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Lu Chen, PhD


Assistant Professor

Research Program

Lab Overview

The Lu Chen laboratory (luchenlab.org) studies molecular secrets underlying all things RNA biology – how RNAs are chemically modified, how their exact molecular forms are precisely defined, and how they cooperate with proteins to carry out molecular functions at specific cellular locations. We are translating our basic science discoveries into novel therapeutic options to combat cancer immortality, stem cell exhaustion, and degenerative diseases. We use diverse approaches, including protein-RNA reconstitution, Next-gen RNA structural profiling (icSHAPE-seq, nascent RNA-seq), CRISPR-engineering of human primary stem cell and mouse models, and single-molecule RNA imaging.

Education and Training

Educational Background

  • 2020-2021 - Instructor, Stanford Cancer Institute, Stanford Cancer Institute, Stanford, California, USA
  • 2013-2019 - Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Biochemistry, Department of Medicine-Division of Hematology, Stanford University, Stanford, California
  • 2007-2013 - PhD, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (with honors), University of Kansas Medical Center, Stowers Institute for Medical Research, Kansas City, Missouri
  • 2002-2006 - BS, Biological Sciences, College of Life Sciences, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China

Honors & Awards

  • 2018 - Postdoctoral Fellowship Award, Stanford Cancer Institute, Stanford, CA
  • 2013 - Honors in Ph.D. thesis and defense, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Kansas Medical Center
  • 2010 - Best Poster Award at the ASBMB (American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology) Special Symposium, entitled “Transcriptional Regulation by Chromatin and RNA Polymerase II”, Tahoe City, California
Research Profile

Research Program

Research Interests

LuChenLab – RNA biology to solve cancer and other aging-related diseases.

  • Epigenetic mechanisms hijacked by a recurrent somatic noncoding driver mutation.
  • Engineer senescence-resistant CAR-T and other adult stem cells.
  • Develop a DNA/RNA-sensing portable device for cancer detection, powered by CRISPR-Cas and nanotechnologies.
  • Investigate role of chromatin in the life cycle of a ribonucleoprotein.
Lab Staff

Victoria "Tori" Gillespie, BS

Sci Tech I/Lab Manager

Room: W246

Musinu Zakari, PhD

Postdoctoral Associate

Room: W246

Marie "Masha" Kobin

Jeanne E. and Robert F. Ozols Undergraduate Summer Research Fellowship 2022, Sophomore in Biochemistry, Cornell University

Room: W246

Genxuan "Cameron" Lian

Undergraduate Research Scholar 2022, Sophomore in Biological Chemistry, Grinnell College

Room: W246

Selected Publications

Chen L*, Roake CM, Maccallini P, Bavasso F, Dehghannasiri R, Santonicola P, Mendoza-Ferreira N, ..., Kobin MA,... Artandi SE, Raffa GD. TGS1 controls snRNA 3'end processing, prevents neurodegeneration and ameliorates SMN-dependent neurological phenotypes in vivo. Nucleic Acids Research. 2022 Aug 10;gkac659. PMID 35947650 (*Corresponding author)

Chen L*, Chang HY, Artandi SE. Analysis of RNA conformation in endogenously assembled RNPs by icSHAPE. STAR protocols. 2021 Jun 18;2(2):100477. PMID 33997809 (*Corresponding author)

Chen L*, Bellone RR, Wang Y, Singer-Berk M, Sugasawa K, Ford JM, Artandi SE. A novel DDB2 mutation causes defective recognition of UV-induced DNA damages and prevalent equine squamous cell carcinoma. DNA repair. 2021 Jan 1;97:103022. PMID 33276309 (*Corresponding author)

Chen L, Roake CM, Galati A, Bavasso F, Micheli E, Saggio I, Schoeftner S, Cacchione S, Gatti M, Artandi SE, Raffa GD. Loss of human TGS1 hypermethylase promotes increased telomerase RNA and telomere elongation. Cell reports. 2020 Feb 4;30(5):1358-72.PMID 32023455

Chen L, Roake CM, Freund A, Batista PJ, Tian S, Yin YA, Gajera CR, Lin S, Lee B, Pech MF, Venteicher AS. An activity switch in human telomerase based on RNA conformation and shaped by TCAB1. Cell. 2018 Jun 28;174(1):218-30. PMID 29804836

Chen L, Ooi SK, Conaway JW, Conaway RC. Biochemical assays for analyzing activities of ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling enzymes. JoVE. 2014 Oct 25(92):e51721. PMID 25407555

Chen L, Ooi SK, Conaway RC, Conaway JW. Generation and purification of human INO80 chromatin remodeling complexes and subcomplexes. JoVE. 2014(92):e51720. PMID 25407439

Chen L, Conaway RC, Conaway JW. Multiple modes of regulation of the human Ino80 SNF2 ATPase by subunits of the INO80 chromatin-remodeling complex. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 2013 Dec 17;110(51):20497-502. PMID 24297934

Chen L, Cai Y, Jin J, Florens L, Swanson SK, Washburn MP, Conaway JW, Conaway RC. Subunit organization of the human INO80 chromatin remodeling complex: an evolutionarily conserved core complex catalyzes ATP-dependent nucleosome remodeling. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 2011 Apr 1;286(13):11283-9. PMID 21303910 (Highlighted in “Milestones in transcription and chromatin published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry”, 2019 Feb 1;294(5):1652-1660.)

Chen L*, Chang HY, Artandi SE. Analysis of RNA conformation in endogenously assembled RNPs by icSHAPE. STAR protocols. 2021 Jun 18;2(2):100477. PMID (*Corresponding author)... Expand

Additional Publications


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