Xu Chen, Ph.D.

​Principle investigator


Born into an academic family in southeast China, Xu developed a tremendous passion for science and art. She found biology, especially the nervous system, integrates the beauty of both. After graduate school, she decided to pursue a research career in neurodegenerative diseases, in particular, Alzheimer's disease and related dementia (ADRD). She aims to use interdisciplinary approaches to understand the disease from unique perspectives, and to uncover new therapeutic avenues.


Peking University, School of Life Sciences                                                                Jun 2006

B.S., Biology 

University of Wisconsin–Madison, Department of Genetics                                May 2012

Ph.D., Genetics


04/2012-07/2016                     Postdoctoral Fellow, Gladstone Institutes of Neurological Disease, San Francisco, CA

08/2016-12/2018                     Staff Scientist, Gladstone Institutes of Neurological Disease, San Francisco, CA

07/2017-10/2019                     Visiting Scholar, Department of Neurosciences, University of California, San Diego, CA

01/2020-                                    Assistant Professor, Department of Neurosciences, University of California, San Diego, CA

​Honors and Awards

2002                Gold medalist, 13th International Biology Olympia

2005                The International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience Fellowship

2010                DeLill Nasser Award for Professional Development in Genetics, Genetic Society of America

2016                 Awards for Excellence in Alzheimer’s Research, Alzheimer’s Association

2017                 Postdoctoral Award for Scientific Excellence, Gladstone Institutes

​2016-2018      Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00), National Institute on Aging 

Join The Team!

Postdoctoral fellows

Graduate students

Undergraduate students

We are seeking talented, creative, and highly motivated researchers at all stages of their careers:

  • Postdocs: We are actively recruiting post-doctoral fellows who have a strong interest and prior training in molecular biology, cell biology or neurobiology. To apply for a postdoctoral position, please send your CV with a statement of interests and three references to Dr. Chen.

  • Graduate students:  We are always seeking inspired, enthusiastic, and curious graduate students to join our group!​ For prospective graduate students interested in the lab, please see the Neuroscience Graduate Program to apply for the graduate program. If you are a UCSD graduate student looking for a lab, email Dr. Chen and we can set up a time to meet.

  • Undergraduate students: Outstanding and inquisitive undergraduate students are welcome in the lab. Please contact Dr. Chen with your prior experience, relevant coursework, and an estimate of how much time you plan to spend in lab (hours/week).

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© 2020 by Xu Chen Lab @ UCSD