Yvonne Y. Chen, Ph.D.



Boelter Hall 5531


  • Professor, Microbiology, Immunology & Molecular Genetics
  • Professor, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
  • Co-Director, Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center (JCCC) Tumor Immunology Program
  • Member Researcher, Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy
  • Member, Broad Stem Cell Research Center; Immunity, Microbes & Molecular Pathogenesis GPB Home Area; Molecular Pharmacology GPB Home Area,


Research Interests

The Chen Laboratory is focused on applying synthetic biology and biomolecular engineering techniques to develop robust cell-based therapies for otherwise intractable diseases. We are particularly interested in engineering multi-functional T cells that can accurately identify and effectively eliminate tumor cells, in part by overcoming the various defense mechanisms associated with cancers and their microenvironments. Bispecific chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T cells developed in our laboratory is being tested in the clinic, and current projects include the development of next-generation CAR-T cells with enhanced specificity, reduced toxicity, and the ability to overcome tumor-associated immunosuppression.



Dr. Yvonne Chen is a Professor of Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics at the University of California, Los Angeles. Prior to joining UCLA in 2013, Dr. Chen was a Junior Fellow in the Harvard Society of Fellows. She received her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Stanford University and her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology.  She performed postdoctoral research at the Seattle Children’s Research Institute and the Department of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School. The Chen lab’s work on engineering next-generation T-cell therapies for cancer has been recognized by the NIH Director’s Early Independence Award, the NSF CAREER Award, the Hellman Fellowship, the ACGT Young Investigator Award in Cell and Gene Therapy for Cancer, the Mark Foundation Emerging Leader Award, and the Cancer Research Institute Lloyd J. Old STAR Award. Dr. Chen is also a Member Researcher in the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy.



List of publications