Eugene Chen, M.D., Ph.D.

Eugene Chen, M.D., Ph.D.

Director, CAMTraST
Frederick Huetwell Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine
Vice-Chair for Basic and Translational Research, Cardiac Surgery


Dr. Eugene Chen is the endowed Frederick Huetwell Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School. The long-term goal of Dr. Chen’s research program in vascular medicine is elucidating the molecular basis of obesity- and diabetes-induced cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and stroke, and on developing new drugs and technologies to study and treat diabetes and CVD. 

Dr. Chen’s laboratory has made significant contributions to our understanding of the role of PPAR activation as a determinant of vascular cell gene expression and cellular function. His lab’s work was also among the first to define the role of PPAR activation in the cardiovascular system.

The discovery of high affinity physiological PPAR ligands, nitro-fatty acids advances our understanding of endogenous PPAR modulation and provides novel therapeutic strategies for treating obesity/diabetes and CVD. Dr. Chen was the first to clone the exendin-4 (BYETTA, the drug name for Exendin-4) gene in 1995.

Recently, Dr. Chen was named as the Director of the Center for Advanced Models for Translational Sciences and Therapeutics and the Vice Chair for Basic and Translational Research in the Department of Cardiac Surgery within the University of Michigan Medical School.

CAMTraST researchers are among the first in the world to produce gene knockout and knockin transgenic animals in non-rodent species (e.g. rabbits and pigs) using advanced technologies such as Zinc Finger Nuclease (ZFN), Transcription Activator-Like Effector Nuclease (TALEN), CRISPR/Cas9, and Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer (SCNT).

We also have the technology platform for Embryonic Stem Cells (ESC) and Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSC).