Dahua Chen, PhD

Professor

Institute of Zoology (IOZ), CAS

Email: chendh@ioz.ac.cn

Biography

He received his PhD in Plant Biology in 1999 from Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). He was a postdoctoral fellow and then a Research Instructor from 1999-2005 at University of Kentucky and UT Southwestern Medical Center. In 2005, He was elected to Hundred Talents Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and is currently the associated director of the State Key Laboratory of Membrane Biology. Due to his outstanding research work, He received 2009 the National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars and won 2016 Outstanding Science and Technology Achievement Prize of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Over the last ten years, the research team led by Professor Dahua Chen has been using Drosophila and mouse as model organisms to study the molecular mechanisms that control asymmetric division of germline stem cells (GSCs), cell lineage development and epigenetic regulation, and has made great contributions to the field of developmental biology. His works clearly elucidate the molecular basis of how a GSC and its differentiating daughter (CB) differentially respond to niche BMP signal, thus forming a steep gradient of BMP signaling response that controls the GSC fate. Moreover, Dahua Chen and his colleague (Yi Tao) performed mathematic modeling analyses and revealed a bistable behavior of the feedback-loop system in controlling fate determination of GSCs. In studying mechanism of how the Hh signaling regulates cell lineage development, they uncovered a bidirectional control mechanism that is important for signal-receiving cells to precisely interpret external signals, thus maintaining reliability of signaling transduction during development. Recently, Dahua Chen and his colleague (Hailin Wang) identified a novel DNA modification (6mA) in Drosophila and proposed a potential role of the 6mA modification in controlling development in higher eukaryotes. This finding opens a new direction in the fields of developmental biology and epigenetic regulation. He published a series of papers in the leading journals such as CellPNASMolecular CellDevelopmental CellNature CommunicationsJournal of Cell BiologyPLoS BiologyCurrent BiologyPLoS GeneticsDevelopmentHuman Molecular GeneticsStem Cell Reports, and made significant contributions to the field.