Dr. Hongzhi Chen graduated from our Ph.D. program in Biochemistry in 2013. As a graduate student, he applied for and received research funding from our Translational Science Training program in 2010 and subsequently from the American Heart Association. Today, he is an Assistant Professor at Central South University in Changsha, China.
This November, Dr. Chen was awarded one of the best oral presentations at the academic meeting of the Chinese Diabetes Society (CDS) held in Xiamen, China.
“It was totally unexpected as the study I presented is a clinical one,” said Dr. Chen.
Dr. Chen’s research focuses on how insulin resistance develops and its negative effects on health and metabolism.
In his recent studies, he found that adiponectin signaling could be critical in insulin resistance development in non-obese patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. His work is funded by the National Nature Science Foundation of China and he keeps a tight collaboration with Dr. Feng Liu and Dr. Lily Q. Dong, his mentors in UT Health San Antonio.
He explained that he spends his day reading papers, discussing topics with medical doctors, developing ideas and designing experiment to test hypotheses.
“We are doing research in the hospital, and we believe what we are doing is useful for the suffering patients in the future,” he said. “Besides techniques I learned in UT, the more important thing I have learnt in UT is critical thinking.”