alexa Yun CHEN | Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Cardiovascular Therapy: Open Access
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Research Assistant Professor
Albert Einstein College of Medicine

I completed my PhD in molecular biology and reproductive immunology at the Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing in July 2002. As part of my Ph.D. training, I identified rhesus monkey beta-subunit chorionic gonadotropin (rmCGβ). Subsequently, I developed a DNA vaccine for immune-contraceptive therapy based on rmCGβ, as well as explored the potential treatments for endocrine tumors using this DNA immune-vaccine. I pursued my postdoctoral training at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School from August, 2002 to May, 2009. During my postdoctoral training period at the Cancer Institute of New Jersey, I focused on understanding transcriptional regulation of angiogenesis in endothelial cells, focusing on the cell growth arrest gene, Gax, which encodes an anti-angiogenic protein (Blood, 2008; 111(3): 1217-1226; Mol Cell Biol, 2010; 30(15): 3902-3912; J Biol Chem, 2007; 282(1): 507-517; Cardiovascular Research, 2010; 87(4): 723-731). From May, 2009, I started my early-career research as a senior scientist at Washington University School of Medicine under the guidance of Dr. Gerald Dorn. My research has focused on molecular mechanisms of mitochondrial apoptosis, necrosis and mitophagy in heart disease. Our work has revealed that the death-promoting protein Nix stimulates both apoptosis and necrosis death pathways, determined by its subcellular localization in the mitochondria versus ER (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA (feature article), 2010; 107(20): 9035-9042). To study the biological roles of the mitochondrial outer membrane fusion proteins Mfn1 and Mfn2 in the heart, we generated cardiac specific conditional knockout mouse models. Our results show that both Mfn1 and Mfn2 are essential in modulating mitochondrial fusion-fission remodeling, while only Mfn2, but not Mfn1, is critical for mitochondrial-ER Ca2+ flux, mitochondrial genomic integrity, and mitochondrial quality control. Phosphorylated Mfn2 is required for PINK1-Parkin mediated mitochondrial elimination (Science; 2013; 340: 471-475; Circulation Research. 2012; 111(7): 863-875; Circulation Research 2011; 109(12): 1327-1331). Our research findings have provided new insights into the understanding of diseases caused by dysfunctional mitochondria such as heart disease, Parkinson’s disease, aging and Alzheimer's disease. Currently I work at Albert Einstein College of Medicine as a Research Assistant professor. Our research is focusing on studying the mechanism of cell death (apoptosis, necrosis), mitochondrial related macro-autophagy and Chaperon-mediated autophagy (CMA), and the molecular mechanism of cardiac function protection in Chaperon-mediated autophagy deficient hearts.

Research Interest

My research interest is to understand the mechanism of autophagy, mitochondrial, and cell death in the heart, and to develop the treatment to reduce heart damage after heart attack.



Development of a Method for Regioisomer Impurity Detection and Quantitation within the Raw Material 3-Chloro-5-Fluorophenol by Gas Chromatography
Research Article: J Chromatogr Sep Tech 2017, 8:356
DOI: 10.4172/2157-7064.1000356
Solitary Benign Cephalic Histiocytosis in a Taiwanese Infant
Wei-Chen Fang, Sheng-Hong Tseng, Chia-Chee Weng and Yun Chen
Case Report: J Clin Exp Dermatol Res 2016, 7: 360
DOI: 10.4172/2155-9554.1000360
Antiviral Activity of Emetine Dihydrochloride Against Dengue Virus Infection
June Su Yin Low, Karen Caiyun Chen, Kan Xing Wu, Mary Mah-Lee Ng and Justin Jang Hann Chu
Research Article: J Antivir Antiretrovir 2010, 1:063
DOI: 10.4172/jaa.1000009
Lmdd-MPFG Prevents HCC Occurrence through Dendritic Cells Related Signaling Pathways
Yun Chen and Xin Wan
Commentary: Chemotherapy (Los Angel) 2016, 5: 185
DOI: 10.4172/2167-7700.1000185
The Impact of Mesenchymal Stem Cell Source on Proliferation, Differentiation, Immunomodulation and Therapeutic Efficacy
Hui-Yun Cheng, Nicolae Ghetu, Christopher G Wallace, Fu-Chan Wei and Shuen-Kuei Liao
Review Article: J Stem Cell Res Ther 2014, 4:237
DOI: 10.4172/2157-7633.1000237
Allogenic Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation For Refractory Severe Pyoderma Gangrenosum
Xi Yang, Dan Dan Wang, Jun Liang, Jin Yun Chen, Xue Bing Feng and Ling Yun Sun
Case Report: J Stem Cell Res Ther 2014, 4:213
DOI: 10.4172/2157-7633.1000213
Umbilical-cord-derived Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation Ameliorated Severe Leg Ulcers in a Patient with Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Case Report and Review of the Literature
Jinyun Chen, Dandan Wang, Xia Li, LinyuGeng, Huayong Zhang, Xuebing Feng and Lingyun Sun
Case Report: J Stem Cell Res Ther 2014, 4:169
DOI: 10.4172/2157-7633.1000169
Experimental Oriental Hybrid Lilies (Lilium Hybrids) Poisoning in Cats
Zhaofei Xia, Jianqing Wan, Yanyun Chen, Yuying He1 and Jinhai Yu
Research Article: J Clin Toxicol 2013, 3: 152
DOI: 10.4172/2161-0495.1000152
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