Qin Chen

Research Interests

Our laboratory studies cellular and tissue injury due to oxidative stress. We pioneered the discovery that cells surviving oxidative stress develop hypertrophy. This discovery has been validated in many cell types as a consequence of cellular stress and survival response. Enlarged cells contribute to loss of functionality during the development of diseases. In the myocardium, cardiomyocyte hypertrophy can be detected as a result of ischemic injury and contributes to heart failure. Continuing on the investigation of mechanisms of cell survival has led us to focus on cellular defense system. From our many years of comprehensive and systematic studies on cellular and molecular events initiated by oxidative stress, Nrf2 stands out as the key controller for cell defenses. We have made several discoveries in recent years, including 1) oxidative stress induced de novo Nrf2 protein translation; 2) Nrf2 physically interacts with mitochondria and protects mitochondria against oxidative stress induced decay; and 3) deficiency in Nrf2 sensitizes the myocardium to ischemic injury.