Pei-Wen Chen

2020 Hellman Fellow

Assistant Professor of Biology
Williams College

Project Title: Elucidating the Role of ASAP1 in Driving Ovarian Cancer Metastasis

Project Description: Pei-Wen Chen will use her Hellman Fellowship to further her research in determining the mechanisms by which the ASAP1 gene contributes to ovarian cancer metastasis. Pei-Wen’s study of the role of ASAP1 in regulating ovarian cancer metastasis, through its action on YAP and the dynamics of actin-NM2 networks, will complement and build on her existing research program with Williams undergraduates.
The ASAP1 gene is amplified in 40% of ovarian cancers, and its elevated expression correlates with pelvic metastasis and poor prognosis. In Pei-Wen’s research, she will seek to identify the domain of ASAP1 critical for its effect on growth and invasion of ovarian cancer cells, define the mechanism by which ASAP1 regulates YAP, and determine the importance of YAP and NM2 to ASAP1’s effect on growth and invasion of ovarian cancer cells.
Pei-Wen’s Hellman Fellowship will fund materials and supplies, publication costs, and a four-week research stipend for one student.