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Hong Chen, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Boston Children's Hospital

Research Interests:  My laboratory studies the role of endocytic adaptor proteins in development an in diseases such as atherosclerosis, ischemic stroke, diabetes, lymphedema, cancer, myocardial infarction, and obesity. We have developed unique in vivo and in vitro mammalian model systems to aid in the detailed characterization of these proteins, their regulators, and the signaling pathways they influence. Our genetic approach, combined with biochemical, histological, functional, molecular, and cellular techniques as well as bioinformatic analyses of transcriptomes has allowed us to elucidate the mechanisms of endocytic adaptor-dependent dysfunction and develop promising clinically-relevant therapies for important diseases. I have authored over 90 papers in high impact journals such as Nature, Cell, Science, PNAS, EMBO, JCB, Nature Communications, the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Circulation, Circulation Research and Science Signaling. I am also the recipient of several national awards including the Irvine H. Page Young Investigator Research Award, the Merrick Award of Outstanding Research, the Alan T. Hirsch Mid-Career Investigator Award in Vascular Medicine, and the Established Investigator Award from the American Heart Association. I have obtained continuous extramural funding including multiple R01 grants from the National Institutes of Health, the United States Department of Defense, the American Heart Association, and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering.

NAVBO Activities:
Member, 2008 – Present; Speaker, NAVBO Genetics and Genomics in Vascular Disease, Asilomar, CA, 2012; Speaker, NAVBO Biology of Signaling in the Cardiovascular System, Hyannis, MA, 2013; Speaker, NAVBO Vascular Biology, Asilomar, CA, 2014; Poster Judge, 2015, 2018; Invited Speaker, NAVBO Biology of Signaling in the Cardiovascular System, Hyannis, MA, 2015; Invited Speaker, NAVBO Lymphatic Forum, Chicago, IL, 2017; Speaker, NAVBO, Vasculata, Chicago, IL, 2017; Speaker, NAVBO Biology of Signaling in the Cardiovascular System, Newport, RI, 2018; Speaker, NAVBO Vascular Biology, Asilomar, CA, 2019; Co-Organizer, Vasculata Meeting, 2021; Invited Speaker, NAVBO Lymphatic Forum Meeting, Virtual Event, 2021; Workshop on grant writing and workshop in emerging new technology at the NAVBO Vasculata Conference, Boston, MA, 2021; Speaker, NAVBO, Vasculata Meeting, Boston, MA, 2021; Member, Diversity, Equality and Inclusion (DEI) Committee 2022 --Present; Invited Speaker, NAVBO, Vascular Stem Cells Symposium, Virtual Event, 2022; Speaker, NAVBO, Vascular Biology, Lymphatic Development Session, Newport, RI, 2023.

Related Experience:
I have taught in the Biological and Biomedical Sciences (BBS) program at Harvard Medical School (HMS) for the past five years (BBS 330: Critical Thinking and Research Proposal Writing) and participated in HMS graduate and medical teaching activities, including graduate student recruitment activities for the past seven years. In addition, I am committed to future scientific progress through the mentorship of my trainees. I have trained and mentored more than 90 members during my 15 years as an independent principal investigator. These include Harvard Medical School, Harvard Dental School and Graduate Students, Research Fellows, Medical Fellows, Staff Scientists, Research Associates, Faculty members including Instructors and Assistant Professors. Many of my formal trainees have gone on to independent positions as Assistant Professors, Research Faculties and Principal Scientists in respected Universities, Research Institutions and Industries. Furthermore, my guidance has assisted a number of my trainees in garnering their own independent funding, including NIH predoctoral and postdoctoral fellowships, an NIH T32 grant, an NIH K99 award, several AHA Scientist Development Grants, an AHA Career Development grant, an AHA Second Century Early Faculty Independence Award, multiple AHA Predoctoral and Postdoctoral Fellowships as well as Postdoctoral Fellowships from the American Cancer Society.
I have served as reviewer for journals including Cell, Science, Nature, Nature Cell Biology, Nature Communications, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Science Translational Medicine, Circulation Research, Journal of Clinical Investigation and EMBO. I frequently serve as reviewer for National Institute of Health (NIH) and American Heart Association (AHA) grant proposals. I have also frequently served as a Discussion Leader and Conference Chair at national and international conferences such as the Gordon Research Conference (GRC). I recently organized the Gordon Research Conference on Lymphatics in 2024 as Chair. I served on Women’s Leadership Committee for American Heart Association, 2015 – 2018; and on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) committee for American Heart Association, 2023-2026. I have also served on organizational committees and advisory boards for many international conferences and symposium. I have built a strong record of administrative and institutional service during my time at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. For example, I currently serve as the Chair of the Vascular Biology Program’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) committee.