Welcome to the Chen Lab

Our laboratory is interested in the structure and function of molecular complexes that control cell signaling and gene expression. We use a multi-disciplinary approach that combines structural biology, chemical biology, biochemistry/cell biology, and computational biology/bioinformatics to study the molecular basis of signal transduction and transcription regulation.


Research Highlight

Our research has been supported in part by NIH (NIGMS, NIAID, NHLB), the Damon Runyon-Walter Winchell Foundation, and the W.M. Keck foundation. Grants.



Congratulations to Shuxing on the structural studies of the nAChR/neurotoxin complex, two papers from this study, done in collaboration with Dr. Steven Sine's lab in Mayo clinic, have just been accepted for publication by Biochemical Journal.


Congratulations to Yongheng on the p53/BAX complex study, which has been accepted for publication by Nucleic Acids Research. Congratulations also to our collaborators Dr. Peter Qin and Dr. Remo Rohs and their colleagues, who also contributed to this work.


Congratulations to Dr. Aidong Han, a major study from his independent lab: "Mechanistic Insights Revealed by the Crystal Structure of a Histidine Kinase with Signal Transducer and Sensor Domains", has just been accepted for publication by PLOS Biology.

Recent publications:

Sun Huang, Shu-Xing Li, Nina Bren, Kevin Cheng, Ryan Gomoto, Lin Chen and Steven M. Sine "Complex between alpha-bungarotoxin and an alpha7 nicotinic receptor ligand binding domain chimera" Biochemical Journal, accepted, 2013

Steven M. Sine, Sun Huang, Shu-Xing Li, Corrie J. B. daCosta and Lin Chen "Inter-residue coupling contributes to high affinity, subtype selective binding of alpha-bungarotoxin to nicotinic receptors" Biochemical Journal, accepted, 2013

Chen, Yongheng; Zhang, Xiaojun; Dantas Machado, Ana Carolina; Ding, Yuan; Chen, Zhuchu; Qin, Peter; Rohs, Remo; Chen, Lin "Structure of p53 binding to the BAX response element reveals DNA unwinding and compression to accommodate base-pair insertion" Nucleic Acids Research, accepted, 2013

Chen Wang, Jiayan Sang, Jiawei Wang, Mingyan Su, Jennifer S Downey, Qinggan Wu, Shida Wang, Yongfei Cai, Xiaozheng Xu, Jun Wu, Dilani B Senadheera, Dennis G Cvitkovitch, Lin Chen, Steven D Goodman, Aidong Han "Mechanistic Insights Revealed by the Crystal Structure of a Histidine Kinase with Signal Transducer and Sensor Domains" PLoS biology, accepted. 2013

Yongheng Chen, Darren Bates, Raja Dey, Po-Han Chen, Ana Carolina Dentas Machado, Ite A Laird-Offringa, Remo Rohs, Lin Chen " DNA binding by GATA transcription factor suggests mechanisms of DNA looping and long-range gene regulation", Cell Reports. 2, 1197-1206, 2012

Reza Kalhor, Harianto Tjong, Nimanthi Jayathilaka, Frank Alber1, and Lin Chen "Genome architectures revealed by tethered chromosome conformation capture and population-based modeling" Nature Biotechnology, 30, 90-98, 2012