin-D (GSDMD) whose cleavage by caspase-1/4/5/11 determines pyroptosis, critical for innate defense and sepsis. Dr. Shao’s research further establishes a Gasdermin family of pore-forming factors, thereby re-defining pyroptosis as Gasdermin-mediated programmed necrosis. Among the family, Gasdermin-E (GSDME) is activated by caspase-3, which has important contributions 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 and the Irving Sigal Young Investigator Award from the Protein Society. He 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.