Ming Chen, Ph.D.
Associate Professor in Pathology
Principle Investigator
Dr. Ming Chen received his undergraduate training at the East China Normal University, where he also completed a Master’s degree in Biology. He then obtained his PhD in Pathology at the University of Rochester, where he conducted his graduate work in the laboratory of Shuyuan Yeh on the role of estrogens and estrogen receptors in normal and neoplastic prostate development. Ming then joined the laboratory of Pier Paolo Pandolfi at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School as a research fellow, where he mainly focused on the use of mouse models to study the molecular and genetic events that cooperate with PTEN loss in driving metastatic disease. Ming joined the faculty of Duke Department of Pathology as an Assistant Professor in 2018 and was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor in 2022, with a continued interest in mechanisms of metastasis and translating new insights into therapies to combat human cancer.




Mu-En Wang, Ph.D.
Research Scientist
Mu-En received a BSc from the Department of Animal Science and Technology, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan. After that, he earned his PhD degree under the supervision of Dr. Chih-Hsien Chiu, for his study on the role of dietary medium-chain fatty acids in hepatic autophagy regulations and Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis progression. During his graduate study, Mu-En also completed his visiting research in Dr. Paul Yen’s Lab in Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore, to investigate the effects of protein acetylation and hepatic autophagy regulations. In the Chen lab, Mu-En is studying the mechanisms of ferroptosis and its therapeutic potential in the treatment of aggressive prostate cancer.




Ji-Hoon (Jay) Kim, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow
Jay earned his BSc in Animal Biotechnology with a minor in Life Sciences from Sahmyook University, Seoul, South Korea. His undergraduate research was focused on developmental biology and microbiology. He then pursued advanced studies at School of Dentistry, Seoul National University, where he received both his MSc and PhD degrees in Dental Science, majoring in Oral Pathology and Cancer Biology, under the mentorship of Prof. Hye-Jung Yoon and Prof. Sung-Dae Cho. Jay utilized both in vitro assays and in vivo xenograft mouse models of head and neck cancer to explore the anticancer properties and apoptosis mechanisms of natural products and their bioactive compounds, aiming to develop novel therapeutic strategies and improve the precision of cancer diagnostics. Additionally, he was involved in utilizing patient-derived samples to identify molecular markers that hold promise for advancing the treatment of head and neck cancers. In the Chen lab, Jay is focusing on the role of the DNA damage response in prostate cancer etiology and progression.




Wei-Ling Tu, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow
Wei-Ling completed her BSc from the Department of Biotechnology at the National Kaohsiung Normal University in Taiwan. She subsequently obtained both her MSc and Ph.D. degrees from the Department of Life Sciences and Institute of Genome Sciences at the National Yang-Ming University under the mentorship of Prof. Chun-Ming Chen. Using mice and organoids as model systems, Wei-Ling has dedicated her previous research to investigating the cells-of-origin and potential therapeutic strategies of various cancer types, including liver and ovary. She also conducted investigations into the role of Dph1 in liver tumorigenesis. In the Chen lab, Wei-Ling’s primary focus is on understanding and targeting CDK12-mutant advanced prostate cancer. 




Changxin Wan
Graduate Student
Changxin received his BSc and MSc from Tongji University in Shanghai, China. During his master’s training, he worked on gene cis-regulation resources and tools including Cistrome Data Browser, Cistrome DB Toolkit, Cistrome-GO, Lisa and MAESTRO under the supervision of Dr. Shirley Liu. He is now a PhD candidate in Dr. Zhicheng (Jason) Ji’s lab focusing on single-cell multiomics data analysis and algorithm development. In the Chen lab, Changxin is studying the mechanisms of prostate cancer metastasis using single-cell multiome data.




Jinjin Wu
Graduate Student
Jinjin received her BSc degree in environmental sciences at the Peking University, China. She then completed her MSc in public health at the Columbia University. She worked as a research assistant in Yiping Li’s lab at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where she focused on the molecular mechanisms underlying osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Her current research interest in the Chen Lab is to investigate the role of large chromosomal deletions in prostate tumorigenesis.




Alyssa Bawcom
Research Technician II
Alyssa received her BSc in Psychology and minor in Forensic Studies from the University of West Florida. In addition to assisting with the research in the Chen Lab, she is currently a graduate student working towards her MSc in Psychology with Arizona State University.






Yi Lu
Research Associate/Lab Manager
Yi received her undergraduate degree in Biology from the East China Normal University. She had then been a faculty member teaching Science and Math at Shanghai Changzheng Secondary School for three years before she earned her Master’s degree in applied statistics from the Rochester Institute of Technology.





Spencer Lamb
Grants and Contracts Manager
Spencer graduated from Appalachian State University in May of 2018 and started as a Fellow in the Duke Office of Research Administration the following July. After completing his fellowship, Spencer joined the Research Administration Support Resource office at Duke in April of 2019 where he supported the Department of Pathology as a Grants and Contracts Administrator. Spencer became a Grants and Contracts Manager in February of 2022. In this role, he supports the Departments of Pathology and Dermatology, as well as the Marcus Center for Cellular Cures. In his free time, Spencer has travelled to 11 countries (and counting), he enjoys going on hikes with his dog, Boone, and he is an avid jigsaw puzzler.




Lab Alumni

Postdoctoral Associates
Meredith Davis —
Eden Jacob — Duke Department of Ophthalmology, Postdoctoral Fellow
Blake Zhang — Senior Scientist, Sanofi

Graduate Students
Zoe Loh — Postdoctoral Fellow, NC State College of Veterinary Medicine

Visiting Scholars
Jiaqi Chen — Physician at The First Affiliated Hospital of Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an, China.
Yubin Wang — Associate Chief Physician in the Dept. of Urology at Shanxi Provincial People’s Hospital, The Affiliated People’s Hospital of Shanxi Medical University, Shanxi, China.
Fengqi Yan — PhD student at the Fourth Military Medical University in Xi’an, China.