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Jinghong Chen, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology

Jinghong Chen, Ph.D.

Jinghong Chen, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Internal Medicine

University of Texas Medical Branch
301 University Blvd.
Galveston, TX 77555-1083
Phone: 409.747.0678
Fax: 409.772.5841


Dr. Chen is currently an Assistant Professor in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology in the Department of Internal Medicine at The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. Dr. Chen earned her PhD degree in 1998 from the China Medical University, the Brain Research Institute. She then did seven years postdoctoral fellow and research scientist training at Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine, Pharmacy in MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and in Beijing Institute of Pharmacology & Toxicology prior to joining UTMB. Dr. Chen was also an Assistant Professor of Neuropharmacology at Neimeng National Medical University in China. Dr. Chen is a member of the International Association for Study of Pain and American Society of Neuroscience. She has been studying the mechanisms of neuropathic or visceral pain in inflammatory and functional G-I disorders for more than 15 years.

Research Interests

Dr. Chen's research interest is to investigate the neuronal targets and roles of neurotransmitters, ion channels and receptors in the nociceptive pathway of chronic visceral hyperalgesia associated with variety of gastrointestinal diseases, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease. Dr. Chen has established expertise in the mechanisms of visceral sensory neuron, analgesia, synaptic signal transduction with expertise in patch clamp methods and in vivo recordings from the DRG, spinal cord to cortex. Visceral hypersensitivity is an important component of Irritable Bowel Syndrome that is thought to be one of the major factors that contribute to the development of IBS symptoms. Visceral hypersensitivity in irritable bowel syndrome involves both abnormal afferent processing that includes both peripheral and central sensitization and psychological factors that modify both cortical processing of afferent input and enhance descending facilitation. Although sensitization of primary afferents contributes to visceral hypersensitivity, little is known about how sensitization of colon afferents is initiated and maintained, or the role of specific molecules expressed on sensory neurons in the development of and maintenance of visceral hypersensitivity.

Current study focus on the study interactions between the nervous system and viscera, with particular emphasis on the interface between pain, stress, emotion, and sexual factors underlying visceral disorders of irritable bowel disorder. The translational studies are trying to find out the differences in central stress circuit responsiveness between women with and without chronic pelvic visceral symptoms and in an animal model of chronic stress. Our long-term objective is to identify key molecular events responsible for the initiation and perpetuation of the sensitized state in IBS and to provide targets for new pharmacological approaches to the treatment of this syndrome. It is hoped that these studies will provide valuable insight into the potential therapeutic value of drugs in the IBD patient's pain management.

Selected Publications

  1. Mach CM, Chen JH, Mosley SA, Kurzrock R, Smith JA Evaluation of Liposomal curcumin cytochrome P450 metabolism. Anticancer Research, 2010, 3: 126-132.
  2. Weng HR, Chen JH, Pan ZZ. Glial glutamate transporter 1 regulates the spatial and temporal coding of glutamatergic synaptic transmission in spinal lamina II neurons. Neuroscience. 2007, 149(4): 898-907.
  3. Weng HR, Chen JH, Dougherty PM. Inhibition of glutamate uptake in the spinal cord induces mechanical hyperalgesia and increased responses of spinal dorsal horn neurons to peripheral afferent stimulation. Neuroscience, 2006, 138:4; 1351-1360.
  4. Cata JP, Weng HR, Chen JH, Dougherty PM. Altered discharges of spinal wide dynamic range neurons and down-regulation of glutamate transporter expression in rats with paclitaxel-induced hyperalgesia. Neuroscience. 2006; 138(1): 329-38.
  5. Chen JH, Liu Y, Gong ZH. Colitis pain model induced by colonic submucosal injection of bee venom in rats. Chin J Pharmacol & Toxicol, 2006, 20 (1): 71-75.
  6. Weng HR, Cata JP, Chen JH, Shaw AD, Dougherty PM. Spinal glial glutamate transporters downregulate in rats with taxol-induced hyperalgesia. Neurosci Lett. 2005 Sep 23; 386(1): 18-22.
  7. Chen JH, Weng HR, Dougherty PM. Sensitization of dorsal root reflexes in vitro and hyperalgesia in neonatal rats produced by capsaicin. Neuroscience. 2004; 126 (3): 743-51.
  8. Chen JH, Liu Y, Gong ZH. A new model of rat spinal DRG and dorsal horn neuron culture. Bulletin of the Academy of Military Medical Sciences, 2004, 28: 395-396.
  9. Chen JH, Liu Y, Gong ZH, Qin BY. Related neural mechanisms between visceral hyperalgesia and morphine tolerance. Chin J Pharmacol & Toxicol, 2002, 16 (5): 321-327.
  10. Chen JH, Liu Y, Gong ZH, Qin BY. Related neural mechanisms between visceral hyperalgesia and morphine tolerance. Chin J Pharmacol & Toxicol, 2002, 16 (5): 321-327.
  11. Chen JH, Teng GX. Electrophysiological and morphological properties of nociceptive neurons. Chinese Journal of Pain Medicine, 2000, 6: 53-55.
  12. Jinghong Chen, Teng GX. Characterization of Morphologies and Intracellular Responses of Somatosensory Cerebral Cortex Neurons to Noxious Visceral Stimulation. Brain Research. 1999, 846 (2): 243-256.
  13. Chen JH, Teng G X. Intracellular electrophysiological characteristics of visceral nociceptive neurons in cortex SI area of cats. Acta Physio Sinica, 1999, 51(1): 31~37.
  14. Chen JH, Teng GX. Electrophysiological and morphological characteristics of visceral nociceptive neurons in cortex SII area of cat. Acta Physio Sinica, 1999, 51(4): 344-349.
  15. Chen JH, Teng GX. Comparison of the membrane electrophysiological characteristics of the visceronociceptive and nor-nociceptive neurons in cortical SI area. Chinese science bulletin, 1998, 43(14): 1467~1471. (Editor's review "A new evidence of pain specific theory" for the paper).
  16. Chen JH and Teng GX. Sensation and conduction of visceral pain in central nervous system. Progress of Anatomical Sciences, 1998, 4 (2): 119-126.
  17. Chen JH, Teng G X. Membrane properties of the visceral nociceptive neurons in cortex. Acta Biophysica Sinica, 1998, 14 (2): 282~288.

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