James Chi-Ping Chen

James Chi-Ping Chen


Associate Research Scientist, Department of Dermatology, Columbia University

James Chen is a postdoctoral research fellow (Medical Genetics) jointly appointed in the labs of Andrea Califano (Systems Biology) and Angela Christiano (Genetics and Development). He recently completed his thesis work in the Califano Lab, where he designed and implemented an algorithm to infer the causal genetic driver mutations of glioblastoma using integrated patient-matched genomic (CNVs, methylation, SNPs), gene expression, and reverse-engineered transcriptional network data. 

Dr. Chen is currently developing the algorithm for distribution and is expanding its application for the study of other cancers, as well as complex genetic diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, he is studying autoimmune response in the context of alopecia areata, a genetic condition that causes hair loss. His approach involves looking at this condition as a regulatory genetic disease and characterizing the genetic determinants that mediate “immune privilege” in tissues — that is, the molecular state that prevents a host’s immune system from targeting its own tissues — a state that is lost in autoimmune disease.

Education History
PhD, Columbia University 
Systems Biology and Genetics
BS, Case Western Reserve University


Chen JC, Alvarez MJ, Talos F, Dhruv H, Rieckhof GE, Iyer A, Diefes KL, Aldape K, Berens M, Shen MM, Califano A. Identification of causal genetic drivers of human disease through systems-level analysis of regulatory networks. Cell. 2014 Oct 9;159(2):402-14.

Higgins C, Chen JC, Cerise JE, Jahoda C, Christano AM. Microenvironmental reprogramming by three-dimensional culture enables dermal papilla cells to induce de novo human hair follicle growth. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Dec 3;110(49):19679-88.