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Liam Lucian Chen, M.D., Ph.D.

Photo of Dr. Liam Lucian Chen, M.D., Ph.D.
  • Assistant Professor of Pathology

Languages: English, Chinese, Mandarin



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 and CNS tumors. His primary clinical involvement is on the neuropathology 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 at Harvard Medical School, and completed Anatomic Pathology/Neuropathology training at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston Children's Hospital and a Molecular Genetic Pathology fellowship at Harvard Medical School. more


  • Assistant Professor of Pathology

Departments / Divisions



  • MD, Shandong Medical University (1992)


  • Brigham and Women's Hospital / Pathology (2012)

Board Certifications

  • American Board of Pathology / Molecular Genetic Pathology (2015)
  • American Board of Pathology / Neuropathology (2014)
  • American Board of Pathology / Pathology- Anatomic or Clinical (2014)

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.

Lab Website: The Chen Laboratory

Selected Publications

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

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

Nosho K, Shima K, Irahara N, Kure S, Firestein R, Baba Y, Toyoda S, Chen L, Hazra A, Giovannucci EL, Fuchs CS, Ogino S. SIRT1 histone deacetylase expression is associated with microsatellite instability and CpG island methylator phenotype in colorectal cancer. Mod Pathol. 2009. 22(7):922-32.

Chen L, O'Keefe SL, Hodgetts RB. Control of Dopa decarboxylase gene expression by the Broad-Complex during metamorphosis in Drosophila. Mech Dev. 2002. 119(2):145-56.

Contact for Research Inquiries

720 Rutland Ave.
Ross Building, Suite 555
Baltimore, MD 21205 map
Phone: 410-955-8102

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