Zhen Chen, Ph.D., joined the Diabetes and Metabolism Research Institute as assistant professor in the department of Diabetes Complications and Metabolism. Dr. Chen comes to the City of Hope after four years as a postdoctoral fellow at University of California San Diego, where she was jointly trained in the departments of Medicine and Bioengineering.
Dr. Chen’s postdoctoral research on microRNA-mediated endothelial stress response was supported by an American Heart Association (AHA) Postdoctoral Fellowship and is currently funded by a K99/R00 Career Development Award from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI).
Dr. Chen received her medical training in Basic Medical Sciences from Peking University Health Science Center, where she received the prize for "Best Thesis Research.”
She then pursued her doctoral studies in mechanosensing and vascular biology at University of California Riverside, where she received the Joy K. Tilton Cancer Research Award and an Outstanding Achievement Award in Biomedical Sciences. She was a finalist for an American Heart Association Junior Investigator Award for Women. She has served as a reviewer for journals Circulation, Circulation Research, Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology, and AHA Scientific Sessions.
During her research training, Dr. Chen has had several high-profile publications as first author (Journal of Clinical Investigation, Circulation, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and Circulation Research) and coauthor, and more recently as a corresponding author, (Circulation).
Dr. Chen is interested in elucidating the molecular mechanisms by which non-coding RNA and other epigenetic modifications mediate endothelial response to hypoxia and oxidative stress, including angiogenesis, innate immune response, and inflammation, and furthermore characterizing their implications in cancer and diabetic vascular complications. She is particularly interested in integrating innovative high-throughput sequencing technologies, systems biology and bioinformatics approaches in tackling these biomedical challenges.
Dr. Chen's research group is focused on understanding molecular basis underlying cardiovascular complications of diabetes and identifying novel strategies in treatment of these complications.