Developing mouse models harboring disease-causing variants and pre-clinical testing platforms to help therapeutics development and research discoveries.
Dr. Yi-Ju Chen has a long-standing interest in bench-to-bedside research and extensive experience in cancer, developmental biology, and diabetes. She earned her Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular genetics from University of Illinois at Chicago for her research on elucidating the role of FoxM1 in cell cycle progression, tumorigenesis, and metastasis. She then conducted postdoctoral studies in tissue plasticity and cell fate decision at University of Pennsylvania. By generating a new mouse model, she identified that intestinal stem cells can be reprogrammed into insulin-producing cells in vivo. Her research provides a new avenue to develop therapeutic solutions to diabetes. Furthermore, she applied her cell biology expertise and tissue engineering techniques to develop a biomimetic platform for long-term human islet culture and beta cell research. Dr. Chen joined The Jackson Laboratory at Bar Harbor, ME in October of 2018 as Technology & Resource Development Scientist. She works on new mouse models harboring patient mutations. Most of these mutations are linked to rare & orphan disease, which often lack of research and resources for therapeutics development. Yi-Ju directs studies to investigate these models and establishes the pre-clinical testing platform to help drug discovery and the research community.