Growing up in Wenzhou, a small city in China, I went to Zhejiang University and received a B.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences and a M.S. in Pharmacology. I became interested in cancer biology when studying chemokine-mediated cancer metastasis with Dr. Steven Lipkin at Weill Cornell Medical College. Supported by National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and National Cancer Institute Physical Sciences in Oncology Young Investigator award, I completed my Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering at Cornell University where I worked with engineering mentor Dr. Michael Shuler and biology co-mentors Drs. Neal Copeland & Nancy Jenkins at Methodist Hospital Research Institute, to engineer an organotypic colon cancer model by de-/re-cellularization for studying cancer driver genes using the sleeping beauty transposon asan insertional mutagen. My PhD research was also focused on developing orthotopic colorectal cancer mouse models via chemokine switch under the supervision of Dr. Steven Lipkin. As an engineering “minority” in Varmus Lab, I am beginning to study the relationship of the differentiation stage of lung cell lineages and the mutations in cancer genes that initiate tumorigenesis to the cancer cell phenotype, using adult and fetal lung stem cell models. My work is now supported by Arnold O. Beckman Postdoctoral Fellowship.

Selected Publications

Chen, HJ., Wei, Z., Sun J., Savage, D., Curley, S., Serda, R., Copeland, N.G., Jenkins, N.A., Shuler, M.L., (2015) A Forward Genetic Screen Identifies Genes Driving Invasive Neoplasia in Engineered Organotypic Recellularized Human Colon. Nature Biotechnology (in revision)

Chen, HJ., Sun, J., Huang, Z., Hou, H., Arcilla, M., Rakhilin, N., Joe, D., Choi, J., Gadamsetty, P., Milsom, J., Nandakumar, G., Longman, R., Zhou, X. K., Edwards, R., Chen J., Chen K. Y., Bu, P., Wang, L., Xu, Y., Munroe, R., Abratte, C., Miller, A. D., Gümüş, Z. H., Shuler, M., Nishimura, N., Edelmann, W., Shen, X., and Lipkin, S., M. (2015) Comprehensive models of human primary and metastatic colorectal tumors in immunodeficient and immunocompetent mice by chemokine targeting. Nature Biotechnology, 33, 656-660.

Chen, HJ., Edwards, R.,Tucci, S., Bu, P., Milsom, J., Lee, S., Edelmann, W., Gümüs, ZH., Shen, X., Lipkin, SM., (2012) The chemokine receptor 9-chemokine 25 axis suppresses colon cancer invasion and metastasis. Journal of Clinical Investigation. 122(9):3184–3196.

Schuessler, T., Chan, XY., Chen,HJ., Ji, K., Park, KM., Roshan-Ghias, A., Sethi, P., Thakur, A., Tian, X., Villasante, A., Zervantonakis, I., Moore, N., Nagahara, L., and Kuhn, N., (2014) Biomimetic Tissue Engineered Systems for Advancing Cancer Research: NCI Strategic Workshop Report. Cancer Research. 74(19); 1–5. (authors by alphabetical order)

Bu, P., Chen, KY., Chen, HJ., Wang, L., Walters, J., Shin, YJ., Goerger, JP., Sun, J., Witherspoon, M., Rakhilin, N., Li, J., Yang, H., Milsom, J., Lee, S., Zipfel, W., Jin, MM., Gümüş, ZH., Lipkin, SM., Shen, X. (2013) A microRNA miR-34a-regulated bimodal switch targets notch in colon cancer stem cells. Cell Stem Cell. 2;12(5):602-15.

Chen, HJ., Wei, Z., Sun J., Savage, D., Curley, S., Serda, R., Copeland, N.G., Jenkins, N.A., Shuler, M.L., A recellularized human colon model identifies cancer driver genes. Nature Biotechnology, (2016) 34(8):845-51.