HYBRID EVENT: You can participate in person at Madrid, Spain or Virtually from your home or work.

5th Edition of Cardiology World Conference

September 5-7, 2024 | Madrid, Spain

September 05 -07, 2024 | Madrid, Spain
Cardio 2024

Kaifu Chen

Kaifu Chen, Speaker at Cardiology Conferences
Cardiology Department, Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, MA, USA, United States
Title : System methods to define master regulator of cell identity in development and diseases


A cell type is determined by the network function of its cell identity genes, including master transcription factors that govern the expression status of this network. Cell identity transition is fundamental in normal differentiation and development, whereas a cell that loses its normal identity may cause disease including cancers. Targeting the driver genes for an abnormal cell identity holds great promise for new therapy. However, our understanding of cell identity regulators is incomplete. Integrating over >10,000 genomic and epigenomic profiles, we uncovered that cell identity genes as a unique group are distinct from other genes in the mechanisms to regulate their expression. These include epigenetic mechanisms from the regulation of transcription by chromatin modifications to the post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression by RNA modifications. These discoveries laid the foundation for developing novel machine-learning techniques, which utilize expression regulation mechanisms for the systematic identification of driver genes for normal cell differentiation. By applying these techniques to endothelial cells, we successfully recaptured reported endothelial lineage factors. The techniques further revealed new endothelial lineage regulators, which were experimentally verified as required for maintaining normal endothelial cell identity, the differentiation from iPSCs to endothelial lineage, and the development of blood vessels. The lineage regulators identified by our new techniques will lead to new therapeutic targets and diagnostic markers and thus, will benefit numerous patients.

Audience Take Away:

  • Epigenetic regulation mechanism at cell identity genes
  • Artificial intelligence techniques to uncover cell identity genes
  • Cell identity regulation in cell differentiation and tissue development
  • Role of MECOM in endothelial cell identity regulation and cardiovascular diseases


Dr. Chen is a computational biologist interested in computational modeling of cell identity regulation. He received Ph.D. degree from the renowned Beijing Institute of Genomics. Thereafter, he joined the Dan L Duncan Cancer Center at Baylor College of Medicine as a postdoctoral fellow. Dr. Chen started his bioinformatics lab as an Assistant Professor at the Cornell University Weill Cornell Medical College at Houston Methodist Hospital Research Institute, where he further became an Associate Professor and was designated as the founding Director to develop a Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology. Dr. Chen is currently an Associate Professor at the Harvard Medical School at Boston Children’s Hospital.