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VCU Pauley Heart Center

Physicians and staff

Qun Chen, MDQun Chen, MD


Born in Jiangsu, China, Dr. Chen received his M.D. degree from Xuzhou Medical College in 1990.  After graduation, Dr. Chen did his residency in the Department of Anesthesiology at The Affiliated Hospital of Xuzhou Medical College.  He earned a Masters Degree in Anesthesiology from Beijing Medical University in 1995.  Dr. Chen received his Ph. D. in Anesthesiology from China Medical University in 1998.

Dr. Chen immigrated to the United States in 2000 as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Anesthesiology at Medical College of Wisconsin.  He joined in Dr. Edward Lesenfsky’s lab in the Division of Cardiology at Case Western Reserve University in 2002 for a second postdoctoral fellowship specializing in mitochondrial metabolism.  Dr. Chen moved to Virginia Commonwealth University and joined the faculty of the Division of Cardiology in 2008 as an Assistant Professor.

Dr. Chen’s current research interest involves the role of mitochondrial dysfunction in myocardial injury during ischemia and reperfusion.  His major interest focuses on the identification and characterization of proteins located within the mitochondrial intermembrane space and the subsequent changes involving these proteins during ischemia-reperfusion.  Dr. Chen found that ischemia-reperfusion induced the loss of cytochrome c and apoptosis inducing factor (AIF) from mitochondria.  Preservation of the contents of cytochrome c and AIF by manipulating mitochondrial respiration during ischemia decreased myocardial injury.  Dr. Chen is developing pharmacological strategies to prevent the loss of cytochrome c and AIF during ischemia-reperfusion.  Dr. Chen also collaborates with his mentor, Dr. Lesnefsky, to develop strategies to decrease myocardial injury in aged hearts during heart attacks.

As a principal investigator, Dr. Chen was the recipient of a postdoctoral fellowship award from the American Heart Association in 2004.  Dr. Chen is currently funded by a National Scientist Development Grant from the American Heart Association.  Dr. Chen received two Young Investigator Travel Awards.  The first was from the American Heart Association Council on Basic Cardiovascular Sciences in 2005.  Subsequently, he received an award from the Central Society for Clinical Research/Midwestern Section American Federation for Medical Research in 2008.

Dr. Chen is a member of the American Heart Association-Council on Basic Cardiovascular Science.  Dr. Chen has authored or co-authored more than 30 papers that have been published in high quality peer-reviewed journals such as Science, PLOS One, FASEB Journal, Journal of Biological Chemistry, the American Journal of Physiology Heart and Circulatory Physiology, the American Journal of Physiology Cell Physiology, Free Radicals in Biology and Medicine, Journal of the American College of Cardiology and several others.  In addition, Dr. Chen has authored or co-authored more than 50 abstracts presented at major national meetings.

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