Skip to main content
Mingnan Chen

Mingnan Chen, PhD

Languages spoken: English, Chinese

Academic Office Information

Research Interests

  • Autoimmune Diseases
  • Vaccines
  • Immune-Tolerant Biomaterials
  • Drug Delivery
  • Biomaterials
  • Metastasis

Mingnan Chen, PhD is an assistant professor in the Department of Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Chemistry at University of Utah and a member of the Utah Nano Institute. He is also a member of the Experimental Therapeutics Program at Huntsman Cancer Institute.

Chen is interested in understanding the interplays between peptide materials and the host immune system and applying this understanding to engineer immune tolerant peptide materials. One such material is immune-tolerant elastin-like polypeptide (iTEP). The second research thrust of Chen’s lab concerns medical applications of iTEPs. One such application is to use iTEP-based vaccine carriers to boost the efficacy of cancer peptide vaccines. Another example of the application is to devise iTEP nanoparticles to deliver anti-metastasis drugs to metastasis-initiating cells, which is expected to inhibit tumor metastasis.

Chen received a bachelor's degree from the Jimei University, a master’s degree from Peking University, and a PhD from the University of Connecticut.

Education History

Postdoctoral Training Duke University, Department of Biomedical Engineering
Postdoctoral Training
University of Connecticut, School of Pharmacy
Graduate Training Peking University, College of Life Science
Jimei University, College of Aquaculture

Selected Publications

Journal Article

  1. Zhao P, Wang P, Dong S, He X, Zhou Z, Cao Y, Yagita H, He X, Fisher SJ, Fujinami RS, Chen M (In Press). Depletion of PD-1-positive cells ameliorates autoimmune disease. (Epub ahead of print) Nat Biomed Eng.
  2. Wang P, Dong S, Zhao P, He X, Chen M (2018). Direct loading of CTL epitopes onto MHC class I complexes on dendritic cell surface in vivo. Biomaterials, 182, 92-103.
  3. Zhao P, Dong S, Bhattacharyya J, Chen M (2014). iTEP nanoparticle-delivered salinomycin displays an enhanced toxicity to cancer stem cells in orthotopic breast tumors. Mol Pharm.
  4. MacKay JA, Chen M, Liu W, McDaniel J, Simnick A, and Chilkoti A (2009). Self-assembling chimeric polypeptide-doxorubicin conjugate nanoparticles that abolish tumors after a single injection. Nat Mater, 8, 993-999.
  5. Sadegh-Nasseri S, Chen M, Narayan K, and Bouvier M (2008). The convergent roles of tapasin and HLA-DM in antigen presentation. Trends Immunol, 29, 141-147.
  6. Chen M, Bouvier M (2007). Analysis of interactions in a tapasin/class I complex provides a mechanism for peptide selection. Recommended as a “Must Read” paper by Faculty of 1000 Biology. EMBO J, 26, 1681-1690.


  1. Chen M, Zhao P (2019). Immune Tolerant Elastin-like Peptides Tetramer Guided Nanoparticles and Methods of Use.
  2. Chen M, Cho HJ, Dong S. (2019). Immune-tolerant elastin-like polypeptide.
  3. Chen M, Zhao P, Wang P (2019). A Fusion Protein for Targeted Therapy of Autoimmune Disease.