Yvonne Chen

Assistant Professor, 5532-H Boelter Hall, (310) 825-2816, yvchen@ucla.edu

Yvonne Chen

Contact Information

Office: 5532-H Boelter Hall
Phone Number: (310) 825-2816

Research Website


  • B.S. Stanford University, 2004
  • Ph.D. California Institute of Technology, 2011
  • Postdoc, Harvard Medical School, 2013


  • National Science Foundation CAREER Award, 2016
  • Young Investigator Award in Cell and Gene Therapy for Cancer, Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy, 2016
  • Hellman Fellowship, 2015
  • NIH Director’s Early Independence Award, 2012
  • Harvard University William F. Milton Fund, 2012
  • Junior Fellowship, Harvard Society of Fellows, 2011-2014

Research Interests

  • Synthetic biology
  • Cell-based immunotherapy

Recent Papers

  • Zah, E., Lin, M., Silva-Benedict, A., Jensen, M.C., Chen, Y.Y. (2016). T Cells Expressing CD19/CD20 Bispecific Chimeric Antigen Receptors Prevent Antigen Escape by Malignant B Cells. Cancer Immunology Research, 4(6):498-508.
  • Ede, C., Chen, X., Lin, M., Chen, Y.Y. (2016). Quantitative analyses of core promoters enable precise engineering of regulated gene expression in mammalian cells. ACS Synthetic Biology, 5(5):395-404.
  • Chang, Z.L., Silver, P.A., Chen, Y.Y. (2015). Identification and selective expansion of functionally superior T cells expressing chimeric antigen receptors. Journal of Translational Medicine, 13:161.
  • Wei, K.Y., Chen, Y.Y., Smolke, C.D. (2013). A yeast-based rapid prototype platform for gene-control elements in mammalian cells. Biotechnology and Bioengineering, 110(4):1201-10.
  • Chen, Y.Y.*, Galloway, K.E.*, Smolke, C.D. Synthetic Biology: Advancing Biological Frontiers by Building Synthetic Systems. Genome Biology, 13(2): 240(2012). *These authors contributed equally.
  • Chen, Y.Y. and Smolke, C.D.  From DNA to Targeted Therapeutics: Bringing Synthetic Biology to the Clinic.  Science Translational Medicine, 3(106):106ps42 (2011).
  • Beisel, C.L., Chen, Y.Y., Culler, S.J., Hoff, K.G., Smolke, C.D.  Rational design of ligand-responsive microRNAs from structural insights into Drosha Processing.  Nucleic Acid Research, 39(7):2981-2994 (2011).
  • Chen, Y.Y., Jensen, M.C., Smolke, C.D.  Genetic control of mammalian T-cell proliferation with synthetic RNA regulatory systems.  Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, 107(19):8531-8536 (2010).