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Yabing Chen, Ph.D, MBA

Yabing Chen, PhD
Molecular & Cellular Pathology
SHEL 614 Zip 2182
Phone: (205) 996-6293

Dr. Chen received her BS degree from Fudan University and her Ph.D. from Xiamen University. She completed postdoctoral training and was appointed as a research instructor at the University of Vermont, School of Medicine. Dr. Chen joined the faculty of Department of Pathology at UAB in June 2004. She is currently a tenured Professor in Molecular and Cellular Pathology as well as a Principal Investigator at the Birmingham VA Medical Research Division. Dr. Chen serves as an editorial board member for Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology (ATVB). She is a Fellow of the American Heart Association (AHA) and a member of Committee for Scientific Sessions Planning (CSSP) Committee of the AHA/ATVB council. Dr. Chen has served the NIH Atherosclerosis and Inflammation of the Cardiovascular System (AICS) and Vascular cell and Molecular Biology (VCMB) study sections as an Ad Hoc reviewer in the past few years, and she is currently a regular member of the VCMB study section.

Research/Clinical Interest

Gene Regulation and Function in the Pathogenesis of Disease
Regulation of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC) contributes significantly to the development of cardiovascular diseases, including atherosclerosis and pulmonary hypertension. Vascular calcification is a feature of advanced atherosclerosis, a process of differentiation of VSMC to “bone-like” cells that resembles the process of osteogenesis. Increased oxidative stress accelerates the progression of atherosclerosis and vascular calcification. Projects involve characterization of molecular signals that regulates osteogenic transcription factor Runx2 in vascular calcification, as well as mechanisms underlying Runx2 in modulating the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and vascular calcification. We have also discovered that calcifying vascular smooth muscle cells produce RANKL, which promotes macrophage infiltration and formation of vascualr osteoclasts in close apposition of calcified atherosclerotic lesions. We use cell culture systems and conditional knock out mouse models to elucidate the molecualr mechanisms of vascular calcification and vascualr osteoclastogenesis, which may lead to novel strategies and targets to treat atherosclerosis. In cancer biology, we have been investigating the molecular mechanisms by which calmodulin regulates death receptor signaling pathways in tumorigenesis. Currently, we are elucidating molecular mechanisms of resistance of pancreatic cancer to therapy with anti-death receptor 5 antibody. These studies will define novel mediators in the apoptotic machinery, and may lead to identification of new compounds that overcome drug resistance.

UAB News

UAB’s Yabing Chen named a VA Research Career Scientist
Yabing Chen, Ph.D., pathology professor and research scientist at Birmingham VA Medical Center, has received a Research Career Scientist Award from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. It provides five years of salary support in recognition of outstanding achievements and contributions to VA research.
UAB News, by Jeff Hansen, June 07, 2016

Selected Publications

  1. Yuan K, Sun Y, Zhou T, McDonald JM, Chen Y.
    PARP-1 Regulates Resistance of Pancreatic Cancer to TRAIL Therapy
    Clin Cancer Res. 2013, 19(17):4750-9. 23833311
  2. Sun Y, Byon CH, Yuan K, Chen J, Mao X, Heath JM, Javed A, Zhang K, Anderson PG, Chen Y.
    Smooth muscle cell-specific runx2 deficiency inhibits vascular calcification.
    Circ Res. 2012 Aug 17;111(5):543-52. Epub 2012 Jul 6.
    A top downloaded article in Circ Res journal in July 2012 22773442
  3. Mao X, Debenedittis P, Sun Y, Chen J, Yuan K, Jiao K, Chen Y.
    Vascular smooth muscle cell smad4 gene is important for mouse vascular development.
    Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2012 Sep;32(9):2171-7. Epub 2012 Jul 5. 22772757
  4. Chen J, Yuan K, Mao X, Miano JM, Wu H, Chen Y.
    Serum response factor regulates bone formation via IGF-1 and Runx2 signals.
    J Bone Miner Res. 2012 Aug;27(8):1659-68. Epub 2012 Mar 20  22434656
  5. Byon CH, Sun Y, Chen J, Yuan K, Mao X, Heath JM, Anderson PG, Tintut Y, Demer LL, Wang D, Chen Y.
    Runx2-Upregulated Receptor Activator of Nuclear Factor {kappa}B Ligand in Calcifying Smooth Muscle Cells Promotes Migration and Osteoclastic Differentiation of Macrophages.
    Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2011 Jun;31(6):1387-96. Epub 2011 Mar 31
    Published with accompanying editoral. 21454810 
  6. Chen J, Sun Y, Mao X, Liu Q, Wu H, Chen Y.
    RANKL up-regulates brain-type creatine kinase via poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 during osteoclastogenesis.
    J Biol Chem. 2010 Nov 19;285(47):36315-21. Epub 2010 Sep 13.  20837480 
  7. Pawar P, Ma L, Byon CH, Liu H, Ahn EY, Jhala N, Arnoletti JP, McDonald JM, Chen Y.
    Molecular Mechanisms of Tamoxifen Therapy for Cholangiocarcinoma: Role of Calmodulin.
    Clin Cancer Res. 2009;15(4):1288-1296. 19228732
  8. Chen Y, Wang X, Di L, Fu G, Chen Y, Bai L, Liu J, Feng X, McDonald JM, Michalek S, He Y, Yu M, Fu YX, Wen R, Wu H, Wang D
    Phospholipase Cgamma 2 mediates RANKL-stimulated lymph-node organogenesis and osteoclastogenesis.
    J Biol Chem. 2008; 283(43):29593-601. 18728019
  9. Byon CH, Javed A, Dai Q, Kappes JC, Clemens TL, Darley-Usmar VM, McDonald JM, Chen Y.
    Oxidative stress induces vascular calcification through modulation of the osteogenic transcription factor Runx-2 by Akt signaling.
    J Biol Chem. 2008;283(22):15319-27
    A featured Article in vascualr biology, selected by NAVBO in 2008 18378684 
  10. Chen Y*, Budd RC, Kelm RJ Jr, Sobel BE, Schneider DJ. 
    Augmentation of proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells by plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1.
    Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2006, 26(8):1777-83 16709941
  11. Chen Y, Billadello JJ, Schneider DJ. 
    Identification and localization of a fatty acid response region in the human plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 gene.
    Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2000, 20(12):2696-701. 11116074