Dr. Chen received her undergraduate degree in Biology from Peking University in 1990. After spending two years in the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department at UCLA, she moved to the Developmental Biology Department at Stanford University and obtained her PhD degree in 1998. Her graduate research in Bruce Baker’s laboratory focused on pattern formation in Drosophila imaginal discs. She was a Helen Hay Whitney postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Eric Olson at UT Southwestern Medical Center, where she initiated an independent project investigating the mechanisms underlying cell-cell fusion. In 2004, Dr. Chen joined the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine as an Assistant Professor and was promoted to a Full Professor in 2016. Her lab has discovered the asymmetric fusogenic synapse that mediates a variety of cell-cell fusion events. Dr. Chen moved back to UT Southwestern in 2016, where she continues to use a multifaceted approach including genetics, cell biology, biochemistry and biophysics to address major unanswered questions in cell-cell fusion using organisms ranging from insects to mammals.
- Peking University (1990), Biochemistry
- Graduate School
- Stanford University (1998), Developmental Biology
- Actin cytoskeletal dynamics
- Cell-Cell Fusion
- Muscle development and regeneration
- Spectrin is a mechanoresponsive protein shaping fusogenic synapse architecture during myoblast fusion.
- Duan R, Kim JH, Shilagardi K, Schiffhauer ES, Lee DM, Son S, Li S, Thomas C, Luo T, Fletcher DA, Robinson DN, Chen EH Nat. Cell Biol. 2018 Jun 20 6 688-698
- Mechanical tension drives cell membrane fusion.
- Kim JH, Ren Y, Ng WP, Li S, Son S, Kee YS, Zhang S, Zhang G, Fletcher DA, Robinson DN, Chen EH Dev. Cell 2015 Mar 32 5 561-73
- Actin-propelled invasive membrane protrusions promote fusogenic protein engagement during cell-cell fusion.
- Shilagardi K, Li S, Luo F, Marikar F, Duan R, Jin P, Kim JH, Murnen K, Chen EH. Science 2013 6130 340 359-63
- Competition between Blown fuse and WASP for WIP binding regulates the dynamics of WASP-dependent actin polymerization in vivo.
- Jin P, Duan R, Luo F, Zhang G, Hong SN, Chen EH Dev. Cell 2011 May 20 5 623-38
- An invasive podosome-like structure promotes fusion pore formation during myoblast fusion.
- Sens KL, Zhang S, Jin P, Duan R, Zhang G, Luo F, Parachini L, Chen EH J. Cell Biol. 2010 Nov 191 5 1013-27
- Mechanisms of myoblast fusion during muscle development.
- Kim JH, Jin P, Duan R, Chen EH Curr. Opin. Genet. Dev. 2015 Jun 32 162-70
- Invasive podosomes and myoblast fusion.
- Chen EH Curr Top Membr 2011 68 235-58
- Ultrastructural analysis of myoblast fusion in Drosophila.
- Zhang S, Chen EH Methods Mol. Biol. 2008 475 275-97
- Cell-cell fusion.
- Chen EH, Grote E, Mohler W, Vignery A FEBS Lett. 2007 May 581 11 2181-93
- A critical function for the actin cytoskeleton in targeted exocytosis of prefusion vesicles during myoblast fusion.
- Kim S, Shilagardi K, Zhang S, Hong SN, Sens KL, Bo J, Gonzalez GA, Chen EH Dev. Cell 2007 Apr 12 4 571-86
E. Chen (Ed.) (2008). NJ, Humana Press Inc.
Honors & Awards
- WICB Mid-Career Award for Excellence in Research, American Society for Cell Biology
- HHMI Faculty Scholar
- National Established Investigator Award, American Heart Association
- Basil O'Connor Starter Scholar Research Award, March of Dimes
- Searle Scholar, The Chicago Community Trust
- David and Lucile Packard Fellowship for Science and Engineering
- Edward Mallinckrodt, Jr. Foundation Young Investigator Award
- National Scientist Development Award, American Heart Association
- UT Southwestern Medical Center Postdoctoral Research Award
- The Helen Hay Whitney Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship
- Biophysical Society (2012)
- American Society for Cell Biology (2008)