Reproductive and Developmental
Sciences Training Program


Reproductive and Developmental

Sciences Training Program

Image of Dr. Chen


Education/Degree Information

Postdoc, University of Toronto

BS, China Agricultural University

MS, Texas A&M University

PhD, Washington University School of Medicine


Research Interests

My laboratory studies the molecular mechanisms underlying mammalian spermatogenesis and infertility using molecular, cellular, biochemical, mouse genetics and genomics approaches. The lab is broadly interested in genes and pathways influencing germ/stem cell self-renewal, differentiation and fertility with a current focus on the function of Tudor domain proteins and other Piwi-piRNA pathway associated factors in gene silencing, genome stability, epigenetics, stem cell biology and cancer.




Chen C*, Nott TJ, Jin J, Pawson T*. Deciphering arginine methylation: Tudor tells the tale. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2011 Sep 14;12(10):629-42. *Corresponding author.

Xu C, Bian C, Yang W, Galka M, Ouyang H, Chen C, Qiu W, Liu H, Jones AE, Mackenzie F, Pan P, Li SS, Wang H, Min J. Binding of different histone marks differentially regulates the activity and specificity of polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2).Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2010 Nov 9;107(45):19266-7.

Liu K*, Chen C*, Guo Y*, Lam R, Bian C, Xu C, Zhao DY, Jin J, MacKenzie F, Pawson T, Min J. Structural basis for recognition of arginine methylated Piwi proteins by the extended Tudor domain. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Oct 26;107(43):18398-403. *Equal contribution.

Chen C, Jin J, James DA, Adams-Cioaba MA, Park JG, Guo Y, Tenaglia E, Xu C, Gish G, Min J, Pawson T. Mouse Piwi interactome identifies binding mechanism of Tdrkh Tudor domain to arginine methylated Miwi. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Dec 1;106(48):20336-41.

Jin J, Xie X*, Chen C*, Park JG, Stark C, James DA, Olhovsky M, Linding R, Mao Y, Pawson T. Eukaryotic protein domains as functional units of cellular evolution. Science Signaling. 2009 Nov 24;2(98):ra76. *Equal contribution.

Chen C, Ouyang W, Grigura V, Zhou Q, Lim H, Zhao GQ, Carnes K, Arber S, Kurpios N, Murphy TL, Cheng AM, Hassell JA, Chandrashekar V, Hofmann M, Hess RA, Murphy KM. ERM is required for transcriptional control of the spermatogonial stem cell niche. Nature. 2005 August 18;436:1030-34.