Chien-Jen Chen

Office of the President, Taiwan (ROC)


Election Year: 2017
Primary Section: 64, Human Environmental Sciences
Secondary Section: 61, Animal, Nutritional, and Applied Microbial Sciences
Membership Type: Foreign Associate

Biosketch

Chien-Jen Chen is an epidemiologist recognized for his work on long-term health hazards of environmental agents including arsenic and oncogenic viruses. He is known particularly for his studies on health risk assessment of arsenic in drinking water that has led WHO and US EPA to set up a new maximal contamination level to protect global health, and on cancer risk calculators for chronic infection of hepatitis viruses, Epstein-Barr virus and human papillomavirus. Chen was born in Kaohsiung City and grew up in Taipei City in Taiwan. He graduated from National Taiwan University with a BSc degree in zoology and a MPH degree in public health and from Johns Hopkins University in 1982 with a ScD in epidemiology and human genetics. He joined the faculty of National Taiwan University College of Medicine in 1977. He was the founding director of Graduate Institute of Epidemiology and dean of College of Public Health of National Taiwan University and vice president of Academia Sinica. He has been president of the Taiwan Public Health Association and of the Taiwan Epidemiological Association and is a member of Academia Sinica and World Academy of Sciences and a foreign associate of National Academy of Sciences.

Research Interests

Chien-Jen Chen’s research team is interested in the long-term health risk assessment and molecular and genomic biomarkers of chronic arsenic poisoning and chronic infection of oncogenic viruses. Through large-scale follow-up studies, they have discovered multiple disorders caused by arsenic in drinking water and characterized dose-response relations between ingested arsenic and risk of cancers, vascular diseases, neurological disorders, hypertension, diabetes and cataract. WHO and US EPA have used their findings to set up a new maximal contamination level of arsenic in drinking water to protect health and life of hundred millions of victims. They have documented the efficacy of hepatitis B immunization to prevent fatal hepatic diseases and liver cancer, which has led to the use of vaccines, antivirals or antibiotics to prevent infection-related cancers. Their REVEAL study on the natural history of chronic hepatitis B and C has pioneered the viral load paradigm in clinical management of viral hepatitis, and has developed risk calculators through the combination of host and viral biomarkers to precisely predict long-term risk of diseases induced by oncogenic viruses.

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