Chao Chen

Mentor: Dr. Changzoon Chun
College of Medicine
"My past illnesses gave me a sense of curiosity to learn more about the human body and its diseases, it is what led me to get involved in research with Dr. Chun. Studying biological sciences and the physiology behind it only go so far in understanding the complexity of the human body. I believe through research, I am one step closer to a breakthrough in not just treating/curing diseases but also solving mysteries of certain bodily function and process."





Research Interests

  • Physiology
  • Development
  • Nutrition and Diseases

Academic Awards

  • Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholars
  • Anderson Scholars
  • University Scholars


  • Centerpoint Christian Fellowship
  • Relay For Life Committee
  • Volunteer

    • Relay For Life
    • Shands Emergency Department

    Hobbies and Interests

    • Tennis
    • Nutrition
    • Movies
    • Music

    Research Description

    Ketohexokinase (fructokinase) Expression in Embryonic Development
    High consumption in high fructose corn syrup intake has been linked to increased risk for obesity and other diseases. Ketohexokinase (Khk) is an essential enzyme that helps metabolize dietary fructose. Many researchers support Khk gene expression present in tissues from the kidney and liver. However, not much is known about the spatial and temporal expression patterns during embryonic development. We utilize zebrafish embryos to determine Khk function during embryonic development, which could suggest mechanism of where and how Khk protein function in human embryonic development or metabolism. This will clue in to how high consumption of high-fructose corn syrup may have on the pathogenesis at an early stage.