Jing Chen, PhD

Titles and Roles

Professor, Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology
Emory University School of Medicine
Co-Director, Experimental Therapeutics Program in Leukemia
Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University
Research Program
Cancer Cell Biology


Jing Chen, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Hematology and Medical Oncology at the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory, Emory University School of Medicine. He obtained his PhD in Biochemistry and Cell Biology at Emory University, and was trained as an HHMI Postdoctoral Fellow in Dr. Gary Gilliland's laboratory at Harvard Medical School before joining Winship Cancer Institute as an Assistant Professor in 2004.


Dr. Chen has earned numerous prestigious awards including American Cancer Society Basic Research Scholar Award, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Scholar Award and Georgia Cancer Coalition Distinguished Cancer Scholar Award. His research is funded by NIH, American Cancer Society, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and other notable foundations. Dr. Chen also serves as a Reviewer in the Cancer Drug Discovery panel of Grant Review Committee, American Cancer Society.


Dr. Chen is interested in the role of post-translational modifications including phosphorylation, acetylation and ubiquitination in human cancers, with a particular focus on oncogenesis, metastasis and cancer metabolism.

Dr. Chen’s team is interested in exploration of the signaling network of leukemogenic tyrosine kinases that regulate leukemogenesis and disease progression, and in translating the insights obtained in basic research to clinical applications. His group focuses on the signaling properties of the target cancer-initiating stem cells that may provide the “right” signaling network for oncogenes to give rise to either myeloid or lymphoid leukemia. These studies will provide alternative targets for curative therapy of leukemia. 

The Warburg effect describes an interesting metabolism switch that cancer cells take up more glucose than normal tissue, yet use less glucose for energy production and favor a much less efficient metabolic mechanism called glycolysis. It remains unknown how crucial this is for initiation and disease progression in human cancers. Dr. Chen’s group has approached these questions by examining whether tyrosine kinase signaling — commonly upregulated in tumors — regulates the Warburg effect to contribute to tumorigenesis and maintenance of the tumor. His ultimate hypothesis is that oncogenic tyrosine kinases phosphorylates a spectrum of metabolic enzymes to promote the Warburg effect and tumorigenesis by reprogramming cancer cell metabolism.

Metastasis is the most dangerous switch during tumor progression from a locally growing tumor to a deadly killer, which is the cause of 90% of deaths from cancer. Dr. Chen’s group is currently using combined approaches of cell culture-based studies, murine models of diseases, genome-wide screening and proteomics analyses developed in their leukemia research as platforms to identify and characterize pro-metastatic oncogenes and signaling effectors in solid tumors.


Dr. Chen has extensive publications in major peer-reviewed journals such as Science Signaling, Cancer Cell, Journal of Clinical Investigation, PNAS and Blood. 

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