Get to Know 2016 Bioconjugate Chemistry Lecturer Award Winner Xiaoyuan Chen

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2016 marks the first year of the Bioconjugate Chemistry Lecturer Award. The inaugural award goes to Dr. Xiaoyuan (Shawn) Chen, the Senior Investigator and Chief of the Laboratory of Molecular Imaging and Nanomedicine at the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, NIH.

“It’s really an honor to be acknowledged as the first recipient of the Bioconjugate Chemistry Lecturer Award. Bioconjugate chemistry is an exciting field, showing great promise for the future of biomedicine. I am pleased to have had our work in molecular imaging and nanomedicine highlighted through this award by the American Chemical Society and Bioconjugate Chemistry.” says Chen.

Chen has made extensive contributions at the interface between chemistry, biology, and medicine, which have helped define the field of nanomedicine. He has published more than 500 peer-reviewed papers and numerous books. View Chen’s recent publications in Bioconjugate Chemistry.

Chen’s current research interests include the development of a molecular imaging toolbox for to improve the understanding of biology, early diagnosis of disease, monitoring therapy response, and guiding drug discovery/development. His lab puts special emphasis on high-sensitivity nanosensors for biomarker detection and theranostic nanomedicine for imaging, gene and drug delivery, and monitoring of treatment.

Medicine was not always the focus of Chen’s research. In fact, his graduate work and first postdoc research efforts were mainly focused on coordination chemistry and crystallography. At one ACS National Meeting, however, he was inspired by Prof. Michael J. Welch’s lecture on radiopharmaceuticals. He was fascinated by how a chemist can contribute to the medical arena and soon decided to join Welch’s lab for a second postdoc before becoming a faculty member in radiology. He recalls the incident as the turning point that shaped his research career in bioconjugate chemistry and molecular imaging.

Despite his professional success, Chen is a humble, down-to-earth colleague to many in his lab. Besides chemistry, he also loves calligraphy and badminton. While the former is a quiet art that demands patience, the latter requires high levels of strength and endurance.

To learn more about Chen and take a peek into his lab, watch this short video as he talks about his research and the unique research environment at the National Institutes of Health.

The Bioconjugate Chemistry Lecturer Award will be presented at the Fall ACS National Meeting in Philadelphia on Tuesday, August 23. As part of the Bioconjugate Chemistry Lecturer Symposium, Chen will be giving a presentation on albumin-based bioconjugates for diagnosis and precision therapy during the meeting from 10:30 a.m. until 11:20 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug 23.

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