hong chen cancer center at illinois

Hong Chen

Associate Professor, Food Science & Human Nutrition

Hong Chen focuses on molecular, biochemical, and nutrigenomic research that advances the knowledge of how diets affect each individual’s epigenome. Understanding nutrient regulation of genes during human development and carcinogenesis facilitates precision nutritional care for improved patient outcomes. Nutrient regulation of epigenetic modifications in cancer and other chronic diseases. The focus of Chen’s research is the role of epigenetic modifications on cancer and other chronic diseases. Epigenetic modifications of the genome, such as DNA methylation, histone methylation and acetylation, are powerful regulators of gene expression in mammalian cells. Chen’s lab is particularly interested in how epigenetic modifications are regulated by dietary components in colon tumor cells and how these modifications contribute to the tumorigenesis or cancer progression. Currently, the focus of her lab is on dietary active components in foods and how they contribute to epigenetic regulations in colon cancer development and treatment.

Chen received her B.S. degree in cell biology from Lanzhou University in China. She then studied animal nutrition at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA and received both M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in molecular nutrition. She continued her training as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, FL. She joined the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign as an assistant professor in 2006 in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition.