Chu Chen, Ph.D.



Cellular and Integrative Physiology

Chu Chen, Ph.D.


Personal Statement:



B.S., Nanjing University, Nanjing, China
M.S., Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, China
Ph.D., Tulane University, New Orleans
Postdoctoral fellow, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans


The research programs in Dr. Chen’s laboratory have been focusing on neuroinflammation in health and disease. Neuroinflammation has been implicated in many brain disorders/diseases, including epilepsy, traumatic brain injury (TBI), stroke, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s disease (PD), and Alzheimer’s disease (AD).  However, our understanding of the mechanisms underlying neuroinflammation in the pathogeneses and neuropathology of neurodegenerative diseases is still limited.  Importantly, there are no effective therapies currently available to prevent development of neurodegenerative diseases or to halt disease progression.  Research in Dr. Chen’s laboratory is in exploring cellular, molecular, and epigenetic mechanisms responsible for pathogenesis and neuropathology of AD and TBI-caused AD-like neuropathology and in identifying novel therapeutic targets for Alzheimer’s disease and TBI-induced neurodegenerative disease.

Lab Members

Lab Photos

Lab Members:
Jian Zhang
Laboratory Manager and Senior Research Associate
Dexiao Zhu, M.D.Dexiao Zhu, M.D.
Fei Gao, Ph.D.Fei Gao, Ph.D.
Research Scientist
Mei Hu, Ph.D.Mei Hu, Ph.D.
Research Scientist
Jianlu Lyu, PhD
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Anastassia Nelson
Research Associate


  1. Chen C. (2023) Inhibiting degradation of 2-arachidonoylglycerol as a therapeutic strategy for neurodegenerative diseases. Pharmacology & Therapeutics 244:108394. PMID: 36966972
  2. Zhu D, Zhang J, Hashem J, Gao F and Chen C. (2023) Inhibition of 2-arachidonoylglycerol degradation enhances glial immunity by single-cell transcriptomic analysis. Journal of Neuroinflammation  20:17. PMID: 36717883
  3. Chen C. (2023) Endocannabinoid control of neuroinflammation in traumatic brain injury by monoacylglycerol lipase in astrocytes. Neural Regeneration Research 18: 1023-1024.  PMID: 36254984
  4. Zhu D, Zhang J, Gao F, Hu M, Hashem J and Chen C. (2023) Augmentation of 2-arachidonoylglycerol signaling in astrocytes maintains synaptic functionality by regulation of miRNA-30b. Experimental Neurology 361:114292. PMID: 36481187
  5. Gao F, Hu M, Zhang J, Hashem J and Chen C. (2022) TDP-43 drives synaptic and cognitive deteriorations following traumatic brain injury. Acta Neuropathologica 144:187-210. PMID: 35713704
  6. Hu M, Zhu D, Zhang J, Gao F, Hashem J, Kingsley P, Marnett LJ, Mackie K and Chen C. (2022) Enhancing endocannabinoid signaling in astrocytes promotes recovery from traumatic brain injury.  Brain 145 (1): 179-193. PMID: 35136958 (Commentary in the issue: and covered by News Media)
  7. Hashem J, Hu M, Zhang J, Gao F, and Chen C. (2021) Inhibition of 2-arachidonoylglycerol metabolism alleviates neuropathology and improves cognitive function in a tau mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease.  Molecular Neurobiology 58:4122-4133. PMID: 33939165
  8. Song Y, Hu M, Zhang J, Teng Z and Chen C. (2019) A novel mechanism of synaptic and cognitive impairments mediated via microRNA-30b in Alzheimer’s disease. EBioMedicine 39:409-421 PMID: 30522932 (Highlighted in this issue)
  9. Qian Q, Zhang J, Bao W, Zheng T, Zhou D, Zhang X, Pan H, Zhang H, He X, Sun B, Luo B, Chen C and Peng G. (2019) Downregulated expression of microRNA-338-5p contributes to neuropathology in Alzheimer’s disease. FASEB Journal 33:4406-4417. PMID: 30576233