Kai Chen


  • The University of Western Australia (M504), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


Calculated based on number of publications stored in Pure and citations from Scopus

Personal profile


Dr Kai Chen is an Australian Research Council (ARC) Early Career Fellow, Raine Fellow, Head of the Molecular Biology and Imaging Laboratory (MBIL). He completed his medical and orthopaedic surgery training in China (2007-2016). Supported by Australian Government International Research Training Program (RTP) Scholarships, he completed his PhD in Bone Biology (2016-2019) under the supervision of Prof Jiake Xu, A/Prof Nathan Pavlos, and Dr Jennifer Tickner at UWA. Dr Chen carried out his postdoctoral training from 2020-2023 for molecular imaging and nanobiotechnology with A/Prof Haibo Jiang (HKU) and Prof Killugudi Swaminatha Iyer (UWA). In 2023, Dr Chen started his own laboratory leveraging multidisciplinary imaging technologies to investigate skeletal biology and diseases.


Our laboratory is dedicated to developing a correlative imaging workflow that integrates light, electron, and ion microscopy. This multidisciplinary approach merges “biology” and “chemistry” to uncover previously unknown physiological and pathological processes within the skeletal system, including bones and joints. We are also keen to investigate the drug transport and targeted delivery within skeletal system as well as other body systems (e.g., eye, brain, pancreas). Our current research projects include:

  • Visualising nanoscale metabolism across skeletal system
  • Defining molecular trafficking of RNA drugs (e.g., ASO, PMO) across cells and tissues
  • Investigating cellular and molecular mechanisms driving skeletal disorders (e.g., osteoporosis, osteoarthritis)
  • Defining iron metabolism of central macrophage during erythropoiesis

PhD opportunities are open.

Funding overview

  • ARC Early Career Industry Fellowship (2024 - 2027)
  • Raine Priming Grant (2023 - 2024)
  • Raine Collaboration Award (2024)
  • Future Health Research and Innovation Fund, WANMA x 2 (2023 - 2024)
  • UWA Collaboration Award (2024)
  • Healthy Bone Australia, ANZBMS, Professor Sambrook Young Investigator Travel Award (2024)
  • Arthritis Australia Project Grant (2022)

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water

Education/Academic qualification

Bone biology, PhD, Reactive oxygen species are anticatabolic targets for osteoclast-related bone disorders, The University of Western Australia

14 Mar 201614 Nov 2019

Award Date: 14 Nov 2019

Orthopaedic Surgery, Master degree, Clinical Medicine, Wenzhou Medical University

Sept 2012Jun 2015

Award Date: 30 Jun 2015

Medicine, Bachelor of Medicine, Medicine, Wenzhou Medical University

Sept 2007Jun 2012

Award Date: 15 Jun 2012

External positions

Orthopaedic Surgeon, Wenzhou Medical University

Jul 2015Mar 2016

Industry keywords

  • Drug Discovery
  • Biotechnology
  • Medicine and Pharma

Research expertise keywords

  • Bone biology
  • Bone disease
  • Bone cell biology
  • Bone marrow
  • Molecular imaging
  • Antisense technology


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