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Liam Lucian Chen, MD PhD

Assistant Professor of Pathology
Main Location

Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center

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  • Assistant Professor of Pathology



Research Interests

Pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders


Dr. Liam Chen is an assistant professor of pathology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. His research focuses on understanding the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. His primary clinical involvement is on the neuropathology autopsy service.

Dr. Chen earned his M.D. from Shandong Medical University in China and his Ph.D. from the University of Alberta in Canada. He was subsequently a postdoctoral fellow studying neurodegenerative disease, and completed AP/NP training at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and a molecular pathology fellowship at Harvard Medical School.


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  • Education +


    • University of Alberta (Edmonton Alberta) (2002)
    • Shandong Medical University (Shandong Province) (1992)


    • Brigham and Women's Hospital / Pathology (Boston MA ) (2012)
    • Brigham and Women's Hospital / Pathology (Boston MA ) (2007)
    • National Center for Medical Genetics (Changsha) (1997)
  • Research & Publications +

    Research Summary

    Dr. Chen’s research interests focus on understanding the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. He uses the Drosophila, fruit fly, as a model to study the mechanisms underlying central nervous system malfunction in humans.

    By expressing pathological human genes in the fly, he can generate abnormal phenotypes, such as slowed motor activity or degeneration of the retina. These phenotypes can then be used in conjunction with the rich genetic toolbox that Drosophila researchers have developed to identify pathways that contribute to this degeneration. Their small size, rapid generation time, and low costs for maintenance make fruit flies ideal for studying neurodegenerative disease. The Drosophila models provide a platform for genome-wide screens and unbiased genetic screens to identify components of pathological pathways.

    Selected Publications

    1. Chen L, Feany MB. “Alpha-synuclein phosphorylation controls neurotoxicity and inclusion formation in a Drosophila model of Parkinson disease.” Nat Neurosci. 2005. 8(5):657-63.
    2. Chen L, Periquet M, Wang X, Negro A, McLean PJ, Hyman BT, Feany MB. “Tyrosine and serine phosphorylation of alpha-synuclein have opposing effects on neurotoxicity and soluble oligomer formation.” J Clin Invest. 2009. 119(11):3257-65.
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    Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center
    4940 Eastern Avenue
    Baltimore, MD 21224
    Phone: 410 502 5164
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    • Pathology

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