|Chun-Hong Chen received his award at the Recent Advances in Pathogenic Human Viruses special symposium held July 24 – 26 in Guangzhou, China. The meeting was co-sponsored by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and attended by Journal of Biological Chemistry Editor-in-Chief Marty Fedor and Associate Editor Charles Samuel. Photo courtesy of Wen-Ling Chen.
Targeting carriers of infectious tropical disease
Chun-Hong Chen, an assistant investigator at the National Health Research Institute in Taiwan, won a Journal of Biological Chemistry/Herbert Tabor Young Investigator Award for his work with engineering disease-refractory mosquitoes to prevent transmission of dengue fever.
A native of Pingtun county, Taiwan, Chen applied a microRNA-based RNAi system to knock down multiple dengue virus genomes in the yellow fever mosquito Aedes aegypti.
“Although there are several steps to go, if we can combine the resistant mosquito with a gene drive system, we will have an alternative way to fight against such vector-borne disease,” Chen says.
Chen earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in plant virology at National Taiwan University and his Ph.D. at National Yang-Ming University, where he worked with Soo-Chen Cheng on RNA splicing.
His postdoctoral training was completed under the direction of Bruce Hay at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. Together, Hay and Chen created a gene drive system for population replacement in a Drosophila model. In 2009, Chen returned to his homeland and joined the National Health Research Institutes in Zhunan Town.
Angela Hopp (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a science writer and handles public relations for ASBMB.