Kellen Chen, PhD

Assistant Research Professor, Surgery
Assistant Research Professor, Biomedical Engineering

Kellen Chen, PhD, is an assistant research professor in the Department of Surgery and Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Arizona, College of Medicine Tucson. Dr. Chen recently completed his postdoctoral research fellowship at Stanford University. He also previously received his PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Virginia and earned his B.S. in Bioengineering from the University of California, Berkeley.

Dr. Chen co-directs the lab of Department of Surgery Chair Geoffrey Gurtner, MD, FACS. Together, they are currently studying therapies to improve outcomes after injury, skin grafting, chronic wound development, biomedical device implantation, and more. Among these many research avenues, Dr. Chen is particularly interested in the molecular and cellular drivers of fibrosis and regeneration across all organ systems, and he previously studied healing after myocardial infarction or Achilles tendon injuries. He is also currently working on obtaining FDA approval for a clinical trial to study pharmacological inhibition of mechanical signaling to accelerate healing of deep dermal injury

Dr. Chen has co-authored over 35 peer-reviewed publications and three book chapters, including first author publications in journals such as the Science Translational Medicine, Nature Communications, and PNAS. He has received a variety of awards, including the First Place Young Investigator's Award from the Wound Healing Society and the Bernard G. Sarnat, MD, Excellence in Grant Writing Award from the Plastic Surgery Foundation. He is also a guest editor for journals such as Bioengineering and the Journal of Visualized Experiments. Dr. Chen is a member of the Wound Healing Society, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and the Biomedical Engineering Society.

Visit the Gurtner Lab website


  • BS: Bioengineering, University of California, Berkeley
  • PhD: Biomedical Engineering, University of Virginia