Growing up in Wenzhou, a small city in China, Huanhuan Joyce Chen attended Zhejiang University and graduated with a Pharm.D major in Pharmaceutical Sciences. She then studied for a PhD in biomedical engineering at Cornell University, where she worked with engineering mentor Michael Shuler and biology co-mentors Neal Copeland and Nancy Jenkins at MD Anderson Cancer Center. She has been working as a postdoctoral fellow with Harold Varmus at Weill Cornell Medicine.
Prof. Chen received a number of awards supporting her study at different stages, including a National Institutes of Health Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00), an Arnold O. Beckman Postdoctoral Fellowship, a National Cancer Institute Physical Sciences in Oncology Young Investigator award, and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.
Specialized in tissue engineering and stem cell biology, the Joyce Chen Lab applies technical advances (e.g. human pluripotent stem cell-based modeling, organotypic tissue engineering and single cell analysis) to pursue long-standing questions in cancer research, stem cell biology and regenerative medicine. Our current main focus is to understand how cancers initiate and progress using various stages of human cells derived from pluripotent or adult stem cells, and design strategies to diagnose, categorize and treat the diseases more effectively. Another line of our work is to directly model and study human tissues or diseases “in a dish”, by in vivo molecule-mediated humanized mouse models, ex vivo organotypic re-cellularization or in vitro microfabrication.
The Chen group’s research interest is to integrate stem cell-based disease modeling, regenerative technologies, and single cell analysis to study organ damage repair, regenerative medicine, cancer, and other genetic diseases.