Eugene Chen, MD, PhD



Dr. Eugene Chen is an endowed Frederick Huetwell Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine, Professor of Cardiac Surgery, Physiology, Pharmacology and Medicinal Chemistry, and Vice- Chair for Basic and Translational Research, Department of Cardiac Surgery at the University of Michigan (UM). The long-term goal of Dr. Chen’s laboratory is to stimulate bench-to-bedside research that sheds light on molecular mechanisms underlying the development and progression of metabolic and cardiovascular diseases. As a physician-scientist, Dr. Chen has made seminal contributions to advance the field of cardiovascular biology and diabetes treatment. His original cloning of the gene for exendin-4, led to an entirely new class of drugs to treat diabetes. Exenatide is a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist (incretin mimetics). Exematide increases insulin release and decreases excessive glucagon release from the pancreas. Dr. Chen’s work led to the discovery, development and commercialization of Byetta®. In the past 20 years, the Chen laboratory has made significant contributions to uncover the role of PPARγ activation as a determinant of cardiovascular cell gene expression and function and was among the first to define the cardiovascular roles of PPARδ. In collaboration with leading geneticists, physiologists and drug development experts, he has implemented a platform at UM to accelerate gene discovery-function-drug targeting. Of relevance here, his long-term interdisciplinary collaboration with Dr. Bruce Freeman at Pittsburgh and his team led to substantial insights into of the molecular mechanisms of nitro-fatty acids biology. The nitro-oleic acid is currently in phase 2 clinical trials for the treatment of chronic lung and renal disorders. Additionally, Dr. Chen is the Founding Director of the Center for Advanced Models for Translational Sciences and Therapeutics at UM since July 2012, which generates gene-targeted (knockout and knockin) and transgenic rabbits/pigs for human disease models. Dr. Chen’s team is pioneering gene-editing therapy using advanced technologies such as CRISPR/Cas9.

Date of Birth:

March 14th, 1984