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Frances Chen, Current Student

Frances Chen
Field of Comparative Biomedical Sciences
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Natasza Kurpios                                                                                                                                                        

Brief Biography

Frances grew up in California and Colorado. She decided to pursue a career in veterinary medicine at the ripe old age of 10, after she began first raising guide dog puppies for the visually impaired. Although Frances did not intend on pursuing a PhD when she applied to vet school, she was convinced by a developing chicken embryo to incorporate basic research into her professional studies and subsequently applied for the combined degree program during her first year of the DVM curriculum. Frances enjoys subjecting her friends to stories about the embryo, training vet students and undergraduates to become sitters for Guiding Eyes for the Blind, running long distances, and cooking excessively elaborate meals.


B.S. in Biological Sciences and Animal Science, Cornell University 2012

Research Interests

Frances is interested in how the genome orchestrates the intricate process of development: specifically how the sequence elements of our genome regulate differential gene expression, cellular behavior, and ultimately tissue morphogenesis. Her current research focuses on functionally annotating noncoding elements at a critical locus necessary for left-right asymmetric organ development in chicken and mouse embryos.

Publications and Presentations

Welsh, Ian C., Chen, Frances L., and Kurpios, Natasza A. 2013. Novel complementary asymmetric gene expression of linked genes at the Pitx2 locus establishes a role for chromatin regulation of L-R patterning. 17th International Congress of Developmental Biology. Cancun, MX. 

Chen, Frances L., Welsh, Ian C., Schimenti, John C., and Kurpios, Natasza A. 2014. Functional validation of noncoding regulatory elements at the Pitx locus via CRISPR/Cas9-mediated deletions in mice. Cell Symposium: Transcriptional Regulation in Development. Chicago, IL.

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