Dr. Chen is a Scientist in the Nelson Lab at Washington University's School of Medicine He obtained his Ph.D. at the Peking Union Medical College in China, where his research focused on the mechanisms underlying esophageal cancer. His current studies focus on understanding problems that occur during human pregnancy by studying the placentas of mice subjected to hypoxia, or oxygen deprivation.
I was able to visit Dr. Chen in his lab at Washington University to discuss his beliefs around using animals for research and the impacts that experiments have on the animals and on the humans involved as well.
Dr. Chen's most marked characteristic is kindness - in this conversation his sensitivity to animals as companions, wild creatures and innocent residents of our world is as evident as his belief that continued use of animal models will be essential to progress in certain types of research. Dr. Chen and my father, Frederick Kraus, are both members of this lab, which explains why Dr. Chen refers to my father in this interview.