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Yuhchyau Chen, MD, PhD

Richard T. Bell Endowed Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology
University of Rochester Medical Center

A highly respected and accomplished clinician with expertise in lung and head and neck cancers, Chen has an extensive history in clinical and translational research, with a focus on radiosensitization, radiation biomarkers and radiation effects on normal tissue. She pioneered the schedule-dependent, pulsed paclitaxel radiosensitizing chemoradiation treatment, a lower toxicity option for inoperable lung cancer and was the first to discover the inflammatory cytokines Interleukin 6 and Interleukin 1, cell-signaling protein molecules, as indicators of radiation lung injury in post-treatment cancer patients. Dr. Chen has conducted many clinical trials and published outcomes of clinical research aimed to reduce radiation side effects for head & neck cancer.

Chen was also a project leader of a five-year, NIH/NIAID center grant to conduct research on radiation bone marrow genotoxicity. That research led to a federal contract with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to develop drugs to treat radiation-induced bone marrow injury.

Under BARDA research funding period, Dr. Chen and colleagues at Wilmot Cancer Institute investigated agents that will improve outcomes for those who received total body irradiation for stem cell transplant. She remains active in her interests in translational drug development in radiosensitization, radioprotection, and in experimental therapeutics for radiation injury.

After earning a bachelor of science degree from the highly prestigious National Taiwan University, Chen received the doctor of philosophy degree in experimental pathology from the University of Washington, where she also earned her medical degree. She subsequently completed an internship in Internal Medicine at Virginia Mason Hospital, in Seattle, before concurrently completing residency and fellowship requirements at Massachusetts General Hospital and the Harvard University School of Medicine in Boston.