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Qing C. Chen

Qing C. Chen M.D., Ph.D.

Academic Title: Associate Professor
Primary Appointment: Pathology
Administrative Title: Director Of Hematopathology
Location: MSTF, 7-34
Phone: (410) 328-5563
Phone: (410) 706-7890
Cell: 8436 (Pager)

Personal History:

Qing Ching Chen, MD, PhD, is Associate Professor of Pathology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. She serves as Director of Hematopathology Section, Director of Hematopathology Fellowship Training Program, and Medical Director of the Clinical Flow Cytometry Laboratory. Dr. Chen completed her residency and fellowship training in anatomic/clinical pathology, and hematopathology at New York Hospital/Cornell Medical Center, and was a research fellow at Princeton University. Dr. Chen received her Ph.D. from Oregon Health & Science University, and earned her medical degree from Hunan Medical University. She is board certified in Clinical & Anatomic Pathology, and Hematopathology.

Research Interests:

Dr. Chen's research deals with the structure, function and regulation of anti-self antibodies. There are two types of anti-self antibodies: the antigen-induced autoantibodies which arise during a typical T-cell dependent immune response (to self-antigens), and the so-called natural autoantibodies which are expressed "ospontaneously" in the course of normal B cell development. The former are usually of high affinity and exist only in autoimmune individuals, whereas the latter often have low reactivity towards a wide spectrum of self-antigens and are present in all individuals, ordinarily without causing pathology. Using transgenic and knock-in mouse models that express Ig genes encoding various types of autoantibodies, we have shown that production of high affinity anti-self antibodies is prevented in normal mice by several mechanisms including killing or inactivating the B-cells that make such antibodies, or by secondary rearrangement of the Ig genes (receptor editing). In sharp contrast, B cells that express low affinity natural autoantibodies are not eliminated, but rather are preferentially expanded, indicating important physiologic function of these antibodies. We have recently discovered that expression of natural autoantibodies in autoimmune mice can ameliorate disease and improve survival. Our current study is focused on the mechanisms by which natural autoantibodies and B cells protect from autoimmune diseases.

Clinical Speciality:

  • Anatomic and Clinical Pathology
  • Hematopathology
  • Diagnostic Flow Cytometry


Ching Chen, Zoltan Nagy, Marko Z. Radic, Richard R. Hardy, Dennis Huszar, Sally A. Camper and Martin Weigert. 1995. The Site and stage of anti-DNA B cell deletion. Nature, 373:252.

Ching Chen, Zoltan Nagy, Eline Luning Prak and Martin Weigert. 1995. Immunoglobulin heavy chain gene replacement: a mechanism of B cell tolerance. Immunity, 3:747.

Qi Tian, Michael Beardall, Ju Li, Yang Xu, David Parker, Nina Casanova, Tony Bakke, and Ching Chen. 2006. B cells expressing a natural polyreactive autoantibody have a distinct phenotype and are overrepresented in immunoglobulin heavy chain transgenic mice. Journal of Immunology, 177:2412.

Agata Matejuk, Michael Beardall, Yang Xu, Qi Tian, Daniel Phillips, Boris Alabyev, Kaissar Mannoor, and Ching Chen. 2009. Exclusion of natural autoantibody-producing B cells from IgG memory B cell compartment during T-cell-dependent immune response. Journal of Immunology,182:7634.

Lei Yu, Reader JC, Ching Chen, Xiangfeng Zhao, Ha JS, Lee C, Teresa York, Ivana Gojo, Maria R. Baer, Yi Ning. 2011. Activation of a novel palmitoyltransferase ZDHHC14 in acute biphenotypic leukemia and subsets of acute myeloid leukemia. Leukemia, 25:367.

Lei Yu, Marilyn L. Slovak, Kaiissar Mannoor, Ching Chen, Stephen P. Hunger, Andrew J. Carroll, Roger A. Schultz, Lisa G. Shaffer, Blake C. Ballif, and Yi Ning. 2011. Microarray detection of multiple recurring submicroscopic chromosomal aberrations in pediatric T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Leukemia, 25:1042.

Kaiissar Mannoor, Agata Matejuk, Yang Xu, Michael Beardall, and Ching Chen. 2012. Expression of natural autoantibodies in MRL-lpr mice protects from lupus nephritis and improves survival. Journal of Immunology, 188:3628.

Nikolaos A. Trikalinos, Qing Chen, Yi Ning, Edward A. Sausville, and Maria R. Baer. 2013. Unbalanced 11;18 translocation in an acute erythroid leukemia after radioactive iodine therapy. Cancer Genetics, 206:252.

Emily J. Vannorsdall, Jennifer Collins, Qing Chen, Guneet Sarai, and Maria R. Baer. 2013. Symptomatic response to imatinib mesylate in cutaneous mastocytosis associated with chronic myelomonocytic leukemia. Current Oncology, 20:e349.