Jun Chen, MD

Richard K. Mellon Professor of Neurology


  • Director, Pittsburgh Institute of Brain Disorders & Recovery
  • Director, Center of Cerebrovascular Disease Research

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Chen’s laboratory focuses on preclinical and translational neuroscience research, with current emphasis on: 1) the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying neuronal degeneration and regeneration in models of cerebral ischemia or traumatic brain injury; 2) the role of endogenous neuroprotection and the underlying mechanisms; 3) the role and mechanism of immunological responses in ischemic or traumatic brain injury and neurological recovery; and 4) the role and mechanism of white matter injury and repair after stroke or traumatic brain injury. Dr. Chen has published 200 peer-reviewed papers with 20,000 citations and has an h-index of 80. He has edited or co-edited 5 books.

Education & Training

  • Post-Doctorate, University of California at San Francisco, Neurology & Neurosurgery
  • Resident, Beijing Neurosurgical Institute & Tiantan Hospital, Neurosurgery
  • Resident, Beijing Hospital, Neurology & Surgery
  • MD, Shanghai Medical University, Medicine

Specialized Areas of Clinical, Research and/or Educational Interests

  • Research: Stroke; Traumatic Brain Injury; Parkinson’s disease; Aging; Neuroinflammation
  • Clinical: Translational Stroke Research
  • Education: Research Training; The Neuroscience Graduate Program Training Faculty; The Medical Scientist Training Program Faculty

Professional Organization Membership

  • Stroke Steering Committee, American Heart Association
  • Elected Member, Board of Directors, International Society of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism
  • NIH Study Sections (BDCN, CDIN, NOMD, NRSA, BINP)
  • Veterans Administration Promotion & RCS Review Committee
  • Society for Neuroscience

Honors & Awards

  • Established Investigator Award, American Heart Association
  • Elected Fellow, American Heart Association
  • Thomas Willis Award, American Heart Association
  • Research Career Scientist Award, Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Senior Research Career Scientist Award, Department of Veterans Affairs

Selected Recent Publications

Shi Y, Jiang X, Zhang L, Pu H, Hu X, Zhang W, Cai W, Gao Y, Leak RK, Keep RF, Bennett MV, Chen J. Endothelium-targeted overexpression of heat shock protein 27 ameliorates blood-brain barrier disruption after ischemic brain injury. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017 Feb 14;114(7):E1243-E1252. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1621174114. Epub 2017 Jan 30. PMID: 28137866; PMCID: PMC5320958.

Hu X, Leak RK, Thomson AW, Yu F, Xia Y, Wechsler LR, Chen J. Harnessing the power of dynamic immune responses in CNS disorders: The promise and limitations of immune cell-based therapies. Nat Rev Neurol. 2018,14(9):559-568.

Xia Y, Pu H, Leak RK, Shi Y, Mu H, Hu X, Lu Z, Foley LM, Hitchens TK, Dixon CE, Bennett MVL, Chen J. Tissue plasminogen activator promotes white matter integrity and functional recovery in a murine model of traumatic brain injury. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018 Sep 25;115(39):E9230-E9238. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1810693115. Epub 2018 Sep 10. PMID: 30201709; PMCID: PMC6166834.

Pu H, Shi Y, Zhang L, Lu Z, Ye Q, Leak RK, Xu F, Ma S, Mu H, Wei Z, Xu N, Xia Y, Hu X, Hitchens TK, Bennett MVL, Chen J. Protease-independent action of tissue plasminogen activator in brain plasticity and neurological recovery after ischemic stroke. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2019 Apr 30;116(18):9115-9124. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1821979116. Epub 2019 Apr 17. PMID: 30996120; PMCID: PMC6500126.

Cai W, Dai X, Chen J, Zhao J, Xu M, Zhang L, Yang B, Zhang W, Rocha M, Nakao T, Kofler J, Shi Y, Stetler RA, Hu X, Chen J. STAT6/Arg1 promotes microglia/macrophage efferocytosis and inflammation resolution in stroke mice. JCI Insight. 2019 Oct 17;4(20):e131355. doi: 10.1172/jci.insight.131355. PMID: 31619589; PMCID: PMC6824303.