The Chen laboratory focuses on the link of cell biological properties and functions, including the secretion of hormones, contraction and dilation of cardiomyocytes, or proliferation and apoptosis of cancer cells. We concentrate on hormones, which are important in controlling growth, development, metabolic balance, body mass composition, ageing process, and the plasma glucose levels, such as growth hormone, leptin, insulin, glucagon, and other adipocyte-derived hormones and factors.

The long-term goal is to find an effective way to therapeutically correct growth hormone and insulin deficiency in treating obesity and diabetes. In addition, possible paracrine or autocrine effect of a newly discovered hormone, Ghrelin, in the regulation of uterine endometrial cancer development, is under the investigation in this laboratory. We also investigate the function of cardiomyocytes in chronic heart failure, ischemic and diabetic cardiomyopathy.

The laboratory is using cutting edge techniques including patch clamping, cell image analysis, single cell shortening, and super-sensitive hormone assay method and real-time micro-blood sampling for pulsatile hormone profiles in mouse. Modern molecular biology techniques are also employed in the laboratory for different projects, including GFP-transgenic mouse, shRNA-gene knock down, and real-time PCR.