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Jin-Ran Chen, Ph.D.

Dr. Chen is an Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at UAMS and directs the Bone Development Lab at ACNC. He received his M.S. and Ph.D., both in Bone Biochemistry, from Hamamatsu University in Japan, and an M.D. from China Medical University. He has been a researcher at ACNC since 2005, where his interests revolve around bone health and skeletal development in early life. He is currently studying how dietary phytochemicals from blueberries and soy affect skeletal development and bone growth. Other studies are exploring how maternal obesity impacts bone health in offspring and the influence of diet and obesity on bone cell metabolism. When Dr. Chen is not at work, he enjoys running and fishing.

Research Interests

Our research program is centered on the investigation of how nutrition impacts skeletal development, growth and function. The lab evaluates the effects of postnatal and early-life diets on short-term and long-term bone outcomes, both at the molecular level and in whole tissue. Early exposure to phytonutrients (e.g., from blueberries or soy), or to breastfeeding vs. formula feeding, are considered in both animal models and in human cohorts. Other studies are determining the mechanisms by which obesity and high-fat diet (in both mothers and their offspring) can lead to poor bone health. Our research goal is to determine if early-life dietary manipulations/intervention will boost bone health during the critical bone-forming years and to aid in obtaining optimal peak bone mass leading to the prevention of degenerative bone disorders later in life.

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