Luke Chen received education and training in clinical medicine in China. As a PhD student, postdoc, and research assistant professor at Rutgers University, he established and characterized animal models of oro-esophageal diseases with a clear goal of translational research. He was also trained in research pathology. At NCCU, he expanded his research on oro-esophageal diseases using various animal models, cell culture and human tissues. In collaboration with CGIBD member Nicholas Shaheen, Dr. Chen focused on the molecular mechanisms of Barrett’s esophagus. He used various in vivo and in vitro model systems to understand how intestinal and squamous transcription factors play a role in the development of Barrett’s. His current research concerns the role of the Nrf2/Keap1 pathway in esophageal development and esophageal diseases. In particular, he has shown that the Nrf2/Keap1 pathway regulates terminal differentiation, tight junctions and metabolism of esophageal squamous epithelial cells.
Relevance of Research to CGIBD Mission: The focus of Dr. Chen’s research is esophageal disease including esophageal development, metabolism and disease. He has studied Barrett’s esophagus and squamous cancer of the esophagus.
CGIBD Focus Area(s): Clinical/Translational Medicine; Regenerative Medicine/Repair