Zhengshan Chen

Zhengshan Chen, M.D., Ph.D.

  • Assistant Research Professor, Department of Systems Biology

Zhengshan Chen, M.D., Ph.D.

Zhengshan Chen, M.D., Ph.D., is an assistant research professor in the Department of Systems Biology at Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope.
Dr. Chen obtained his M.D. and Ph.D. in pathology at Peking University Health Science Center in Beijing, China. During his Ph.D. studies, Dr. Chen joined the lab of Harinder Singh, Ph.D., at the University of Chicago to study transcription factors in B cell development.
As a postdoctoral fellow and later assistant researcher with Markus Müschen, M.D., Ph.D., at the University of California, San Francisco, he discovered that ITIM receptors and downstream phosphatases are necessary to balance the strength of oncogenic signaling in leukemia cells.
The interests of Dr. Chen’s research include pre-B cell receptor signaling transduction and tyrosine kinase-driven leukemia, important transcription factors involved in B cell development and leukemia transformation. In addition to his scientific work, Dr. Chen is pursuing his clinical training in pathology at USC.


  • 2004-2009, Ph.D., Pathology, Peking University Health Science Center
  • 1999-2004, M.D., Peking University Health Science Center


  • 2011-2015, Postdoc Laboratory Medicine, University of California, San Francisco
Reynaud D, Demarco IA, Reddy KL, Schjerven H, Bertolino E, Chen Z, Smale ST, Winandy S, Singh H. Regulation of B cell fate commitment and immunoglobulin heavy-chain gene rearrangements by Ikaros. Nat Immunol. 2008 Aug;9(8):927-36.
Ramezani-Rad P, Geng H, Hurtz C, Chan LN, Chen Z, Jumaa H, Melnick A, Paietta E, Carroll WL, Willman CL, Lefebvre V, Müschen M. SOX4 enables oncogenic survival signals in acute lymphoblastic  leukemia. Blood. 2013 Jan 3;121(1):148-55.
Swaminathan S, Huang C, Geng H, Chen Z, Harvey R, Kang H, Ng C, Titz B, Hurtz C, Sadiyah MF, Nowak D, Thoennissen GB, Rand V, Graeber TG, Koeffler HP, Carroll WL, Willman CL, Hall AG, Igarashi K, Melnick A, Müschen M. BACH2 mediates negative selection and p53-dependent tumor  suppression at the pre-B cell receptor checkpoint. Nature Med. 2013 Aug;19(8):1014-22.
Buchner M, Swaminathan S, Chen Z, Müschen M. Mechanisms of pre-B-cell receptor checkpoint control and its oncogenic subversion in acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Immunol Rev. 2015 Jan;263(1):192-209.
Geng H*, Hurtz C*, Lenz KB*, Chen Z, Baumjohann D, Thompson S, Goloviznina NA, Chen WY, Huan J, LaTocha D, Ballabio E, Xiao G, Lee JW, Deucher A, Qi Z, Park E, Huang C, Nahar R, Kweon SM, Shojaee S, Chan LN, Yu J, Kornblau SM, Bijl JJ, Ye BH, Mark Ansel K, Paietta E, Melnick A, Hunger SP, Kurre P, Tyner JW, Loh ML, Roeder RG, Druker BJ, Burger JA, Milne TA, Chang BH, Müschen M. Self-enforcing feedback activation between BCL6 and pre-B cell receptor signaling defines a distinct subtype of acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Cancer Cell. 2015 Mar 9;27(3):409-25.
Chen Z*, Shojaee S*, Buchner M, Geng H, Lee JW, Klemm L, Titz B, Graeber TG, Park E, Tan YX, Satterthwaite A, Paietta E, Hunger SP, Willman CL, Melnick A, Loh ML, Jung JU, Coligan JE, Bolland S, Mak TW, Limnander A, Jumaa H, Reth M, Weiss A, Lowell CA, Müschen M. Signalling thresholds and negative B-cell selection in acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. Nature. 2015 May 21;521(7552):357-61.
Chan LN, Chen Z, Braas D, Lee JW, Xiao G, Geng H, Cosgun KN, Hurtz C, Shojaee S, Cazzaniga V, Schjerven H, Ernst T, Hochhaus A, Kornblau SM, Konopleva M, Pufall MA, Cazzaniga G, Liu GJ, Milne TA, Koeffler HP, Ross TS, Sánchez-García I, Borkhardt A, Yamamoto KR, Dickins RA, Graeber TG, Müschen M. Metabolic gatekeeper function of B-lymphoid transcription factors. Nature. 2017 Feb 23;542(7642):479-483.
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