Elizabeth Chen, Ph.D.
Department Molecular Biology | Cell Biology
Graduate Programs Cell and Molecular Biology, Genetics, Development and Disease
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
- The cellular architecture and molecular determinants of the zebrafish fusogenic synapse.
- Luo Z, Shi J, Pandey P, Ruan ZR, Sevdali M, Bu Y, Lu Y, Du S, Chen EH, Dev Cell 2022 Jun
- Dynamin regulates the dynamics and mechanical strength of the actin cytoskeleton as a multifilament actin-bundling protein.
- Zhang R, Lee DM, Jimah JR, Gerassimov N, Yang C, Kim S, Luvsanjav D, Winkelman J, Mettlen M, Abrams ME, Kalia R, Keene P, Pandey P, Ravaux B, Kim JH, Ditlev JA, Zhang G, Rosen MK, Frost A, Alto NM, Gardel M, Schmid SL, Svitkina TM, Hinshaw JE, Chen EH, Nat. Cell Biol. 2020 May
- 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 Mar
- 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
- Loss of Myomixer Results in Defective Myoblast Fusion, Impaired Muscle Growth, and Severe Myopathy in Zebrafish.
- Wu P, Yong P, Zhang Z, Xu R, Shang R, Shi J, Zhang J, Bi P, Chen E, Du S, Mar Biotechnol (NY) 2022 Sep
- To fuse or to divide, that was the question.
- Chen EH, Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol 2022 Aug
- YAP induces an oncogenic transcriptional program through TET1-mediated epigenetic remodeling in liver growth and tumorigenesis.
- Wu BK, Mei SC, Chen EH, Zheng Y, Pan D, Nat Genet 2022 Jul
- Cell Competition Constitutes a Barrier for Interspecies Chimerism.
- Zheng C, Hu Y, Sakurai M, Pinzon-Arteaga CA, Li J, Wei Y, Okamura D, Ravaux B, Barlow HR, Yu L, Sun HX, Chen EH, Gu Y, Wu J, Nature 2021 Jan
E. Chen (Ed.) (2008). NJ, Humana Press Inc.
Honors & Awards
- ASCB Fellow, American Society for Cell Biology
- 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
- The Helen Hay Whitney Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship
- Biophysical Society (2012)
- American Society for Cell Biology (2008)