Ya-Wen Chen, PhD
Ya-Wen Chen (Preferred Name)
- ASSISTANT PROFESSOR | Otolaryngology
- ASSISTANT PROFESSOR | Cell, Developmental & Regenerative Biology
Research Topics:Antivirals, Biochemistry, Biomechanics/Bioengineering, Biomedical Sciences, Cell Biology, Cellular Differentiation, Developmental Biology, Differentiation, Enzymology, Epithelial Cells, Extracellular Matrix, Induced pluripotent stem cells, Infectious Disease, Influenza Virus, Lung, Membrane Proteins/Channels, Molecular Biology, Morphogenesis, Otolaryngology (ENT), Proteases, Protein Complexes, Protein Structure/Function, Regeneration, Respiratory, SARS Virus, Stem Cells, Tissue Engineering
Ya-Wen Chen, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology and Cell, Developmental and Regenerative Biology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. She is also a member of the Black Family Stem Cell Institute and Institute for Airway Science at Mount Sinai.
She pioneered the work in lung organoid development and directed differentiation from human pluripotent stem cells to respiratory epithelial cells. Her research focuses on applying human pluripotent stem cell-derived lung organoids as a model to better understand molecular mechanisms underlying lung regeneration and exploring the therapeutic applications of stem cell-derived lung progenitor cells.
After receiving her PhD in Molecular Medicine from the University of Maryland, Baltimore, she completed her postdoctoral work at the Columbia Center for Translational Immunology and Columbia Center for Human Development at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. She was a Parker B. Francis Fellow, a Baxter Faculty Fellow, and a Catalyst Awardee, and recently became the Isidore Friesner Research Faculty.
Dr. Chen is also an active advocator for gender equality and LGBTQ rights.
Multi-Disciplinary Training AreasDevelopment Regeneration and Stem Cells [DRS], Microbiology [MIC], Pharmacology and Therapeutics Discovery [PTD]
BS, Tung-Hai University, Taiwan
MS, Georgetown University
PhD, University of Maryland, Baltimore
Postdoc, Columbia University Irving Medical Center
Catalyst Award, American Lung Association
Baxter Faculty Award, Donald E. and Delia B. Baxter Foundation
Parker B. Francis Fellowship, Francis Foundation
Travel Award, International Society for Stem Cell Research
Training Award-PCBC hPSC Biology and Gene Editing, NHLBI Progenitor Cell Biology Consortium
Training Award-PCBC Multiplexed in situ Hybridization, NHLBI Progenitor Cell Biology Consortium
Travel Award, International Society for Stem Cell Research
Samuel Bard Young Investigator Awards
Journal of Investigative Dermatology Profile December: Meet the Investigator
Travel Award, University of Maryland, Baltimore
Winner of Biochemical Journal Poster Prize, Gordon Conference
2nd place, Student Category of Plasminogen Activation & Extracellular Proteolysis, Gordon Conference
Masterpiece of Biology of National Science & Experiment Competition, Taiwan
Young Scientist Award, APEC, South Korea
The third Award of the 38th National Private and high schools Science Fair of Taiwan
Current Research Support
1. PRMRP Discovery Award-Airway Reconstruction (PI: Chen) 02/01/2021-01/13/2023
Department of Defense Total Award: $329,998
2. PRMRP Discover Award-COVID-19 (PI: Chen) 01/15/2021-01/14/2023
Department of Defense Total Award: $329,997
3. R21 (PI: Zaltner, University of Georgia) 10/01/2021-09/30/2023
NIH/NICHD Total Award: $432,648 $56,633 to Dr. Chen
4. R56 (PI: Chen) 09/20/2021-08/31/2022
NIH/NHLBI Total Award: $431,432
5. PRMRP TTDA (PI: Heifetz, OrPro Therapeutics) 07/01/2022-06/30/2023
Department of Defense Total Award: $2,147,023; $455,916 to Dr. Chen
6. R01 (PI: Chen) 07/01/2022-06/30/2027
NIH/NHLBI Total Award: $3,510,012
7. Philanthropic fund (PI: Chen) 01/01/2023-12/31/2025
Total Award: $900,000
General Research Interests
The Chen lab focuses on applying hPSC-derived lung organoids as a model to study the mechanisms of lung injury repair and the applications of stem cell-derived lung progenitor or mature airway/alveolar epithelial cells to lung injury repair, stem cell-based therapy, and regenerative medicine. The ultimate goal is to reconstruct a functional trachea and lung in vitro or in situ for replacement. In addition, responding to infectious disease caused by coronavirus family and influenza virus, the lab is studying the role of TMPRSS2, a type II transmembrane serine protease, during viral infection. To achieve their goals, the lab integrates research from three different fields: developmental biology, stem cell therapy, and bioengineering.
Completed Research Support
1. Parker B. Francis Fellowship (PI: Chen) 07/01/2018-06/30/2021
Francis Foundation Total Award: $156,000
2. DISC2 award (PI: Ichida) 06/15/2020-06/14/2021
California Institute for Regenerative Medicine Total Award:$35,971
3. Donald E. and Delia B. Baxter Foundation Faculty Fellowship Award (PI: Chen) 07/01/2020-06/30/2021
Baxter Foundation Total Award: $100,000
4. W.M. Keck Covid-19 Award (PI: Chen) 08/01/2020-09/30/2021
W.M. Keck Foundation Total Award: $196,791
5. Catalyst Award (PI: Chen) 07/01/2020-06/30/2022
American Lung Association Total Award: $100,000
Physicians and scientists on the faculty of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai often interact with pharmaceutical, device and biotechnology companies to improve patient care, develop new therapies and achieve scientific breakthroughs. In order to promote an ethical and transparent environment for conducting research, providing clinical care and teaching, Mount Sinai requires that salaried faculty inform the School of their relationships with such companies.
Below are financial relationships with industry reported by Dr. Chen during 2022 and/or 2023. Please note that this information may differ from information posted on corporate sites due to timing or classification differences.
- Stemcell Technologies
Mount Sinai's faculty policies relating to faculty collaboration with industry are posted on our website. Patients may wish to ask their physician about the activities they perform for companies.