Chen receives Amgen Young Investigator's Award

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Gong Chen, an assistant professor of chemistry at Penn State, has been honored with a 2013 Amgen Young Investigator's Award. The annual award is given by Amgen to young investigators whose scientific contributions impact the field of drug discovery. Chen will receive an unrestricted cash award and will be recognized along with three other award recipients at a symposium in October.

Chen conducts synthetic and biological studies of carbohydrates and peptides, two of the essential building blocks of living organisms. His goal is to develop a variety of biochemical tools that can be used to identify novel biological functions of these organic compounds. For example, he is undertaking chemical syntheses of natural products based on complex carbohydrates and peptides that have interesting structural and biological properties. He also is developing new synthetic methods using metals to catalyze transformation of inert carbon-hydrogen (C-H) bonds. Chen hopes that his work not only will reveal molecular mechanisms but also will facilitate the development of valuable therapeutic and diagnostic agents.

Chen's work has been recognized with a National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award in 2011 and a New York State Breast Cancer Research Postdoctoral Fellowship in 2006. He was appointed a member of the Faculty of 1000 in 2013.

Prior to joining the faculty at Penn State in 2008, Chen was a postdoctoral research fellow at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. He earned a doctoral degree in bioorganic chemistry at Columbia University in 2004 and a bachelor's degree in chemistry at Nanjing University in 1999.

Last Updated July 25, 2013