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Faculty Detail    
Professor, Molecular and Cellular Pathology
Campus Address SHEL 614 Zip 2182
Phone  205-996-6293
Other websites

Faculty Appointment(s)
Appointment Type Department Division Rank
Primary  Pathology   Molecular & Cellular Pathology Professor
Center  Comp Arthritis, MSK, Bone & Autoimmunity Ctr  Comp Arthritis, MSK, Bone & Autoimmunity Ctr Professor
Center  Comprehensive Cancer Center  Comprehensive Cancer Center Professor
Center  Comprehensive Ctr for Healthy Aging  Comprehensive Ctr for Healthy Aging Professor
Center  Medicine  Comprehensive Diabetes Ctr (Org Ret) Professor
Center  Medicine  Ctr Cardiovasc Bio (Org Ret) Professor
Center  General Clinical Research Center  Nephrology Research & Training Center Professor
Center  Nutrition Sciences   Nutrition Obesity Res Ctr (NORC) Professor

Graduate Biomedical Sciences Affiliations
Cancer Biology 
Cell, Molecular, & Developmental Biology 
Molecular and Cellular Pathology Program 
Pathobiology and Molecular Medicine 

Biographical Sketch 
Dr. Chen received her BS degree from Fudan University and her Ph.D. from Xiamen University. She completed postdoctoral training and was appointed as a research instructor at the University of Vermont, School of Medicine. Dr. Chen joined the faculty of Department of Pathology at UAB in June 2004. She is currently Professor in Molecular and Cellular Pathology as well as Principal Investigator at the Birmingham VA Medical Research Division. Dr. Chen serves as an editorial board member for Circulation Research (Circ Res), Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology (ATVB) and the Journal of Biological Chemistry (JBC). She is a Fellow of the American Heart Association (AHA) and vice-chair of the ATVB Committee on Scientific Sessions Program (CSSP) of the AHA. Dr. Chen has served the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Atherosclerosis and Inflammation of the Cardiovascular System (AICS) and Vascular Cell and Molecular Biology (VCMB) study sections as an Ad Hoc reviewer in the past few years, and she is currently a regular member of the VCMB study section.

Society Memberships
Organization Name Position Held Org Link
American Association for Cancer Research  Member   
American Heart Association  Fellow   
American Society for Bone and Mineral Research  Member   

Research/Clinical Interest
Gene Regulation and Function in the Pathogenesis of Disease
Regulation of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC) contributes significantly to the development of cardiovascular diseases. Vascular calcification, a process of differentiation of VSMC to “bone-like” cells resembling embryonic bone formation, is a feature of atherosclerosis, diabetes and end stage renal disease. We study the molecular mechanisms underlying osteogenic differentiation of VSMC, using comprehensive approaches and translational animal models for human disease. In cancer biology, our main focuses are to investigate the molecular mechanisms that regulate death receptor signaling pathways in tumorigenesis; and to identify new compounds that overcome drug resistance.

Selected Publications 
Publication PUBMEDID
Deng L, Huang L, Sun Y, Heath JM, Wu H, Chen Y.
Inhibition of FOXO1/3 promotes vascular calcification.
Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2015 35(1):175-83 
Heath J, Sun Y, Yuan K, Bradley WE, Litovsky S, Dell'italia LJ, Chatham JC, Wu H, Chen Y.
Activation of AKT by O-GlcNAcylation Induces Vascular Calcification in Diabetes.
Circ Res. 2014 Mar 28;114(7):1094-102
-- An Editor's pick
-- Published with an accompanying editorial
-- A most often read paper in Circ Res journal in Aug 2014 
Yuan K, Sun Y, Zhou T, McDonald JM, Chen Y.
PARP-1 Regulates Resistance of Pancreatic Cancer to TRAIL Therapy
Clin Cancer Res. 2013, 19(17):4750-9. 
Sun Y, Byon CH, Yuan K, Chen J, Mao X, Heath JM, Javed A, Zhang K, Anderson PG, Chen Y.
Smooth muscle cell-specific runx2 deficiency inhibits vascular calcification.
Circ Res. 2012 Aug 17;111(5):543-52. Epub 2012 Jul 6.
-- A top downloaded article in Circ Res journal in July 2012
-- Highlighted in the Circ Res Thematic Synosis on Atherosclerosis. 
Mao X, Debenedittis P, Sun Y, Chen J, Yuan K, Jiao K, Chen Y.
Vascular smooth muscle cell smad4 gene is important for mouse vascular development.
Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2012 Sep;32(9):2171-7. Epub 2012 Jul 5. 
Chen J, Yuan K, Mao X, Miano JM, Wu H, Chen Y.
Serum response factor regulates bone formation via IGF-1 and Runx2 signals.
J Bone Miner Res. 2012 Aug;27(8):1659-68. Epub 2012 Mar 20  
Byon CH, Sun Y, Chen J, Yuan K, Mao X, Heath JM, Anderson PG, Tintut Y, Demer LL, Wang D, Chen Y.
Runx2-Upregulated Receptor Activator of Nuclear Factor {kappa}B Ligand in Calcifying Smooth Muscle Cells Promotes Migration and Osteoclastic Differentiation of Macrophages.
Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2011 Jun;31(6):1387-96. Epub 2011 Mar 31
-- Published with an accompanying editoral. 
Chen J, Sun Y, Mao X, Liu Q, Wu H, Chen Y.
RANKL up-regulates brain-type creatine kinase via poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 during osteoclastogenesis.
J Biol Chem. 2010 Nov 19;285(47):36315-21. Epub 2010 Sep 13.  
Pawar P, Ma L, Byon CH, Liu H, Ahn EY, Jhala N, Arnoletti JP, McDonald JM, Chen Y.
Molecular Mechanisms of Tamoxifen Therapy for Cholangiocarcinoma: Role of Calmodulin.
Clin Cancer Res. 2009;15(4):1288-1296. 
Chen Y, Wang X, Di L, Fu G, Chen Y, Bai L, Liu J, Feng X, McDonald JM, Michalek S, He Y, Yu M, Fu YX, Wen R, Wu H, Wang D
Phospholipase Cgamma 2 mediates RANKL-stimulated lymph-node organogenesis and osteoclastogenesis.
J Biol Chem. 2008; 283(43):29593-601. 
Byon CH, Javed A, Dai Q, Kappes JC, Clemens TL, Darley-Usmar VM, McDonald JM, Chen Y.
Oxidative stress induces vascular calcification through modulation of the osteogenic transcription factor Runx-2 by Akt signaling.
J Biol Chem. 2008;283(22):15319-27
-- A featured Article in vascualr biology, selected by NAVBO in 2008 
Chen Y*, Budd RC, Kelm RJ Jr, Sobel BE, Schneider DJ.
Augmentation of proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells by plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1.
Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2006, 26(8):1777-83 
Chen Y, Billadello JJ, Schneider DJ.
Identification and localization of a fatty acid response region in the human plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 gene.
Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2000, 20(12):2696-701. 

vascular smooth muscle cells, vascular calcification, atherosclerosis, diabetes, tumorigenesis and resistance