Chen Zhihua, Ph.D.

Department:Respiratory Medicine

Medical School:National Laboratory of Applied Organic Chemistry and College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Lanzhou University, China.

Academic Rank: Professor, Resercher 


Clinical / Research Interests


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD);

Environmental particulate matter and lung diseases;

Molecular mechanisms of airway epithelial injury and inflammation.

Professional Highlights

Natural Science Award of Zhejiang Province, First Prize, 2016

Young Investigator Award, Society for Free Radical Research of Japan, 2005

Professional Appointments

Executive Editor, Inflammation and Cell Singaling, 2019-present

Member, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Group, Chinese Medical  Association, 2018-present

Vice-chairman, Basic Research Working Group of Inhalers, 2016-present

Member, Asthma Working Group, Chinese Medical Doctor Association, 2016-present 

Member, Professional Committee of Respiratory Physiology, Chinese Physiological Society, 2016-present

Member, Asthma Group, Chinese Medical Association, 2014-2018

Education Experience

Research Summary

Dr. Chen contributed to the field of epithelial injury and inflammatory response in chronic airway inflammatory diseases such as COPD and asthma, opening up a whole new field of autophagy in respiratory diseases.

His goal is to elucidate the role and mechanism of MTOR and autophagy in modulating the airway epithelial cell injury and inflammatory response induced by PM, which provides a new idea and early research basis for the prevention and treatment of air pollution-related diseases.

He also studies the effect and mechanism of lipid metabolism disorder on the development of COPD in airway epithelial cells.


Wu YP, H Chen, N Xuan, L Zhou, Y Wu, C Zhu, M Li, Q Weng, J Shen, H Zhang, B Zhang, F Lan, L Xia, X Xiong, Z Li, Y Zhao, M Wu, S Ying, W Li, * H Shen, * Z Chen*. Induction of ferroptosis-like cell death of eosinophils exerts synergistic effects with glucocorticoids in allergic airway inflammation. Thorax, 2020, in press.

Zhu C, Weng QY, Zhou LR, Cao C, Li F, Wu YF, Wu YP, Li M, Hu Y, Shen JX, Xiong XF, Lan F, Xia LX, Zhang B, Zhang H, Huang M, Ying SM, Shen HH*, Chen ZH*, Li W*. Homeostatic and Early Recruited CD101(-) Eosinophils Suppress Endotoxin-induced Acute Lung Injury. Eur Respir J. 2020 Jun 11:1902354. doi: 10.1183/13993003.02354-2019.

Zhou JS, Li ZY, Xu XC, Zhao Y, Wang Y, Chen HP, Zhang M, Wu YF, Lai TW, Di CH, Dong LL, Liu J, Xuan NX, Zhu C, Wu YP, Huang HQ, Yan FG, Hua W, Wang Y, Xiong WN, Qiu H, Chen T, Weng D, Li HP, Zhou X, Wang L, Liu F, Lin X, Ying SM, Li W, Imamura M, Choi ME, Stampfli MR, Choi AMK*, Chen ZH*, Shen HH*. Cigarette smoke-initiated autoimmunity facilitates sensitisation to elastin-induced COPD-like pathologies in mice. Eur Respir J. 2020 May 4. pii: 2000404. doi: 10.1183/13993003.00404-2020.

Wu YF, Li ZY, Dong LL, Li WJ, Wu YP, Wang J, Chen HP, Liu HW, Li M, Jin CL, Huang HQ, Ying SM, Li W, Shen HH*, Chen ZH*. Inactivation of MTOR promotes autophagy- mediated epithelial injury in particulate matter-induced airway inflammation. Autophagy. 2020 Mar;16(3):435-450. doi: 10.1080/15548627.2019.1628536.

Chen H, Li Z, Dong L, Wu Y, Shen H*, Chen Z*. Lipid metabolism in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis. 2019 May 13;14:1009-1018. doi: 10.2147/COPD.S196210.

Lai T, Wu M, Zhang C, Che L, Xu F, Wang Y, Wu Y, Xuan N, Cao C, Du X, Wu B, Li W, Ying S, Shen H, Chen Z*. HDAC2 attenuates airway inflammation by suppressing IL-17A production in HDM-challenged mice. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2019 Jan 1;316(1):L269-L279.

Li Z, Wu Y, Chen HP, Zhu C, Dong L, Wang Y, Liu H, Xu X, Zhou J, Wu Y, Li W, Ying S, Shen H, Chen ZH*. MTOR Suppresses Environmental Particle-Induced Inflammatory Response in Macrophages.  J Immunol. 2018 Apr 15;200(8):2826-2834.

Wang Y, Liu J, Zhou JS, Huang HQ, Li ZY, Xu XC, Lai TW, Hu Y, Zhou HB, Chen HP, Ying SM, Li W, Shen HH, Chen ZH*. MTOR Suppresses Cigarette Smoke-Induced Epithelial Cell Death and Airway Inflammation in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. J Immunol. 2018 Apr 15;200(8):2571-2580.

Wang Y, Zhou JS, Xu XC, Li ZY, Chen HP, Ying SM, Li W, Shen HH, Chen ZH*. Endoplasmic reticulum chaperone GRP78 mediates cigarette smoke-induced necroptosis and injury in bronchial epithelium. Int J COPD. 2018, Feb 9;13:571-581.

Lai, TW, Tian, BP, Cao C, Hu Y, Zhou J, Wang Y, Wu Y, Li Z, Xu X, Zhang M, Xu F, Cao Y, Chen M, Wu D, Wu B, Dong C, Li W, Ying S, Chen Z*, Shen H*. Histone deacetylase 2 suppresses IL17A-mediated airway remodeling in COPD. Chest, 2018 Apr;153(4):863-875.

Xu XC, Wu YF, Zhou JS, Chen HP, Wang Y, Li ZY, Zhao Y, Shen HH, Chen ZH*. Autophagy inhibitors suppress environmental particulate matter-induced airway inflammation. Toxicol Lett. 2017 Oct 5;280:206-212. 

Zhou-yang Li, Yin-fang Wu, Xu-chen Xu, Jie-sen Zhou, Yong Wang, Hua-hao Shen, Zhi-hua Chen*. Autophagy as a Double-Edged Sword in Pulmonary Epithelial Injury: A Review and Perspective. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2017 Aug 1;313(2):L207-L217. doi: 10.1152/ajplung.00562.2016.

Cloonan SM, Glass K, Laucho-Contreras ME, Bhashyam AR, Cervo M, Pabón MA, Konrad C, Polverino F, Siempos II, Perez E, Mizumura K, Ghosh MC, Parameswaran H, Williams NC, Rooney KT, Chen ZH, Goldklang MP, Yuan GC, Moore SC, Demeo DL, Rouault TA, D'Armiento JM, Schon EA, Manfredi G, Quackenbush J, Mahmood A, Silverman EK, Owen CA, Choi AM. Mitochondrial iron chelation ameliorates cigarette smoke-induced bronchitis and emphysema in mice. Nat Med. 2016 Feb;22(2):163-74. doi: 10.1038/nm.4021.

Yue Hu, Jian Lou, Yuan-Yuan Mao, Tian-Wen Lai, Li-Yao Liu, Chen Zhu, Chao Zhang, Juan Liu, Yu-Yan Li, Fan Zhang, Wen Li, Song-Min Ying, Zhi-Hua Chen*, Hua-Hao Shen*. Activation of MTOR in pulmonary epithelium promotes LPS-induced acute lung injury. Autophagy, 2016, Dec;12(12):2286-2299.

Zhou JS, Zhao Y, Zhou HB, Wang Y, Wu YF, Li ZY, Xuan NX, Zhang C, Hua W, Ying SM, Li W, Shen HH, Chen ZH*. Autophagy Plays an Essential Role in Cigarette Smoke-Induced Expression of MUC5AC in Airway Epithelium. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2016 Jun 1;310(11):L1042-52. doi: 10.1152/ajplung.00418.2015. 

Xia LX, Hua W, Jin Y, Tian BP, Qiu ZW, Zhang C, Che LQ, Zhou HB, Wu YF, Huang HQ, Lan F, Ke YH, Lee JJ, Li W, Ying SM, Chen ZH*, Shen HH*. Eosinophil differentiation in the bone marrow is promoted by protein tyrosine phosphatase SHP2. Cell Death Dis. 2016 Apr 7;7:e2175. doi: 10.1038/cddis.2016.74.

Chen ZH, Wu YF, Wang PL, Wu YP, Li ZY, Zhao Y, Zhou JS, Zhu C, Cao C, Mao YY, Xu F, Wang BB, Cormier S, Ying SM, Li W, Shen HH. Autophagy Is Essential for Ultrafine Particle-Induced Inflammation and Mucus Hyperproduction in Airway Epithelium. Autophagy, 2016; 12(2):297-311. doi:10.1080/15548627.2015.1124224

Hu Y, Liu J, Wu YF, Lou J, Mao YY, Shen HH, Chen ZH*.mTOR and autophagy in regulation of acute lung injury: a review and perspective. Microbes Infect. 2014 Sep;16(9):727-34. doi: 10.1016/j.micinf.2014.07.005.

Chen ZH, Cao JF, Zhou JS, Liu H, Che LQ, Mizumura K, Li W, Choi AM, Shen HH. Interaction of caveolin-1 with ATG12-ATG5 system suppresses autophagy in lung epithelial cells. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2014 Jun 1;306(11):L1016-25. 

Li W, Liu H, Zhou JS, Cao JF, Zhou XB, Choi AM, Shen HH* Chen ZH*. Caveolin-1 inhibits expression of antioxidant enzymes through direct interaction with nuclear erythroid 2 p45-related factor-2 (Nrf2). J Biol Chem. 2012 Jun 15;287(25):20922-30.

Chen ZH, Lam HC, Jin Y, Kim HP, Cao J, Lee SJ, Ifedigbo E, Parameswaran H, Ryter SW, Choi AMK. Autophagy Protein LC3B Activates Extrinsic Apoptosis During Cigarette-Smoke Induced Emphysema. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 2010, 107: 18880-18885.

Current Program

Airway epithelial injury and genomic instability induced by environmental particular matter. Funding Source: Project of Chinese National Programs for Fundamental Research and Development (973 Program, 2015CB553405).

A novel mouse model for COPD based on cigarette smoking-induced and elastin-mediated autoimmune response. Funding Source: General Program, National Natural Science Foundation of China (81670031).

Role of mTOR in cigarette smoking induced airway epithelial injury. Funding Source: General Program, National Natural Science Foundation of China (81370142).

Molecular Mechanisms of HDAC2 and Inflammasomes in Synergistic Regulation of Th17 and Neutrophilic Inflammation in Chronic Airway Diseases. Funding Source: Zhejiang Provincial Innovation Team of Respiratory Disease (2011R50016).

Role of autophagy in cigarette smoking induced airway inflammation. Funding Source: General Program, National Natural Science Foundation of China (31170859).

Interaction between Caveolin-1 and Nrf2 regulates acute lung injury. Funding Source: Distinguished Young Scientist Program, National Natural Science Foundation of Zhejiang (R2110323).

Role of phosphotase SHP2 in airway remodeling of asthma and lung fibrosis. Funding Source: Project of Chinese National Programs for Fundamental Research and Development (973 Program, 2009CB522103).

Caveolin-1 interacts with ATG12-ATG5 system and supresses autophagy. Funding Source: New Teacher Project of Ministry of Education.

Role of autophagy in regulation of airway mucus production. Funding Source: Project of Zhejiang University Innovation Teams.

Find People

Search by Family Name

Find A Department

Search by Departments