a physician a building location a clinical trial a department
BCM - Baylor College of Medicine

Giving life to possible

Changyi Johnny Chen, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor of Surgery and Chief,Division of Surgical Research


Alkek Building for Biomedical Research
Room: BCMD-R413
Mail Stop: BCM391
Houston, Texas. 77021
United States


Dr. Chen's Research
ViiCTR Research Database
Division of Surgical Research


M.S. from University Of Texas At El Paso
01/1991 - El Paso, TX, United States
Ph.D. from Georgia Institute Of Technology
01/1996 - Atlanta, GA, United States
Clinical residency training from Southeast University School Of Medicine - Zhong-Da Hospital
01/1987 - Nanjing, China, People's Rep, .
Postdoctoral training from Emory University School Of Medicine
01/1994 - Atlanta, GA, United States
M.D. from Southeast University School Of Medicine
01/1982 - Nanjing, China, People's Rep

Professional Statements

Dr. Chen's laboratory is actively conducting several basic science and translational research projects that are highly relevant to clinical cardiovascular disease and pancreatic cancer.
Cardiovascular risk factors and their molecular mechanisms in cardiovascular disease: We are investigating the effects and the molecular mechanisms of several cardiovascular risk factors, including HIV protease inhibitors, the adipokine resistin, soluble CD40L, and uric acid, on biochemical pathways associated with endothelial cell functions. Some of the biochemical pathways under investigation are the endothelial nitric oxide synthase system, the oxidative stress system, and signal transduction pathways. We are carrying on these investigations using several experimental models, such as myographies, organ cultures, mouse models, human tissue samples, and different types of endothelial cells. Based on the molecular mechanisms we uncover, we develop effective therapeutic strategies to treat endothelial dysfunction and atherosclerosis.
Endothelial cell differentiation and angiogenesis: We are studying the role played by and the molecular mechanisms of hemodynamic factors and several novel molecules on endothelial cells differentiated from embryonic stem cells and from bone marrow-derived stem cells. We are identifying key regulatory genes that trigger endothelial cell differentiation and promote stable angiogenesis. These findings can potentially be applied to the design of novel therapeutic strategies to treat ischemic tissues using genetically engineered endothelial cells. In addition, these studies may provide useful information to genetically engineer novel tissues for vascular grafts.
Pancreatic cancer: We have been heavily involved in pancreatic cancer research programs for many years. We have several projects focusing on the role and on the mechanisms of several genes, such as microRNA 196a (miR-196a), X-inactive specific transcript (XIST), and Jude-2 in pancreatic cancer. Our comprehensive studies analyze human cancer specimens, clinical outcomes, established cell lines, a nude mouse model, and a genetically engineered mouse model of pancreatic cancer called the KPC model. We are developing PLGA [poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid)]-based nanotechnology for molecular imaging and for specific drug and gene delivery, which has great potential clinical applications, such as molecular diagnostics and targeted therapies.


  • HIV protease inhibitor ritonavir decreases endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation and increases superoxide in porcine arteries., 2004
  • HIV envelope proteins differentially utilize CXCR4 and CCR5 coreceptors for induction of apoptosis., 2001
  • What is new in the preoperative evaluation of arteriovenous access operation?, 2004
  • Production and characterization of simian--human immunodeficiency virus-like particles., 2000
  • Renal artery perfusion modifies ischemia/reperfusion injury., 1996
  • Cellular and molecular mechanisms of atherosclerosis with mouse models., 2004
  • Virus-like particles as HIV-1 vaccines.
  • Incidence and characteristics of patients with hand ischemia after a hemodialysis access procedure., 1998
  • Consistent chromosomal losses in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma cell lines., 1994
  • HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein 120 increases intercellular adhesion molecule-1 expression by human endothelial cells., 2002

Additional Positions

Molecular Surgery Endowed Chair
Baylor College of Medicine
Director, Molecular Surgeon Research Center
Molecular Surgeon Research Center
Molecular and Cellular Biology
Baylor College of Medicine