Jianjun Chen, Ph.D. joined Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope as a professor and vice chair of the Department of Systems Biology in October 2017, and then became chair of the Department of Systems Biology in August 2020. He also is the deputy director of the Center for RNA Biology and Therapeutics. Before that, he had been serving as an associate professor of cancer biology at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine for a few years, after moving from University of Chicago where he was an assistant professor of medicine.
Dr. Chen received his Ph.D. degree from Shanghai Institute of Biochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China, and then conducted postdoc training with Janet D. Rowley, M.D., at University of Chicago. He launched his independent laboratory in 2009 in the department of Medicine at University of Chicago.
Dr. Chen is a scholar of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (2017) and Researcher of the Year, The Pamela B. Katten Memorial Leukemia Research Foundation Award (2014). Dr. Chen is a permanent member of the National Institutes of Health Developmental Therapeutics (DT) study section and his research program is currently supported by multiple R01 grants from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).
1999, Ph.D., Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Shanghai Institute of Biochemistry (now Shanghai Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology), Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China
1994, B.S., Genetics. Sichuan University, Chengdu, China
1999-2001, Department of Medicine, University of Chicago
1999-2001, Department of Medicine, University of Chicago
2020-present, Professor and Chair, Department of Systems Biology, City of Hope, Duarte, CA
2018-present, Simms/Mann Family Foundation Chair in Systems Biology, City of Hope, Duarte, CA
2017-2020, Professor and Vice Chair, Department of Systems Biology, City of Hope, Duarte, CA
2015-2017, Associate Professor (with tenure), Department of Cancer Biology, University of Cincinnati
2009-2014, Assistant Professor (tenure track), Department of Medicine, University of Chicago
2005-2008, Research Associate (Assistant Professor), Department of Medicine, University of Chicago
2004-2005, Research Associate (Instructor), Department of Medicine, University of Chicago
2001-2004, Research Associate, Department of Medicine, University of Chicago
The Chen Laboratory is interested in discovering novel genetic/epigenetic regulations and the associated molecular mechanisms in normal developmental processes (e.g., hematopoiesis) and tumorigenesis (especially, leukemogenesis). In recent years, Dr. Chen and colleagues have been focusing on basic and translational research associated with RNA/DNA epigenetics, especially RNA modification related to the N6 methyladenosine (m6A) machinery and DNA demethylation related to the TET1/2/3 family, and have developed several small-molecule compound inhibitors to selectively target cancer-related RNA/DNA epigenetic modifiers that hold therapeutic potential. The ultimate goal of the lab is to translate the laboratory discoveries into the development of effective novel therapeutic strategies to treat cancers (especially acute leukemia) in the clinic.
Ma S, Sun B, Duan S, Han J, Barr T, Zhang J, Bissonnette MB, Kortylewski M, He C, Chen J, Caligiuri MA*, Yu J*. YTHDF2 orchestrates tumor-associated macrophage reprogramming and controls antitumor immunity through CD8+ T cells. Nature Immunology. 2023 Jan 19. doi: 10.1038/s41590-022-01398-6. Online ahead of print.
Xu X, Chan AKN, Li M, Liu Q, Mattson N, Pokharel SP, Chang WH, Yuan YC, Wang J, Moore RE, Pirrotte P, Wu J, Su R, Müschen M, Rosen ST, Chen J, Yang L, Chen CW*. ACTR5 supports tumor progression via epigenetic silencing of CDKN2A. Science Advances. 2022 Dec 23;8(51):eadc8911. PMCID: PMC9788768.
Li W, Deng X, Chen J*. RNA-binding Proteins in Regulating mRNA Stability and Translation: Roles and Mechanisms in Cancer. Seminars in Cancer Biology. 2022 Nov;86(Pt 2):664-677. PMCID: PMC9526761.
Li Y, Su R, Deng X, Chen Y, Chen J*. FTO in cancer: Functions, molecular mechanisms and therapeutic implications. Trends in Cancer. 2022 Jul;8(7):598-614. PMCID: Pending.
Han L, Dong L, Leung K, Zhao Z, Li Y, Gao L, Chen Z, Xue J, Qing Y, Li W, Pokhare SP, Gao M, Chen M, Shen C, Tan B, Small A, Wang K, Zhang Z, Qin X, Yang L, Zhang B, Marcucci G, Chen CW, Wei M*, Su R*, Chen J*, Deng X*. METTL16 drives leukemogenesis and leukemia stem cell self-renewal by reprogramming BCAA metabolism. Cell Stem Cell. 2023 Jan 5;30(1):52-68.e13. PMCID: PMC9838187.
Weng H*, Huang F, Yu Z, Chen Z, Prince E, Kang Y, Zhou K, Wei L, Hu J, Fu C, Aziz T, Li H, Li J, Yang Y, Han L, Zhang S, Ma Y, Sun M, Wu H, Zhang Z, Wunderlich M, Robinson S, Braas D, Hoeve JT, Zhang B, Marcucci G, Mulloy JC, Zhou K, Tao HF, Deng X, Horne D, Wei M*, Huang H*, Chen J*. The m6A Reader IGF2BP2 Regulates Glutamine Metabolism and Represents a Therapeutic Target in Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Cancer Cell. 2022 Dec 12;40(12):1566-1582.e10. PMCID: PMC9772162.
Deng S, Zhang J, Su J, Zuo Z, Zeng L, Liu K, Zheng Y, Huang X, Bai R, Zhuang L, Ye Y, Li M, Pan L, Deng J, Wu G, Li R, Zhang S, Wu C, Lin D*, Chen J*, Zheng J*. RNA m6A regulates transcription via DNA demethylation and chromatin accessibility. Nature Genetics. 2022 Sep;54(9):1427-1437. doi: 10.1038/s41588-022-01173-1. Epub 2022 Sep 7.
** Featured by Nature Genetics (2022 Sep;54(9):1261-1262).
Tan B, Zhou K, Liu W, Prince E, Qing Y, Li Y, Han L, Qin X, Su R, Pokharel SP, Yang L, Zhao Z, Shen C, Li W, Chen Z, Zhang Z, Deng X, Small A, Wang K, Leung K, Chen CW, Shen B, Chen J*. RNA N6-methyladenosine reader YTHDC1 is essential for TGF-beta-mediated metastasis of triple negative breast cancer. Theranostics. 2022 Jul 18;12(13):5727-5743. PMCID: PMC9373808.
Hu L*, Liu S, Peng Y, Ge R, Su R, Senevirathne C, Harada BT, Dai Q, Wei J, Zhang L, Hao Z, Luo L, Wang H, Wang Y, Luo M, Chen M*, Chen J*, He C*. m6A RNA modifications are measured at single-base resolution across the mammalian transcriptome. Nature Biotechnology. 2022 Aug;40(8):1210-1219. PMCID: PMC9378555.
**Featured by Nature Cell Biology (2022 Apr;24(4):403).
Su R*, Dong L, Gao M, Li Y, He PC, Liu W, Wei J, Gao L, Han L, Deng X, Zhao Z, Prince E, Tan B, Qing Y, Qin X, Shen C, Zhou K, Chen Z, Xue J, Li W, Qin H, Wu X, Sun M, Nam Y, Chen CW, Horne D, Rosen ST, He C*, Chen J*. METTL16 exerts an m6A-independent function to facilitate translation and tumorigenesis. Nature Cell Biology. 2022 Feb;24(2):205-216. PMCID: PMC9070413.
Shen C, Wang K, Deng X, Chen J*. DNA N(6)-methyldeoxyadenosine in mammals and human diseases. Trends in Genetics. 2022 May;38(5):454-467. PMCID: PMC9007851.
Qing Y, Su R, Chen J*. RNA modifications in hematopoietic malignancies: A new research frontier. Blood. 2021 Jun 22;138(8):637-48. PMCID: PMC8394902.
Su R, Qing Y, Chen J*. Targeting differentiation blockade in AML: New hope from cell surface-based CRISPR screens. Cell Stem Cell. 2021 Apr 1;28(4):585-587.
Qing Y, Dong L, Gao L, Li C, Li Y, Han L, Prince E, Tan B, Deng X, Wetzel C, Shen C, Gao M, Chen Z, Li W, Zhang B, Braas D, Hoeve Jt, Sanchez GJ, Chen H, Chan LN, Chen CW, Ann D, Jiang L, Müschen M, Marcucci G, Plas DP, Li Z, Su R*, Chen J*. R-2-hydroxyglutarate attenuates aerobic glycolysis in leukemia by targeting the FTO/m6A/PFKP/LDHB axis. Molecular Cell. 2021 Mar 4;81(5):922-939. PMCID: PMC7935770.
**Highlighted by Blood Science (3(2):62-63, April 2021).
Su R, Dong L, Li Y, Gao M, Han L, Wunderlich M, Deng X, Li H, Huang Y, Gao L, Li C, Zhao Z, Robison S, Tan B, Qing Y, Qin X, Prince E, Xie J, Qin H, Li W, Shen C, Sun J, Prakash K, Weng H, Huang H, Chen Z, Zhang B, Wu X, Olsen MJ, Müschen M, Marcucci G, Ravi S, Li, L, Fathi AT, Li Z, Mulloy JC, Wei M, Horne D, Chen J*. Targeting FTO suppresses cancer stem cell maintenance and immune evasion. Cancer Cell. 2020 Jul 13;38(1):79-96. PMCID: PMC7363590. **Highlighted by Molecule Cell with a Spotlight article (2020 Jun 18;78(6):996-998);
***Highlighted by Nature Reviews Drug Discovery (2020 Aug;19(8):510).
Shen C, Sheng Y, Zhu A, Robinson S, Jiang X, Dong L, Chen H, Su R, Yin Z, Li W, Deng X, Chen Y, Hu YC, Weng H, Huang H, Prince E, Cogle CR, Sun M, Zhang B, Chen CW, Marcucci G, He C*, Qian Z*, Chen J*. RNA demethylase ALKBH5 selectively promotes tumorigenesis and cancer stem cell self-renewal in acute myeloid leukemia. Cell Stem Cell. 2020 Jul 2;27(1):64-80. PMCID: PMC7335338. **Highlighted by Cell Stem Cell with a Preview article (2020 Jul 2;27(1):3-5).
Huang H, Weng H, Chen J*. m6A Modification in Coding and Non-coding RNAs: Roles and Therapeutic Implications in Cancer. Cancer Cell. 2020 Mar 16;37(3):270-288. PMCID: PMC7141420.
Huang H, Weng H, Deng X, Chen J*. RNA Modifications in Cancer: Functions, Mechanisms and Therapeutic Implications. Annual Review of Cancer Biology. 2020; 4:221-240. PMCID: Pending.
Huang Y, Su R, Sheng Y, Dong L, Dong Z, Xu H, Ni T, Zhang ZS, Zhang T, Li C, Han L, Zhu Z, Lian F, Wei J, Deng Q, Wang Y, Wunderlich M, Gao Z, Pan G, Zhong D, Zhou H, Zhang N, Gan J, Jiang H, Mulloy JC, Qian Z*, Chen J*, Yang CG*. Small-molecule targeting of oncogenic FTO demethylase in acute myeloid leukemia. Cancer Cell. 2019 Apr 15;35(4):677-691. PMCID: PMC6812656.
**Highlighted by Cancer Cell with a Preview article (2019 Apr 15;35(4):540-541).
Huang H, Weng H, Zhou K, Wu T, Zhao BS, Sun M, Chen Z, Deng X, Xiao G, Auer F, Klemm L, Wu H, Zuo Z, Qin X, Dong Y, Zhou Y, Qin H, Tao S, Du J, Liu J, Lu Z, Yin H, Mesquita A, Yuan CL, Hu YC, Sun W, Su R, Dong L, Shen C, Li C, Qing Y, Jiang X, Wu X, Sun M, Guan JL, Qu LH, Wei M, Müschen M, Huang G*, He C*, Yang JH*, Chen J*. Histone H3 Trimethylation at Lysine 36 Guides m6A RNA Modification Co-transcriptionally. Nature. 2019 Mar 21;567(7748):414-419. PMCID: PMC6438714.
**Featured by Nature Reviews Genetics (2019 May; 20(5):254-255), Nature Chemical Biology (2019 May; 15(5):427), and Cancer Research (2019 May, 79: 2445-2446).
Deng X, Su R, Weng H, Huang H, Li Z, Chen J*. RNA N6-methyladenosine modification in Cancers: Current Status and Perspective. Cell Research. 2018 May; 28(5):507-517. PMCID: PMC5951805.
Huang H, Weng H, Sun W, Qin X, Shi H, Wu H, Zhao BS, Mesquita A, Liu C, Yuan CL, Hu YC, Hüttelmaier S, Skibbe J, Su R, Deng X, Dong L, Sun M, Li C, Nachtergaele S, Wang Y, Hu C, Ferchen K, Greis KD, Jiang X, Wei M, Qu L, Guan JL, He C*, Yang J*, Chen J*. Recognition of RNA N6-methyadenosine by IGF2BP proteins Enhances mRNA Stability and Translation. Nature Cell Biology. 2018 Mar;20(3):285-295. PMCID: PMC5826585.
**Featured by Nature Cell Biology with a News & Views article (2018; 20:230–232)
Weng H, Huang H, Wu H, Qin X, Zhao BS, Dong L, Shi H, Skibbe J, Shen C, Hu C, Sheng Y, Wang Y, Wunderlich M, Zhang B, Dore L, Su R, Deng X, Ferchen K, Li C, Sun M, Lu Z, Jiang X, Marcucci G, Mulloy J, Yang J, Qian Z*, Wei M*, He C*, Chen J*. METTL14 Inhibits Hematopoietic Stem/Progenitor Differentiation and Promotes Leukemogenesis via mRNA m6A Modification. Cell Stem Cell. 2018 Feb 1;22(2):191-205. PMCID: PMC5860916.
**Highlighted by Cell Stem Cell with a Preview article (2018; 22:139–141); ***Best of Cell Stem Cell 2018 collection (one of the seven best articles published by Cell Stem Cell in 2018)
Su R, Dong L, Li C, Nachtergaele S, Wunderlich M, Qing Y, Deng X, Wang Y, Weng X, Hu C, Yu M, Skibbe J, Dai Q, Zou D, Wu T, Yu K, Weng H, Huang H, Ferchen K, Qin X, Zhang B, Qi J, Sasaki AT, Plas D, Bradner JE, Wei M, Marcucci G, Jiang X, Mulloy J, Jin J*, He C*, Chen J*. R-2HG exhibits anti-tumor activity by targeting FTO/m6A/MYC/CEBPA signaling. Cell. 2018 Jan 11;172(1-2):90-105. PMCID: PMC5766423.
**Highlighted (Research Watch) by Cancer Discovery (2018 Feb;8(2):137)
Li Z, Weng H, Su R, Weng X, Zuo Z, Li C, Huang H, Nachtergaele S, Dong L, Hu C, Qin X, Tang L, Wang Y, Hong GM, Huang H, Wang X, Chen P, Gurbuxani S, Arnovitz S, Li Y, Li S, Strong J, Neilly MB, Larson RA, Jiang X, Zhang P, Jin J*, He C*, Chen J*. FTO Plays an Oncogenic Role in Acute Myeloid Leukemia as a N6-Methyladenosine RNA Demethylase. Cancer Cell. 2017 Jan 9;31(1):127-141. PMCID: PMC5234852.
**Cover Story of this issue of Cancer Cell
***Highlighted (Research Watch) by Cancer Discovery (2017 Feb;7(2):OF9)
To view more of Jianjun Chen's publications, please visit PubMed here