Chen, Christopher, Ph.D.
Phone: (617) 353-1699
Office: SLB201, 36 Cummington Mall
Prof. Chen’s research interests include the application of microfabrication and nanotechnology to cell and tissue engineering, and regenerative medicine. His lab has developed approaches to control the nanoscale adhesive interactions between cells and their surrounding scaffolds, and uses them to control cell function. Prof. Chen is particularly engaged in understanding how to engineer stem cell function and tissue vascularization, and the relationship between tissue architecture and tissue function.
Prof. Chen’s laboratory seeks to understand how cells interact with their environment, and to use this knowledge to control cell function. In particular, Prof. Chen is studying the cooperation between adhesive, mechanical and biochemical signaling in the regulation of angiogenesis and stem cell biology. To probe these questions in novel ways, Chen’s laboratory has developed a repertoire of unique micro- and nanofabrication tools to control and measure the adhesive and mechanical environment of cells. Using these tools in combination with traditional molecular approaches, Chen’s lab is investigating numerous regulatory interactions between mechanical forces and biochemical signaling, and between integrin-, cadherin-, and growth factor-mediated signaling. Chen’s research program thus focuses on both the integration of novel devices, manipulation strategies, and materials with modern molecular tools, as well as the pursuit of a deeper understanding of the regulation of stem cells and endothelial cells.
At this interface between technology, cell biology, and medicine, Chen and his lab’s mission is to provide new tools for biomedicine, to gain new insights into the control of cell function, to train multi-disciplinary scientists undeterred by disciplinary boundaries, and to demonstrate the boundless opportunities for impacting the future of research and education.