PHA Proof of Concept Research Grant Winner 2013

Jiwang Chen

Jiwang Chen, PhD

Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, Allergy and Sleep
University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago
Title: "Role of IL7/IL7R in the Pathogenesis of Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension"
Term: December 1, 2013- November 30, 2014

Summary of Research Project:

Dr. Chen's project will expand upon his preliminary findings that a) some PH patients have higher levels of a protein called IL7 than non-patients and b) mice that are engineered so that they do not express IL7 receptor are protected against hypoxia-mediated PH. First, he will collect samples from patients to ensure that an elevated IL7 level is in fact a marker of PH. He will then study how IL7 is involved in PH pathogenesis, and explore if a therapy that blocks IL7 expression reverses PH in sick mice. If the animal treatment trials are successful, Dr. Chen believes that clinical trials that examine whether IL7 or IL7 receptor blockade is an effective therapy in human PH patients will be offered in the near future.

Curriculum Vitae

NAME: Jiwang Chen, PhD
POSITION TITLE: Assistant Professor (Research), University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Ill.


Institution/Location Degree Year(s) Field of Study
Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK PhD 2002 Genetics
Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China MS 1997 Molecular Biology
Anhui Normal University, Wuhu City, China BS 1994 Biological Education



Research Assistant Professor, September 2010-Present
Institute of Personalized Respiratory Medicine, University of Illinois at Chicago

Research Associate, April, 2004 – August 2010
Division of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine, Northwestern University       

Fellowship in Pulmonary Diseases and Acute Lung Injury, finished in August 31, 2010
Northwestern University Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine

Postdoc Research Fellow, January 2002-April 2004
College of Veterinary Medicine, Oklahoma State University



  1. Chen JW*, Feng G,  Guo Q, Wardenburg JB, Lin S, Inoshima I, Deaton R, Yuan JXJ, Garcia JGN, Machado RF, Otto M, Wunderink RG. 2013.  Transcriptional events during the recovery from MRSA lung infection: a mouse pneumonia model. Plos One. In press (doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0070176).
  2. Chen JW*, Feng G, Song Y, Wardenburg JB, Lin S, Inoshima I, Otto M, Wunderink RG. 2013.  Linezolid Exerts Greater Bacterial Clearance but No Modification of Host Lung Gene Expression Profiling: a Mouse MRSA Pneumonia Model. Plos One 8(6): e67994. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0067994.
  3. Yoo HY, Zeifman A, Ko EA, Smith KA, Chen JW, Machado, RF, Zhao YY, Minshall RD, Yuan JXJ. 2013. Optimization of isolated perfused/ventilated mouse lung to study hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction. Pulmonary Circulation, 3(2): 396-405.
  4. Lecuona E, Sun H, Chen JW, Trejo HE, Baker MA, Sznajder JI. 2013. Protein kinase A-I? regulates Na,K-ATPase endocytosis in alveolar epithelial cells exposed to high CO2 concentrations. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 48(5):626-34.
  5. Sysol JR, Kempf C, Helton MN, Dong Y, Zhu D, Sun H, Garcia JG, Machado RF, Chen JW*. 2013. Evaluation of a reliable and cost-effective method of DNA isolation for mouse genotyping. Biotechnol Lett. 35(4):509-14.
  6. Chen JW, Sysol JR, Chen T, Tang H, Berdyshev E, Gorshkova I, Zhou G, Dong Y, Fahs A, Raj JU,  Garcia JGN, Yuan JXJ, Natarajan V, Machado RF. 2013. Sphingosine Kinase 1 is Upregulated in Pulmonary Artery Smooth Muscle Cells (PASMCs) from Patients with Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension and Modulates Human PASMC Proliferation. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 187; 2013: A1766.
  7. Chen JW, Shahrara S, Yamaura A, Sysol JR, Tang H, Fahs A, Xie L, Dong Y, Song S, Garcia JGN,  Yuan JXJ, Machado RF.  Interleukin 7 (IL7) and IL7 Receptor (IL7R) Are Novel Mediators in the Development of Pulmonary Hypertension in Humans and Mice, Am J Respir Crit Care Med 187; 2013: A5399.
  8. Zhuang QY, Wang SC, Wu ML, Liu S, Jiang WM, Hou GY, Li JP, Wang KC, Yu JM, Chen JM, Chen JW. 2013. Epidemiological and risk analysis of the H7N9 subtype influenza outbreak in China at its early stage. Chinese Science Bulletin. doi: 10.1007/s11434-013-5880-5.
  9. Chen JW*, 2012. CFTR modulates acute lung injury: evidence from a genetic association study. Critical Care Medicine. 40(11):3101-2.
  10. Eneling K, Chen JW, Welch LC, Takemori H, Sznajder JI, Bertorello AM. 2011. Salt-inducible kinase 1 is present in lung alveolar epithelial cells and regulates active sodium transport. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 409(1):28-33.
  11. Chen JW*, Bruns A, Donnelly H, Wunderink RG, 2010. Comparative in vitro stimulation study between fresh whole blood, fresh and frozen peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Journal of Immunological Methods 357(1-2):33-7.
  12. Lecuona E, Minin A, Trejo HE, Chen JW, Comellas AP, Sun H, Grillo D, Nekrasova OE, Welch L, Szleifer I,  Gelfand V, and Sznajder JI, 2009. Myosin Va restrains Na,K-ATPase-containing vesicles traffic in alveolar epithelial cells. Journal of Cell Science. 122(Pt 21):3915-22.
  13. Chen JW, Lecuona E, Welch L, Briva A, Szajder JI. 2008. Role of carbonic anhydrase II in alveolar fluid reabsorption during hypercapnia. Am. J. Respir. Mol. Cell. Biol. 38(1):32-7.
  14. Vadász I, Dada LA, Briva A, Trejo HE, Welch LC, Chen JW, Tóth PT, Lecuona E, Witters LA, Schumacker PT, Chandel NS, Seeger W, Sznajder JI. 2008. AMP-activated protein kinase regulates CO2-induced alveolar epithelial dysfunction in rats and human cells by promoting Na,K-ATPase endocytosis. J Clin Invest. 118(2):752-62.
  15. Comellas AP, Briva A, Dada L, Butti M, Trejo H, Azzam Z, Litvan J, Chen JW, Lecuona E, Pesce L, Yanagisawa M, and Sznajder JI. 2008. Endothelin-1 impairs alveolar epithelial function via endothelial ET-B receptor.  Am. J. Respir. Crit. Care Med. 179(2):113-22.
  16. Chen Z, Chintagari NR, Guo Y, Bhaskaran M, Chen JW, Gao L, Jin N, Weng T, Liu L. 2007. Gene expression of rat alveolar type II cells during hyperoxia exposure and early recovery. Free Radic Biol Med. 43(4):628-42.
  17. Chen JW, Chen ZM, Chintagari NR, Bhaskaran M, Jin N, Narasaraju TA, Liu L, 2006. Alveolar type I cells protect lung epithelium from oxidative injury. J. Physiol., 572: 625-638.
  18. Chen ZM#, Chen JW#, Weng T, Jin N and Liu L, 2006. Identification of rat lung - prominent genes by a parallel DNA microarray hybridization. BMC Genomics. 13(7):47. (#contribute equally)
  19. Azzam Z, Adir Y, Welch L, Chen JW, Winaver J, Factor P, Krivoy N, Hoffman A, Szajder JI,  Abassin Z. 2006. Alveolar fluid reabsorption is increased in rats with compensated heart failure. Am. J. Respir. Mol. Cell. Biol. 291(5):L1094-100.
  20. Chintagar NR, Jin N, Wang P, Narasaraju TA, Chen JW and Liu L, 2006.  Effect of cholesterol depletion on exocytosis of alveolar type II cells. Am. J. Respir. Mol. Cell. Biol. 34(6):677-87.
  21. Narasaraju TA, Chen H, Weng T, Bhaskaran M, Jin N, Chen Z, Chen JW, Chinoy M and Liu L, 2006. Expression profile of IGF system during lung injury and recovery in rats exposed to hyperoxia – a possible role of IGF-1 in alveolar epithelial cell proliferation and differentiation. J. Cell Biochem. 97(5):984-98.
  22. Jin N, Narasaraju T, Kolliputi N, Chen JW, and Liu L, 2005. Differential Expression of GABA(A) Receptor pi Subunit in Cultured Rat Alveolar Epithelial Cells. Cell Tissue Res. 321:173-183.
  23. Chen JW, Chen ZM, Narasaraju TA, Jin N and Liu L, 2004. Isolation of highly pure alveolar epithelial type I and type II cells from rat lungs. Lab Invest. 84:727-735.
  24. Chen Z, Jin N, Narasaraju TA, Chen JW, McFarland LR, Scott M and Liu L, 2004. Identification of two novel markers for alveolar epithelial type I and type II cells. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 319: 774-780.


  • 2003: Williams Outstanding PhD Thesis Award, Oklahoma State University
  • 2007: Travel Award of ATS International Conference in San Francisco
  • 2013: Travel Award of CSCTR Conference in Chicago
  • 2013: Achievement Award, Department of Medicine, University of Illinois at Chicago


  • American Thoracic Society

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