Principal Investigator
Assistant Professor
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Medical School: 

BS 1993 - National Taiwan University 
MS 1995 - National Taiwan University 
PhD 2001 - University of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas


Postdoctoral Research Fellowship

2006 Children's Hospital of Boston 
Harvard Medical School


CXCL12 Signaling Is Essential for Maturation of the Ventricular Coronary Endothelial Plexus and Establishment of Functional Coronary Circulation.

Cavallero S, Shen H, Yi C, Lien CL, Kumar SR, Sucov HM. Dev Cell. 2015 May 26;33(4):469-77. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2015.03.018.

Chemokine-guided angiogenesis directs coronary vasculature formation in zebrafish.

Harrison MR, Bussmann J, Huang Y, Zhao L, Osorio A, Burns CG, Burns CE, Sucov HM, Siekmann AF, Lien CL. Dev Cell. 2015 May 26;33(4):442-54. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2015.04.001.

Dry-contact microelectrode membranes for wireless detection of electrical phenotypes in neonatal mouse hearts.

Zhao Y, Cao H, Beebe T, Zhang H, Zhang X, Chang H, Scremin O, Lien CL, Tai YC, Hsiai TK. Biomed Microdevices. 2015 Apr;17(2):40. doi: 10.1007/s10544-014-9912-y.

Extracardiac control of embryonic cardiomyocyte proliferation and ventricular wall expansion.

Shen H, Cavallero S, Estrada KD, Sandovici I, Kumar SR, Makita T, Lien CL, Constancia M, Sucov HM. Cardiovasc Res. 2015 Mar 1;105(3):271-8. doi: 10.1093/cvr/cvu269. Epub 2015 Jan 5.

Differential regenerative capacity of neonatal mouse hearts after cryoinjury.

Darehzereshki A, Rubin N, Gamba L, Kim J, Fraser J, Huang Y, Billings J, Mohammadzadeh R, Wood J, Warburton D, Kaartinen V, Lien CL. Dev Biol. 2015 Mar 1;399(1):91-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2014.12.018. Epub 2014 Dec 31.

High-frequency dual mode pulsed wave Doppler imaging for monitoring the functional regeneration of adult zebrafish hearts.

Kang BJ, Park J, Kim J, Kim HH, Lee C, Hwang JY, Lien CL, Shung KK. J R Soc Interface. 2015 Feb 6;12(103). pii: 20141154. doi: 10.1098/rsif.2014.1154.



Research Interests: 

Research Topics

  • Zebrafish heart development & regeneration

  • Rodent models of heart repair

  • Blood vessel regeneration

Research Overview

Heart disease is among the leading causes of death for both adults and children. The goal of my laboratory is to define the molecular and cellular mechanisms of heart regeneration in zebrafish and to enhance regenerative capacity and replacing defective tissues in diseased human hearts. This is especially promising for children since they have better endogenous regenerative capacity than adults.

We use genetic, genomic and cellular approaches to dissect the process of heart regeneration and identified promising growth factors, genes and cell types. We will determine how these candidate genes and factors can be utilized to facilitate growth factor and stem cell based therapy.

Our work will lead to discovery of important factors and pathways that can contribute to pharmaceutical or cellular therapies for ischemic or congenital heart diseases.

Zebrafish Heart Regeneration

Ching-Ling (Ellen) Lien, PhD, received an NIH grant of $1.9 million to investigate the molecular mechanism of zebrafish heart regeneration.

In research published last year, Ching-Ling (Ellen) Lien, PhD, and her colleagues identified a key biological factor that helps zebrafish rebuild themselves. Lien is an assistant professor at Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery and The Saban Research Institute of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

The discovery, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences late last year, could help scientists eventually develop new therapeutic treatments for cardiovascular disease in people, including perhaps the possibility of self-repair in human hearts. Read more.

4650 Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Phone: 818-361-8377Office