Li Shen, MD, PhD

Associate Professor of Microbiology

533 Bolivar St.,
CSRB 359
New Orleans, LA 70112



MD - 1984
Chongqing University of Medical Sciences, China

PhD - 1994
Chongqing University of Medical Sciences, China

Postdoctoral Training: Boston University School of Medicine


Dr. Shen obtained her MD and Ph.D in Chongqing University of Medical Sciences in China. After completing her residency in Chongqing Children’s Hospital, she joined the faculty at the Department of Pediatrics in Chongqing Children’s Hospital. Later, she had postdoctoral training in molecular biology of Chlamydia with Dr. You-xun Zhang in the Maxwell Finland Laboratory for Infectious Diseases, Boston University School of Medicine.  She then became Research Assistant Professor of Medicine with independent NIH-funded grant in Boston University.  In 2008, she joined LSUHSC as Assistant Professor.  

Research Interests

Research in Dr. Shen's lab is focused on molecular biology and pathogenesis of human pathogen, Chlamydia spp.  Molecular, genetic, biochemical, cell biology, and computational approaches are utilized in combination.

Control of the type III secretion system (T3SS) in Chlamydia. Like numerous Gram-negative bacteria, Chlamydia uses its T3SS to deliver anti-host effector proteins into host cells to subvert host immunity. By defining common and Chlamydia-specific T3SS controls at the levels of transcription and post-transcription, we seek to more completely understand the “secretion regulation” mechanism that is utilized by bacteria to adapt and survive, in studies funded by NIH. Insights obtained will pave the way for the future development of novel therapies targeting the T3SS against Chlamydia infections.

Mechanisms of persistent C. trachomatis infection.  In this project, in collaboration with Dr. Alison Quayle's lab, we are focused on molecular elucidating how Chlamydia adapts to adverse conditions and become persistent in the human female genital tract by modifying its envelope and membrane vesicle production. 

Teaching Activities

Advanced Bacteriology