Christopher Chen, Ph.D.

SNPRC Assistant Director for Research Support | Staff Scientist III | Host Pathogen Interaction, Southwest National Primate Research Center, Staff

Research Focus

Cases of hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer) have more than tripled since 1980. Each year, about 42,000 Americans are diagnosed with the disease and about 30,000 people die from it. Dr. Chen is working with Dr. Robert Lanford to develop a nonhuman primate model for liver cancer to help test and improve therapies, leading to longer term survival for human patients.


Inside the Lab

Dr. Chen is working on generating the first gene-targeted nonhuman primate model for liver cancer using CRISPR and transposons. In addition, he is developing a New World Monkey model of chronic hepatitis B (HBV) infection to replace the previously used chimpanzee model. Dr. Chen is also Head of the Research Services Component within the Southwest National Primate Research Center.

Main Technologies and Methods Used

  • CRISPR gene knockout
  • Sleeping Beauty Transposon
  • lentiviral gene transfer
  • RT-PCR
  • mouse xenografts