Chen Zhao M.D.

Chen Zhao, M.D.

  • Center for Cancer Research
  • National Cancer Institute
Thoracic and GI Malignancies Branch


Dr. Chen Zhao is an immunologist, thoracic oncologist, and physician-scientist focusing on tumor immunology and immunotherapy in lung cancer and thymic malignancies. He specializes in developing novel immunotherapeutics and using advanced tissue imaging techniques to understand the three-way interactions among tumor cells, the immune system, and the microbiota in the tumor microenvironment over the course of cancer initiation, progression, and therapeutic response.

Areas of Expertise

Thoracic Oncology
Spatial Transcriptomics
Tissue Imaging

Information for Patients

Learn more about our clinical trials and the highly specialized care teams that lead them. 


Selected Key Publications

Spatial meta-transcriptomics reveal associations of intratumor bacteria burden with lung cancer cells showing a distinct oncogenic signature

Wong-Rolle, A., Q. Dong, Y. Zhu, P. Divakar, J. L. Hor, N. Kedei, M. Wong, D. Tillo, E. A. Conner, A. Rajan, D. S. Schrump, C. Jin, R. N. Germain, C. Zhao* (*corresponding author)
Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer. Vol. 10 Issue 7: e004698, 2022.
Full-Text Article
[ Journal Article ]

Contrasting autoimmune and treatment effects reveals baseline set points of immune toxicity following checkpoint inhibitor treatment

Zhao, C*., M. P. Mulè, A. J. Martins, I. Pinal-Fernandez, R. N. Donahue, J. Chen, J. Schlom, J. L. Gulley, A. Mammen, J. S. Tsang* and A. Rajan (*corresponding author)
Full-Text Article
[ Journal Article ]

Artificial Intelligence-based Tumor Segmentation in Mouse Models of Lung Adenocarcinoma

Arlova A, Jin, C, Wong-Rolle, A, Chen E, Lisle C, Brown GT, Lay N, Choyke P, Turkbey B, Harmon S, Zhao C.
Journal of Pathology Informatics. Volume 13, 2022, 100007: 2022.
Full-Text Article
[ Journal Article ]

Unexpected guests in the tumor microenvironment: microbiome in cancer

Wong-Rolle A, Wei HK, Zhao C*, Jin C
Protein Cell. *Corresponding author: 2020.
Full-Text Article
[ Journal Article ]

Commensal Microbiota Promote Lung Cancer Development via γδ T Cells

Jin C, Lagoudas GK, Zhao C, Bullman S, Bhutkar A, Hu B, Ameh S, Sandel D, Liang XS, Mazzilli S, Whary MT, Meyerson M, Germain R, Blainey PC, Fox JG, Jacks T.
Cell. 176(5): 998-1013.e16, 2019. [ Journal Article ]

Job Vacancies

Position Degree Required Contact Name Contact Email
Postdoctoral Fellow - Tumor immunology, lung cancer Ph.D. or equivalent Chen Zhao


Postbaccalaureate Fellow (CRTA)
Molly Anne Bingham
Postdoctoral CRTA Fellow
Shuzhen Lyu, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral CRTA Fellow
Zachary Lin, Ph.D.
Special Volunteer
Julius Herzog
Special Volunteer
Abigail Wong-Rolle
Special Volunteer
Nivedita Iyer


5/10/2023: Chen received the 2023 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Career Development Award for his work targeting intratumor microbiome in lung cancer!