Zhen Chen Lab

The focus of our lab is to determine the molecular mechanisms that promote inflammation and vascular and renal complications in diabetes.

We focus on the role of epigenetics and noncoding RNAs. We have an interest in learning how prior hyperglycemia-associated epigenetic changes can impart metabolic memory and lead to gene malfunction and organ disease despite restoration of glucose balance. Our group uses state-of-the-art genomic approaches in cell culture, animal and clinical models to examine these mechanisms and develop innovative therapeutic interventions for diabetic complications.

Principal Investigator: Zhen Bouman Chen, Ph.D.

Built upon her interdisciplinary training in medicine, vascular biology, bioengineering and data science, Zhen Chen, B.Med, Ph.D, leads an active research program focused on noncoding RNAs and endothelial stress response. 

Principal Investigator-ZhenChen60-40
Lab Members
Muxi Chen
Muxi (Ella) Chen, B.S.
Intern and Incoming Graduate Student
Muxi Chen completed her Bachelor of Science in Cell, Molecular, & Developmental Biology at University of California, Riverside, and joined the Chen Lab at City of Hope in 2023. She has an interest in diabetic endotheliopathy, with a focus on lymphatic dysfunction.
Xuejing Liu
Xuejing Liu, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow
Dr. Liu obtained her Ph.D. in human physiology at Peking University and a postdoctoral scholarship at University of Lausanne, prior to joining City of Hope in 2021. She received a postdoctoral fellowship from American Heart Association in 2024. Her research utilizes genetically modified mice alongside innovative pharmacological and surgical interventions to study the role of endothelial cells in the pathology of atherosclerosis, hyperlipidemia, and breast cancers.
Viola Yingjun Luo
Viola Yingjun Luo, Ph.D.
Staff Scientist
Dr. Luo obtained her Ph.D. in cell, molecular and developmental biology at University of California Riverside and joined the Department of Diabetes Complications & Metabolism in the Chen Lab at City of Hope in 2017. Her research integrates innovative high-throughput sequencing technologies, single-cell transcriptome profiling, and bioinformatics approaches, to elucidate the epigenetic mechanism of vascular endothelial stress response in the context of diabetes.
Naseeb Kaur Malhi
Naseeb Kaur Malhi, B.Med.Sc., Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow
Dr. Malhi obtained her Ph.D. in diabetic endotheliopathies at the University of Nottingham and joined City of Hope in 2020. Her thesis work has led to the creation of a small molecule inhibitor for diabetic retinopathy currently in clinical trial. She utilizes leading-edge single-cell and spatial transcriptomic tools and novel therapeutic approaches to investigate diabetic vasculopathies, mainly focusing on peripheral artery disease.
Alonso Tapia
Alonso Tapia, B.S.
Ph.D. Candidate
Tapia obtained his B.S. in biochemistry at Baylor University and has a background as a protein chemist. He joined the Chen Lab at City of Hope in 2021 and was awarded a CIRM Pre-Doctoral Fellowship in 2022. His research involves the use of mouse models, molecular biology, and bioinformatics tools to investigate the functional role of the pancreatic vasculature and its influence on islet function.
Dongqiang Yuan
Dongqiang Yuan, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow
Dr. Yuan obtained his Ph.D. in molecular and developmental biology at the Institute of Zoology, Chines Academy of Science and joined City of Hope in 2021. His research projects include identification of the role of lncRNAs and epitranscriptional regulation in diabetic endotheliopathy and high-throughput screening for anti-diabetic and anti-obesity drug discovery.
Contact Information

34.1291938, -117.9728148

1500 East Duarte Road
Duarte, CA 91010
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