Dr. Chen obtained a Ph.D. in Cell Biology, Virology and Molecular Biology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. After postdoctoral training in Cell and Developmental Biology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Cornell University Medical College, Dr. Chen joined the faculty of the department of Dermatology at Northwestern University Medical School, followed by an appointment at the University of Southern California where she is currently Professor and Director of USC Laboratories for Investigative Dermatology. Dr. Chen’s research has focused on elucidating the structure and function of type VII (anchoring fibril) collagen and developing various therapeutic approaches including cell therapy, small molecule-based drug therapy, protein therapy and gene therapy for the treatment of recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (RDEB). Her current research plans are 1) to evaluate the effects of recombinant type VII collagen (rC7) on skin wounds in normal and diabetic pigs. This is because it is known that pigskin is the most similar of all species to human skin. This will provide essential data for moving rC7 from the laboratory bench to the patient’s bedside; 2) To determine the signaling pathway(s) responsible for RDEB scarring and identify the mechanism(s) by which rC7 inhibits skin wound scar formation; this work may lead to insights into the pathology of scars and identifiable targets for agents to prevent skin scarring; 3) To evaluate aminoglycoside-based drug therapy for RDEB in human patients; and 4) To identify the changes in RDEB-associated squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) at the cellular and molecular levels and elucidate signaling pathways leading to onset of RDEB SCC that may provide targets for anti-SCC drug development. All of these studies have strong translational potential and will hopefully advance future therapies for patients with RDEB, patients with devastating scarring conditions (burn victims, RDEB patients, keloids, chronic graft-versus-host disease, scleroderma, and others), and patients with chronic non-healing wounds (diabetic ulcers, decubitus ulcers and stasis dermatitis ulcers). The entirety of her work will generate novel insights into cutaneous biology and has great translational potential towards bringing rC7 “from the laboratory bench to the bedside of patients”. Our research programs have been continuously supported by NIH grants for the last twenty years.