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Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer CenterVanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center

 
Jin  Chen

Jin Chen, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor of Medicine
Professor of Cell and Development Biology
Professor of Cancer Biology
Researcher

Contact Information:

Vanderbilt University Medical Center
T-3219 Medical Center North
Nashville, TN 37232-2681
615-343-3819

Profile

Dr. Jin Chen is a professor of Medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. She holds joint appointments as Professor of Cancer Biology and Professor of Cell & Developmental Biology, and is a member of Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. Her laboratory performed pioneering studies on determining EphA2 receptor function in tumor initiation, metastatic progression and tumor angiogenesis.
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Dr. Jin Chen is a professor of Medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. She holds joint appointments as Professor of Cancer Biology and Professor of Cell & Developmental Biology, and is a member of Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. Her laboratory performed pioneering studies on determining EphA2 receptor function in tumor initiation, metastatic progression and tumor angiogenesis. Dr. Chen's laboratory is currently funded by grants from National Cancer Institute, Department of Defense, and Department of Veterans Affairs. She regularly serves on grant review panels at the National Institute of Health, American Cancer Society, and Department of Defense. She is currently serving on the Board of Directors at Cancer Biology Training Consortium (CABTRAC).

Education
  • 1984 M.D., Shanghai First Medical College, China
  • 1991 Ph.D., Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
  • 1992 Fellow, MIT, Cambridge, MA
  • 1993-1996 Fellow, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
Research Specialty

To investigate the role of Eph receptor tyrosine kinases and their ligands (ephrins) in tumor angiogenesis, tumor metabolism, and cancer stem cells, and to develop inhibitors targeting EphA2 receptor in cancer.

Research Description

Our major focus has been to characterize the role of Eph receptor tyrosine kinases and their ligands, ephrins, in tumor metabolism, cancer metastasis, and tumor angiogenesis. Our approach involves a combination of oncogenomics and proteomics, confocal microscopy and imaging, transgenic and knock out animal models, and traditional cell biology and biochemistry techniques.

Eph RTKs and their ligands are dysregulated in tumor tissues and expression of these molecules is associated with clinical outcome of various cancer types. In particular, EphA2 receptor plays critical roles in both tumor cells and tumor blood vessels. Our laboratory demonstrated that epithelial EphA2 is required for cell proliferation and tumor initiation. We also showed that vascular endothelial EphA2 promotes tumor progression through angiogenesis. As EphA2 regulates both tumor cells and host microenvironment, it is a good target for cancer therapy. Several anti-EphA2 agents have been developed and we are testing selective small molecule Eph receptor kinase inhibitors. Current projects in the lab include:

1. Role of ephrin-A1, the ligand for EphA2 RTK, in tumor metabolism in breast cancer.

2. EphA2 in K-Ras and TKI-resistant EGFR mutant lung cancer and cancer stem cells.

3. Dissecting opposing roles of EphA2 and EphA3 in lung cancer.

4. Regulation of angiocrine signaling in tumor progression, metastasis, and stem cell function.

Publications