Chen Lab

Bill Chen, PhD
Professor of Medicine
Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine

The overall interest of my lab is to uncover novel protein degradation pathways and develop therapeutics to target these pathways.

Chen Lab

Lab Focus

My lab focuses on identifying and studying E3 ligases that modulate the inflammatory cascade, mitochondria function/mitophagy, and DAMPs/inflammasome/necroptosis in order to develop novel therapeutics for various age-related diseases.

What question I’d like to answer

Can we develop a rapid, high throughput screening system to rapidly identify drugs for novel targets?
Faculty Bio

Following completion of his undergraduate degree in organic chemistry from Wuhan University in 2003, Bill attended the University of Iowa graduate program for biochemistry in 2004 and graduated in 2008. After a short post-doctoral training period, Bill was recruited in 2010 to the University of Pittsburgh as a Research Assistant Professor in the newly founded Acute Lung Injury (ALI) Center of Excellence within the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine (PACCM). Bill is currently a Professor of Medicine at University of Pittsburgh Aging Institute. He is the Director of the Small Molecule Therapeutic Center, and the Co-director of the Acute Lung Injury Center of Excellence within the Department of Medicine.

Read more: Department of Medicine Faculty Profile

Selected Publications

Coon TA, McKelvey AC, Lear T, Rajbhandari S, Dunn SR, Connelly W, Zhao JY, Han S, Liu Y, Weathington NM, McVerry BJ, Zhang Y, Chen BB. The proinflammatory role of HECTD2 in innate immunity and experimental lung injury. Sci Transl Med. 2015 Jul 8;7(295):295ra109. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aab3881. PMID: 26157031; PMCID: PMC4706383.

Lear T, McKelvey AC, Rajbhandari S, Dunn SR, Coon TA, Connelly W, Zhao JY, Kass DJ, Zhang Y, Liu Y, Chen BB. Ubiquitin E3 ligase FIEL1 regulates fibrotic lung injury through SUMO-E3 ligase PIAS4. J Exp Med. 2016 May 30;213(6):1029-46. doi: 10.1084/jem.20151229. Epub 2016 May 9. PMID: 27162139; PMCID: PMC4886359.

McKelvey AC, Lear TB, Dunn SR, Evankovich J, Londino JD, Bednash JS, Zhang Y, McVerry BJ, Liu Y, Chen BB. RING finger E3 ligase PPP1R11 regulates TLR2 signaling and innate immunity. Elife. 2016 Nov 2;5:e18496. doi: 10.7554/eLife.18496. PMID: 27805901; PMCID: PMC5092053.

Chen Y, Evankovich JW, Lear TB, Tuncer F, Kennerdell JR, Camarco DP, Shishido MS, Liu Y, Chen BB. A small molecule NRF2 activator BC-1901S ameliorates inflammation through DCAF1/NRF2 axis. Redox Biol. 2020 May;32:101485. doi: 10.1016/j.redox.2020.101485. Epub 2020 Mar 4. PMID: 32171724; PMCID: PMC7068124.

Chen Y, Lear TB, Evankovich JW, Larsen MB, Lin B, Alfaras I, Kennerdell JR, Salminen L, Camarco DP, Lockwood KC, Tuncer F, Liu J, Myerburg MM, McDyer JF, Liu Y, Finkel T, Chen BB. A high-throughput screen for TMPRSS2 expression identifies FDA-approved compounds that can limit SARS-CoV-2 entry. Nat Commun. 2021 Jun 23;12(1):3907. doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-24156-y. PMID: 34162861; PMCID: PMC8222394.

Current Lab Members
Aine Boudreau, Research Technician
Qing Cao, Graduate Student
Daniel Camarco, MS Research Specialist
John Evankovich, MD Assistant Professor
Travis Lear, PhD Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Beyza Tuncer, Undergraduate Student
Ferhan Tuncer, MD Laboratory Specialist
John Villandre, Research Technician
Research Support