Back to Editor profile » Dr Johnny Chen

Dr Johnny Chen

Dr Johnny Chen

Surgery and Molecular & Cellular Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA

Dr. Changyi (Johnny) Chen is Professor of Surgery and Molecular & Cellular Biology at the Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA. Currently, Dr. Chen serves as Molecular Surgery Endowed Chair, Director of Molecular Surgeon Research Center, and Vice Chair for Research of the Michael E DeBakey Department of Surgery. Dr. Chen received his medical degree from China in 1982 and practiced general surgery for 7 years in China. In 1989, Dr. Chen immigrated to the United States for his advanced education in biomedical area and for the development of his academic career. Dr. Chen received his Master of Science degree from the University of Texas at El Paso, and his PhD degree from Georgia Institute of Technology. From 1996 to 2002, Dr Chen was Assistant Professor at the Department of Surgery, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia. Since 2002, Dr. Chen has been recruited to the Baylor College of Medicine.

Dr. Chen is committed to establish an excellent research program and leadership in translational research in the field of cardiovascular disease and pancreatic cancer. Dr. Chen is also committed to establishing an excellent training program for career development of junior scientists, physicians and surgeons with emphasis on promoting individual motivation, strategic planning, scientific knowledge, technique skill, and leadership quality. Dr. Chen's laboratory is actively conducting several clinically relevant research projects. For example, his team is investigating the effects and molecular mechanisms of several cardiovascular risk factors including HIV protease, adipokine resistin and soluble CD40L on endothelial functions focusing on the endothelial nitric oxide synthase system, oxidative stress system, and signal transduction pathways. Different model systems are used to these investigations such as myograph, organ culture, mouse model, human tissues, and different types of endothelial cells.

Dr. Chen also has long term interest in vascular tissue engineering, hemodynamics, neointimal hyperplasia, and atherosclerosis. In addition, his team is heavily involved in the new program of the Personalized Genomic Medicine in cardiovascular disease and pancreatic cancer. These studies include tissue banking, genomic profiling, preclinical testing, clinical trials, and clinical applications. For example, Dr. Chen has several projects focusing on the role and mechanisms of non-coding RNA genes such as microRNA 196a (miR-196a) and X-inactive specific transcript (XIST) in pancreatic cancer. Since oxidative stress plays a critical role in both cardiovascular disease and pancreatic cancer, Dr. Chen has established a new program to discover new antioxidants from natural substances and existing clinical drugs, which may be used as novel therapeutic agents. Furthermore, Dr. Chen is developing PLGA [poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid)]-based nanotechnology for molecular imaging and specific drug and gene delivery, which has great potential for clinical applications of molecular diagnostics and targeted therapies.

Dr. Chen is a recognized expert in surgical research in the United States. He has received many major research and training grants from the National Institutes of Health and other federal and non-federal agencies. Dr. Chen has more than 250 publications, 77 invited speakers or professorship, and 330 presentations at national or international scientific meetings.  He has served as multiple leadership positions in academic committees, grant study sections and editorial boards of several journals.

Updated 22 September 2023