Jianjun Chen Lab

Jianjun Chen received his Ph.D. degree from Shanghai Institute of Biochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China, and then conducted postdoctorate training with Dr. Janet D. Rowley at University of Chicago, where he launched his independent laboratory in 2009 in the Department of Medicine. Before joining Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope as a full professor and Simms/Mann Family Foundation Chair in Systems Biology in 2017, Chen had been serving as an associate professor of Cancer Biology at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine after moving from University of Chicago. Chen is a Scholar of The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (2017) and Researcher of the Year, The Pamela B. Katten Memorial Leukemia Research Foundation Award (2014). Chen is a permanent member of the National Institutes of Health Developmental Therapeutics study section, and his research program is currently supported by four R01 grants from the National Cancer Institute.
The Chen laboratory is interested in discovering novel genetic/epigenetic regulations and the associated molecular mechanisms of both protein-coding genes and noncoding RNAs (e.g., microRNAs) in normal developmental processes (e.g., hematopoiesis) and tumorigenesis (e.g., leukemogenesis). In recent years, Chen and colleagues have been focusing on both basic and translational research associated with RNA/DNA epigenetics, especially RNA methylation/demethylation 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.